For the first time in over 4 years, PokerStars will be offering online poker in the United States! Their iGaming application finally received approval from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), giving them the green light to launch their specialty – online poker. This is obviously exciting news for players because PokerStars has helped propel the game all over the globe. But what exactly should we expect from the world’s largest poker site in New Jersey? Here are 5 predictions on what you’ll see from Stars in the Garden State and beyond.
- Slow Growth in the Player Base
Expectations should be tempered because, unfortunately, PokerStars will be confined to New Jersey, a state with 8.94 million people. Now this isn’t by any means an insignificant population; however, it’s not exactly going to reignite the poker boom. Case in point, PokerScout shows that there are only 280 combined hourly cash players between WSOP/888 and Party Borgata. Expect this amount to grow, thanks to PokerStars’ exceptional advertising and marketing abilities…just don’t plan on seeing too big of an increase.
- Competition will rise to the Challenge
A big problem holding New Jersey’s iGaming market back is simply that it hasn’t been up to the standards of international operations. Part of this can be blamed on bugs and hitches regarding geolocation and credit-card processing. But it must also be concluded that the iPoker features and software being offered in the market just aren’t as good as what’s seen around the world. Given that PokerStars is the best of the best in online poker, the remaining two operations will have to rise up to compete. Luckily, this should happen because WSOP/888 and Party Borgata have already succeeded where other operations failed in NJ.
- More Americans will realize there’s Legal US Online Poker
Another dilemma facing the growth of U.S. iPoker is simply that many residents aren’t aware that legality is an option. There’s a stigma in America that poker is largely illegal, especially online play. Even some people in Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey aren’t aware that their states have legalized and regulated the game. So a byproduct of PokerStars’ extensive advertising is that more people will realize the game is legal.
- A Bigger Push for Interstate iPoker
Nobody is going to force Governor Chris Christie to take the interstate online poker matter more serious – especially when he’s still clinging to his 2016 Presidential dreams. But the more pressure that’s put on him to consider linking up with Delaware and Nevada, the better. State Senator Ray Lesniak has already provided lots of pressure; we can only expect PokerStars to lobby the Governor’s office quite a bit too. After all, they’ll want to expand their U.S. reach as quickly as possible.
- Other States will take PokerStars More Seriously
With New Jersey now approving PokerStars, it might set a precedent for other states to consider including them. Both New York and Pennsylvania remain open minded about the matter, but California has transformed into somewhat of a battleground. Specifically, certain Indian tribes don’t think Stars should be allowed into America’s most-lucrative iPoker market. At least with the DGE’s stamp of approval, PokerStars has some legitimacy while trying to get into California and other states.