PokerStars New Jersey is once again open for business five years after the online card room’s dot com domain was seized by US federal authorities in 2011. The world’s largest online poker destination soft launched its platform in the Garden State at 4 pm local time on Wednesday, and by all means the first of five beta test runs was a success.
The network was a few minutes tardy in officially opening the digital doors, and poker fanatics on the Two Plus Two forums wasted no time in expressing their displeasure.
“Wow, they couldn’t even get this right, multi-billion dollar company,” one commenter using the “Railtrailed” moniker criticized.
“Where’s the download link at?” “MrAce77” pondered. “Checking on the pokerstarsnj.com and not seeing anything.”
After a few minutes of chaos, PokerStars seemed to calm the storm.
“While a lot of time went into preparing for today, this is indeed a testing period to make sure everything is functioning correctly for the official launch March 21,” PokerStars VIP Club Manager Dylan Coady stated. “We expect to encounter some issues that we’ll do our best to fix promptly . . . Patience is appreciated, we’ll get there.”
This Is Only a Test
PokerStars New Jersey’s first soft launch period ran from 4 pm ET to midnight, as did Thursday’s session. PokerStars opened at 8 am this morning and will run around the clock through the weekend.
Play has been limited to the first 500 customers during the testing intervals, though it’s unclear if that threshold is being reached in the isolated gaming market. Regardless, play opens in its entirety Monday at 12 am ET binding any unforeseen setbacks.
Test Satisfies Law
The PokerStars soft launch trial isn’t simply for the operator’s benefit in order to detect bugs and problem areas before opening to the general public but also mandated by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE). Per the interactive gaming license issued by the DGE, PokerStars must adequately display that its geo-location technologies, customer signup verification, and other regulatory safeguards meet state standards.
While some users complained that the PokerStars client wasn’t immediately available for download, a more imperative concern related to complications certain users experienced when entering their signup bonus code. Coady said PokerStars would retroactively honor the bonus if players incurred such problems.
Among the other glitches being detailed in online forums includes troubles downloading the PokerStars software to Macs, as well as difficulties being experienced on both Android and iPhone operating systems.
Knock on wood, but the aforementioned bugs are rather minor anomalies in the grand scheme of online poker.
One area worth noting is that on the New Jersey DGE website, pokerstarsnj.com still isn’t listed as an authorized Internet gaming site. “Any site not included on this list is NOT approved to offer Internet gaming in the State of New Jersey,” the page declares.
Poker customers within the borders of New Jersey and over the age of 21 have nothing to fear. Playing on the platform is 100 percent legal, and the web address will be listed as approved come Monday morning when the platform opens for general public play.