Recent developments now point to a 2016 launch for PokerStars in New Jersey. The next year will be important for the company as they begin regulated U.S. operation and continue to persuade certain states to license their product.
Over the next year, lawmakers and the regulated industry will be watching every move that PokerStars makes. There are many questions that must be answered by the new “regulated PokerStars” and below are three questions of the most important ones.
How Much Does PokerStars Repay in New Jersey Before January 1, 2016?
PokerStars owes New Jersey residents of $400,000 in unclaimed funds from when Black Friday forced them out of the United States. The site is presently working to return funds to players before the end of the year and any unclaimed funds will be turned over to the state.
If PokerStars is able to return the majority of the unclaimed funds prior to January, this will reflect favorably on the company as it show a willingness to work together with regulators to return funds to their rightful owners.
PokerStars may want to take this a step further and work towards beginning similar measures in PA, CA, NY and other potential states for regulation before 2020. Since it is likely that other states will mimic NJ, why not get a jump on things and work towards clearing the books of past player funds.
Will the New Jersey Market Rebound?
The online poker industry in New Jersey has been on a steady slide for the majority of the year and there’s mixed opinions on whether the market will rebound once PokerStars launches in 2016.
Some believe that players that have been abandoning online poker will return once PokerStars returns while others believe that the market, at best, will merely stabilize. If the optimists prove correct, this will help PokerStars chances to expand to other states such as Pennsylvania as the company can claim their prescience will improve market performance.
Failure of the NJ online poker market rebounding does not necessarily reflect poorly on PokerStars. The NJ market was without the company for two years and many believed that the company wouldn’t receive a license. Had the company been allowed to participate from the start, some believe that the slide would not have happened or would not have been as dramatic.
What Percentage of NJ Online Poker Will Go Through PokerStars?
Another belief among analysts is that PokerStars will take over the majority of the online poker market share soon after they begin operations in NJ. Four sites presently operate in NJ on two combined networks. PokerStars would be the fifth site to open and some believe that it will dominate to the point where there will be only two viable networks – WSOP.com/888 and PokerStars.
This could almost prove to be a win-win for PokerStars. If they indeed take over the majority of the market share in NJ, they can use this popularity in selling other states on the idea of bringing them on board.
If PokerStars merely becomes another viable option for NJ, they can spin this to show lawmakers that PokerStars can work in partnership with other operators in the state. Our belief is that PokerStars will have a solid piece of the NJ online poker pie, but not the majority as some believes.