The biggest online poker operator, PokerStars, will be returning to the United States of America on March 21st 2016. After they had been banned from operating in the States on April 15, 2011, the day known to poker players as “Black Friday“, the company has finally found a way back, even if it is through a rather small door.
Is PokerStars New Jersey Only The Beginning?
Although many players residing in the USA were first really pumped up about the announcement made on February 25th by the Amaya, parent company of PokerStars, they had to quickly rein in their enthusiasm when all the details were confirmed.
On March 21st, PokerStars NJ will open their doors only to players playing from New Jersey and players from other US states will not be able to participate. One does not necessarily need to be a New Jersey resident to play, but their physical location must be inside the state in order to be able to access the software.
However, this is not necessarily bad news. While, for the time being, other states will not participate in the fun, this could mark a new beginning for online poker across the pond. Once PokerStars New Jersey enters the market, there is little doubt that Amaya will do everything in their power to increase their grasp.
What can PokerStars NJ do for online poker in the US?
Ever since the news was announced there has been some heated debate, especially on the popular poker forum 2+2, about what can the company offer that would turn the things around. To remind you, online poker has been legal in New Jersey since 2013, but the number of players playing on legal sites has been far from impressive.
Some players seem steadfast in their conviction that this will not change with the arrival of PokerStars New Jersey, especially after the initial interest has faded away. Others, however, see PokerStars as a game changer that has both the money and the knowledge to launch effective marketing campaigns that will bring heaps of new players to the tables.
Amaya must have a plan
While we can only guess about what will really go down, one thing can be presumed with certainty: a company as big as Amaya did not spend a lot of their money and time to enter the US market only to leave things to chance. It will be interesting to see how the things develop after March 21st launch of PokerStars NJ.
When will PokerStars New Jersey players be able to play with the rest of the world?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is: not any time soon. While the return of PokerStars to the United States gives some hope for legalized online poker in other states, we are still years away from even combining the player pools from different states, let alone the rest of the world.
The rebirth of online poker in the USA will depend greatly on legislative procedures which, as we have all witnessed, tend to be very slow and hindered by those who don’t like the idea of online games being offered at all.
A day when the US citizens are able to sit with ROW (rest of the world) players without any obstacles will truly be a great one for the online poker, but trying to determine when (if ever) this might happen would be pure guesswork at this point.