Canadian based Amaya Inc, the parent company of PokerStars fought long and hard to get PokerStars back into the U.S market. The biggest online poker website in the world was finally granted a New Jersey license in October 2015 and since then, the company has been preparing to launch operations in the garden state.
PokerStars had earlier confirmed that it would finally go live in New Jersey on March 21st but recently clarified that it had planned a soft launch on March 16th. The soft launch will run for a five day period and allow a maximum of 500 online poker players in New Jersey to download the PokerStars client software and play real money games.
During the first two days of the soft launch, players will be permitted to play only for 8 hours which will start from 4 pm and end at 12 pm. The next two days players will be able to access the site for a total of 16 hours starting from 8 am and lasting till midnight. The final two days of the soft launch will provide players with 24 hours access and they will be able to access all games.
PokerStars has confirmed that online poker players who had opened player accounts before the company was banned in the U.S will still be able to access those accounts with the same login ID and password. They will also have the option to create a new account if they prefer not to use their old account.
Players who decide to use their old account will have the option to exchange any of their old frequent player points and obtain the new StarsCoins PokerStars VIP currency. They will also be eligible to receive a special VIP status rating based on their previous registered levels of play.
PokerStars also confirmed that it had entered into an agreement with NetEnt, a company that specializes in online gaming solutions. This partnership will allow NetEnt to offer PokerStars players a wide variety of mobile and desktop games. NetEnt has partnerships with a number of New Jersey casinos including the Golden Nugget, Borgata and Resorts Casino.
In a statement, Björn Krantz, Managing Director of NetEnt Americas LLC said “PokerStars is one of the biggest online gaming power houses in the world, and the agreement is yet more proof of the trust and confidence that exist in NetEnt’s operational and portfolio capabilities. I am confident that PokerStars’ US player community will enjoy the enhanced player experience offered through our game portfolio.”
New Jersey gaming regulators have been struggling to revive the state’s online poker market and expect to see a surge in online gaming activity with the launch of the PokerStars brand.