On Wednesday night, news broke that PokerStars had been granted approval to launch in the United States. After an unprecedented review process by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), one that included sworn interviews with more than 70 individuals, Amaya was granted permission to launch PokerStars and Full Tilt in the Garden State.
It's unknown when Amaya will launch operations, but when they do they'll join the ranks of WSOP.com, 888, party poker and Borgata as online poker providers in New Jersey. Furthermore, their return to the market has been applauded from everyone from poker players to politicians, including New Jersey Senator Ray Lesniak, who spoke to PokerNews about the latest developments.
However, one entity that has seemingly been lost in the shuffle is Resorts Digital Gaming, LLC ("Resorts"), PokerStars' partner in Atlantic City. Resorts was the first casino to open in New Jersey, which happened way back in 1978, and since then has continued to offer world-class casino action. In the Fall of 2012, Mohegan Gaming Advisors assumed management of Resorts, which features 942 guest rooms in two hotel towers, an 80,000 square-foot casino, ten restaurants, and a food court featuring five eateries.
Resorts already has robust online offerings — including ResortsCasino.com and MoheganSunCasino.com, which both feature a wide selection of casino slots and table games – but adding PokerStars to the mix should not only help them diversify, but help establish Resorts as a market leader.
"Our partnership with PokerStars is a testament to our commitment to offering our players the very best gaming and entertainment experience," Morris Bailey, owner of Resorts Casino Hotel, said in a press release issued by Resorts. "We are proud to join forces with PokerStars as they make their entry into the United States online gaming market, and look forward to officially launching after completion of the regulatory test period."
Resorts agreement to partner with PokerStars dates back to 2013, but ever since then the online poker site has been caught up in the bureaucracy of the licensing application process. Now that they've been granted a transactional waiver to conduct online gaming, PokerStars will become Resorts' exclusive online poker website.
"We are confident that the partnership with PokerStars will boost our online gaming activities and help us emerge as the leader in New Jersey’s poker market," said Mark Giannantonio, president and CEO of Resorts Casino Hotel. "With PokerStars approved for licensed online gaming, our players will have the opportunity to experience real-money poker games from the world’s number one poker website."
Eric Hollreiser, Vice President of Corporate Communications for Amaya Inc., echoed those sentiments: "We are eager to bring our great partnership with Resorts Casino Hotel online and to offer the PokerStars brand to our legion of fans in New Jersey. PokerStars’ integrity, business acumen and track record of developing best-practices in the industry make it a highly qualified and valuable partner for Resorts."
For more information about Resorts, please visit ResortsAC.com.
*Lead photo courtesy of wikimedia.org.