PokerStars Promises to Boost New Jersey Economy if Licensed

Posted on October 3rd, 2013 by Todd Wilkins

PokerStars Promises to Boost New Jersey Economy if LicensedPokerStars is hoping that its intention to base its North American headquarters in New Jersey will help sway state gaming officials in granting a gaming license.

The world’s leading poker site indicated that hundreds of jobs would be created should gaming regulators approve its license application and allow PokerStars to team up with Resorts Casino Hotel to provide Internet gambling. In addition to entering the online gaming arena, PokerStars also plans to spend $10 million on a poker room in the casino.

But all that is contingent upon receiving licensing approval. Seen by many as the ultimate bad actor for virtually ignoring the UIGEA in 2006 and continuing to operate in the U.S., PokerStars’ application is likely to be scrutinized in great detail before a final decision is made by state officials.

New Jersey’s early drafts of its online gambling legislation included provisions deterring so-called bad actors. But that language was eventually removed before Governor Chris Christie affixed his signature to the statute in February.

Construction on the new poker room would commence once a gaming license is secured, the Press of Atlantic City reported. Also, roughly 50 new jobs would be created immediately in order to install the necessary systems to launch online gambling.

Following that, another 150 or so jobs would open up next year as PokerStars would set up shop in New Jersey, using the Garden State as its home base in America. The company also projects another 200 or so job openings to be available later in 2014 dependent upon the success of online gambling and the possibility of interstate compacts.

New Jersey is targeting November 26 as its online gaming launch date, but the state Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) has yet to name the approvals or denials of any partnership agreements brokered by the Atlantic City casinos. The division is required to notify those casinos of the rollout date at least 45 days in advance, so we should know by the end of next week if the target date will be met.

PokerStars teamed up with Resorts about two months ago when a deal to purchase the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel fell through. Parent company Rational Group is reportedly still eyeing other New Jersey casinos as acquisition possibilities. That endeavor would likely take on a more serious note if the DGE rubber-stamps PokerStars as a suitable partner with Resorts.

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