Amaya Gaming’s PokerStars is another step closer to providing online poker services to players in New Jersey. The company announced Thursday that it will go live with a soft launch, available to 500 players, on Wednesday, March 16. Also yesterday, Swedish software developer NetEnt announced the inking of a deal with Amaya to expand the PokerStars NJ Casino platform with additional games.
The extensive wait for PokerStars return to the United States is almost over. After receiving a transactional waiver from the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) last fall to operate in the Garden State, PokerStars NJ is finally prepared to launch its online poker services – and since supplemented online casino – in New Jersey.
This marks the first time since April 15, 2011 – the Black Friday of Online Poker – that PokerStars will accept players on American soil.
Earlier this month, excitement began brewing when Amaya Gaming confirmed an official launch date for PokerStarsNJ.com on March 21, 2016. A soft launch was mentioned, but the date wasn’t set until now.
According to iGaming Business, the details of the PokerStars NJ Beta and Full Scale Launch are as follows:
PokerStars NJ Beta & Full Scale Launch Schedule
On March 16, at precisely 4:00pm ET, 500 online poker players from New Jersey will be permitted to download the PokerStars NJ platform for beta testing.
For the first two days, access will be limited to 8 hours, 4:00pm to midnight. Then on Friday, beta testers will be permitted to login starting at 8:00am, with unlimited access through Sunday, March 20.
If all goes well – meaning the software suffers no insurmountable glitches, payments are processed correctly and no underage/self-excluded players are able to access the network – the full scale launch will take place on the 21st as planned.
NetEnt Games on PokerStars NJ Casino
NetEnt is already partnered with several operations in New Jersey, and according to iGaming Business, secured a contract with Amaya Gaming on Thursday to extend its services in the Garden State via PokerStars NJ Casino.
NetEnt has already applied for a license to supply its range of online and mobile casino games to PokerStars NJ, and considering the vendor has already obtained transactional waivers in the state (full licensure is still pending), it shouldn’t take long for the DGE to approve this one.
“PokerStars is one of the biggest online gaming power houses in the world,” said NetEnt’s Managing Director of American operations, Björn Krantz. “The agreement is yet more proof of the trust and confidence that exists in NetEnt’s operational and portfolio capabilities.”
Amaya’s Director of Casino operations, Sam Hobcraft, expressed equal delight with the new partnership. “We’re pleased to extend our successful global partnership with NetEnt to the New Jersey market,” said Hobcraft. “Integrating NetEnt’s top tier games will be an important part of developing into one of the leaders in online casino in New Jersey.”
With NetEnt on board, PokerStars Casino NJ will provide over 180 online slots, video poker and table games, plus half a dozen live dealer casino games – many of which will be available for mobile play.