PokerStars, the world's biggest online poker site, will be coming back to America. More than 4 years after it was shut down on poker's "Black Friday" and 2 years after regulated online poker launched in two states, PokerStars has gotten regulatory approval to come back to New Jersey.
Shares of Amaya, the parent company of PokerStars and FullTilt, soared 18% in Thursday's trading.
Jason Somerville, a PokerStars sponsored player calls it, "a step in the right direction," towards bringing legal, regulated online poker back to the United States. Somerville often tells viewers of his popular "Run It Up" web show that they can play with him on PokerStars unless they live in "Iran, Iraq, North Korea or the United States."
Amaya CEO David Baazov said in a statement that the company will soon be releasing details of its New Jersey launch. But we already do know that New Jersey players will not have access to PokerStars's worldwide player pool, they will only be able to play with players in that state.
Protections stay in place for New Jersey's brick-and-mortar casinos in struggling Atlantic City. In order to gain approval, all online poker sites in New Jersey must pair with an existing casino. PokerStars has a deal with Resorts casino.
Somerville thinks online poker will help land-based casinos. "You need online poker to have a healthy poker economy. People need to practice, to play for pennies online so they gain the experience and the confidence to go play live," he told his viewers.