Pokerstars Launched Delayed until 2015?
By Melissa Blau
The long awaited launch of Pokerstars and Full Tilt is now rumored to be on hold until 2015. Pokerstars and Full Tilt were the two leading brands operating in the US after Party Poker and a few other operators pulled out of the market in 2006 after the passing of the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA). Pokerstars and Full Tilt’s US reign and eventual world dominance in real money poker lasted until April 15, 2011 when the federal government unsealed an indictment against two brands as well as Absolute Poker. Their sites were pulled down in the United States and as a result the three companies were forced out of the US market.
Regardless of the political controversy, there is no doubt that players loved playing on the Pokerstars and Full Tilt software, and there has been a lot of anticipation by many poker players of their return. In July 2013, Atlantic City based, Resorts Casino announced they partnered with Pokerstars which included a $20m reported investment into Resort’s land based poker room as well as the launch of Pokerstars online in New Jersey. However as licenses for other gaming operators were being issued in the fall of 2013, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) announced they would not issue Pokerstars a license two years unless ‘significant changes were made’.
Feeling the pressure from both New Jersey and other states where political alliances were being drawn, Pokerstars made those drastic changes and sold the company to Amaya Gaming, a publicly listed iGaming supplier in Canada that manages the Ceasarscasino.com website. For months now, the rumor from industry insiders was that Pokerstars and Full Tilt would launch in mid-October. It is now mid-November and there has been no word or guidance from the DGE, and of course with silence comes rumors. As a result, there has been a lot of speculation, the most articulate of which is Chris Grove from Online Poker Report outlining a number of theories.
It is believed that when they finally do launch, both Pokerstars and Full Tilt will also be launching casino, despite them both acting mainly as a home for poker players. After reviewing Pokerstars’ casino in Spain, it’s clear they are going to please the hard core poker player. Their novel approach to a casino lobby as well as the look and feel of the blackjack table clearly makes it very familiar for the avid poker player.[col type=”6″]
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