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[Breaking] PokerStars New Jersey License Takes it Back to the US

stars-usaIt has been a long wait, but PokerStars and Full Tilt have now been awarded regulatory approval to launch in the state regulated New Jersey market.

Technically, their parent company Amaya has received a transactional waiver, which allows them to operate until the final parts of the licensing process are completed.

“We are very pleased to add New Jersey to the long list of regulated markets that have found PokerStars and Full Tilt suitable to offer real-money online gaming,” said David Baazov, Chairman and CEO of Amaya.

“I want to thank the DGE for their thorough and fair review of our business. We look forward to bringing our popular brands, innovative technology, marketing prowess and world-class security and game integrity to the growing New Jersey online gaming market. We anticipate providing additional details of our launch plans in the near future.”

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Likely Impact of PokerStars' New Jersey License

The arrival of PokerStars is certain to shake up online poker in the Garden State. Since regulation was introduced in November 2013, the market has not performed as strongly as pundits suggested.

Online poker is now offered by 888poker and WSOP on one network, and by PartyPoker and Borgata Poker on another.

Latest cash game traffic statistics from PokerScout give the total market size as averaging 280 players—that means at any time there are on average 280 seats occupied at the cash game tables, not 280 different players. Players in New Jersey can only play against other players in New Jersey.

A fair estimate is that PokerStars will grow the market by at least 20%. However, it isn’t necessarily guaranteed to gain the same dominant market share it has in the rest of the world.

In France Winamax is the market leader with 41% of cash game traffic, and PokerStars has only 28% of the market—figures from Poker Industry PRO. A strong local brand can hold off the PokerStars marketing muscle.

However, the New Jersey market is tiny compared to France, and the local operators may not have the marketing budgets to establish a dominant position like Winamax. A more likely forecast would be that PokerStars will take between 40% and 60% of the online poker market.

If New Jersey residents are expecting access to the full PokerStars experience they will be disappointed. Cash game traffic of less than an average of 200 seats means very few tables, lower tournament guarantees and less game choice.

Regulation means that PokerStars won’t be bringing its full suite of games to New Jersey, but it will probably launch its Spin & Go lottery-like SNG tournaments. Currently these have only been available to US players through Americas Cardroom’s Jackpot Poker games.

US Players Outside New Jersey have a Choice

Until there are more interstate compacts with more states regulating online poker, the state regulated sites will continue to offer much less than their dot-com counterparts.

For a full service experience, Americas Cardroom remains the best place for US players to play.

CEO Phil Nagy said that he made a direct copy of the PokerStars VIP scheme for Americas Cardroom, and unlike the state regulated poker rooms, Million Dollar Sundays give US players a chance to play in tournaments with $1 million in guaranteed prize money.

Rakeback.com has some exclusive satellites on offer where you can win a ticket.

Each Private Super Satellite guarantees 10 seats to the $10+1 Super Satellite that play every Saturday , which then guarantees 15 qualifiers to compete in the 100-Seat Mega direct satellite, which guarantees 100 players into the $500+$40 buy-in Main Event –$54,000 total value.

The tournaments are restricted to players who have signed up to an Americas Cardroom account through Rakeback.com. The first satellite kicks off at 5pm Eastern time on Friday, and will be live streamed on the Rakeback.com Twitch channel.

By Joss Wood Rakeback.com Content Manager

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