Amaya Inc, the owners of the PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker brands finally got permission to launch online poker operations in New Jersey. The company had been fighting hard to obtain a license in New Jersey but there was a lot of opposition due to the past reputation of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker.
Canadian based Amaya Inc acquired PokerStars, the biggest online poker website in the world and Full Tilt Poker, one of the most popular poker websites in the world back in June 2014 for a total of $4.9 billion. The company was pushing hard to get New Jersey regulators to forget the tainted reputation of both brands prior to Black Friday and hold Amaya Inc accountable for the issuance of a new license.
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) were eager to get PokerStars into the garden state because the online poker market has been in stagnation and regulators believe that PokerStars has the ability to turn the market around. However the DGE did not want to rush the process and make sure that all legal formalities were met before a license could be insured.
The DGE had issued a number of conditional stipulations to Amaya Inc and stated that unless those stipulations were met, could a license be approved. One of those stipulations included terminating all ties with four former executives from PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker. While the DGE did not go on record to name those four individuals, the organization had investigated PokerStars former CFO Michael Hazel; Charles Fabian who played a key role in developing games for Full Tilt Poker; Serge Bourenkov and Israel Rosenthal who held senior positions with the company.
The DGE had issued an order to Amaya instruction the company to “separate from employment on or before January 30, 2016, four individuals identified by the Division as having failed to establish the requisite good character, honesty and integrity required by the [New Jersey Casino Control] Act due to their involvement in the business activities of the PokerStars Entities between the enactment of UIGEA and Black Friday.”
Amaya Inc was willing to comply with these key stipulations issued by the DGE and as a result the DGE decided to award online poker licenses to both PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker. David Baazov, the CEO of Amaya Inc had always maintained that PokerStars would enter the New Jersey market before the 3rd quarter of 2015. His predictions have now come to pass although there is no clear indication as to when PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker will launch their New Jersey website.