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PokerStars First to Shuffle Up and Deal Online in NJ?

08/03/13 2:38 PM

When online poker giant PokerStars moved to purchase a failing New Jersey brick-and-mortar casino, the company’s intentions were crystal clear. And now that Governor Chris Christie has legalized online poker in the Garden State, The Atlantic Club’s new owners are perfectly positioned to profit thanks to the structuring of that particular online poker piece of legislation. The bill passed in New Jersey requires that online poker players in that state open an account at a physical Atlantic City casino first.

And the new legislation also offers bonuses to online poker players in New Jersey which must be redeemed at brick-and-mortar Atlantic City casinos. Located directly on the famed New Jersey boardwalk, The Atlantic Club will no doubt quickly become known as home to PokerStars, a company with years of experience in offering virtual poker. That could possibly vault the ailing Atlantic Club to the top spot as a premier New Jersey brick-and-mortar casino, as well as the leader in the new online poker industry in that state.

The Atlantic Club has accepted the undisclosed offering price, so now all PokerStars needs to do is obtain licensing from the Division of Gaming Enforcement and the Casino Control Commission, and they will be perfectly prepared to offer online poker in New Jersey before any other potential providers. They already have the virtual infrastructure, software and regulatory systems in place, as they are currently offering online poker around the world.

The process in New Jersey for actually offering some virtual card play has obviously not been laid out at this point. It is only one week since passage of the new Internet gaming law providing for poker play in New Jersey. Christie and state legislators must go about the business of taking and approving applications for companies which want to offer online poker, they must set up software gaming test labs, and ensure that a safe and reliable experience is provided for their state’s residents and travelers. So actual online play in New Jersey is still far from reality.

While the Department of Justice in the United States has allow each individual state to declare its own online gambling destiny, it is important to note that PokerStars has an excellent reputation with the DOJ. Last year PokerStars agreed to forfeit $731 million for the repayment and refunding of players whose online accounts had been frozen. They also agreed with the DOJ to bail out the blacklisted Full Tilt Poker entity by spending another $180 million. This put PokerStars in the DOJ’s good graces, and gave the company a White Knight reputation among online poker players in the US. Add the hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars that PokerStars will add to the New Jersey economy, and it appears that company holds all the right cards that would position them as a leader in New Jersey online poker activity.

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