NetEnt Games soon available at PokerStars in New Jersey
NetEnt announced that another customer agreement has been signed with a New Jersey operator. An existing customer since the NetEnt Games were already launched at PokerStars in Europe end of May 2015. The license agreement was signed with global interactive entertainment and technology company Amaya, owner of the popular online poker brand. It is because of this agreement NetEnt will supply its high-quality desktop and mobile casino games to the PokerStars brand in New Jersey, USA.
It was in July 2014 Amaya Gaming Group Inc acquired Rational Group Ltd, owner and operator of the PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker brands. PokerStars is a rather big part of Rational Group’s history as it was in December 2001 PokerStars launches real money tables, soon becoming world’s most popular and largest online poker site offering more daily tournaments than any other poker site. The Rational Group holds more online poker licenses than any other iGaming company and works closely with regulators around the world to help establish sensible global regulation.
After its online success, Rational Group started to produce live poker events such as the European Poker Tour, PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, Latin American Poker Tour and the Asia Pacific Poker Tour. More than 800 live tournaments are held annually, awarding over $215 million in prize money and Rational Group is by far the largest poker business in the world, comprising online poker games and tournaments, but also live poker competitions and poker programming created for television and online audiences.
In July 2002, Rational Group launches the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) generating an incredible total prize pool of $730,000. In January 2004, the first PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) was held while it was in September 2004 that PokerStars launched the European Poker Tour (EPT) with seven stops in Barcelona, London, Dublin, Copenhagen, Deauville, Vienna, and Monte Carlo.
“We’re pleased to extend our successful global partnership with NetEnt to the New Jersey market,” said Sam Hobcraft, Director of Casino at Amaya. “Integrating NetEnt’s top tier games will be an important part of developing into one of the leaders in online casino in New Jersey.”
After the U.S. Congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, prohibiting gambling businesses from knowingly accepting payments, many gambling sites and online poker sites immediately suspended business with US gamblers. Among these operators also PartyPoker, at that time world’s largest online poker room, while PokerStars kept on offering its online poker services to US players.
It was in 2008 that, for the first time, a fully-licensed site was launched by PokerStars and it didn’t take PokerStars.it long to become Italy’s largest online poker room and sixth largest in the world. In 2010, PokerStars was granted a French online gaming licence as well with the launch of Pokerstars.fr as a logical result.
13th April 2011, the US shutdown Of PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker, will always be remembered as Black Friday, the day that changed online poker. This particular day, PokerStars, and other leading online poker operators withdraw from the US market following the legal challenge by US Department of Justice. PokerStars settles the case with US DOJ with no admission of wrongdoing for past US activity. As part of the agreement, PokerStars obtains all assets of former competitor Full Tilt Poker, from that moment on part of The Rational Group.
Full Tilt was the first of the poker brands that started to offer online casino games in the beginning of 2014, including single player and multiplayer Blackjack and Roulette. In 2014, Rational Group signed a customer agreement with NetEnt which resulted in the first NetEnt Games becoming available at Full Tilt at the beginning of 2015. A few months later, NetEnt’s world-class games were launched with PokerStars as well.
In June 2014, Amaya Gaming Group agreed to buy PokerStars and its parent company, Rational Group, for a humble $4.9 billion. By now PokerStars operates under licenses from the Isle of Man and Malta governments, respectively, but also holds separate government licenses in the United Kingdom, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. Rational Group operates globally with more than 1,500 employees in over 20 locations around the world working from offices in Isle of Man, London, Ireland, Costa Rica, Australia, Spain, Italy, France and Malta while offering customer support in 29 languages.
PokerStars in New Jersey
While Black Friday ended PokerStars’ adventure in the USA in 2011, PokerStars recently announced that PokerStarsNJ.com be open to the New Jersey public for real money action from March 21. This means an official return to the US market, but better that the poker world doesn’t get to excited yet as the PokerStars that will return to NJ is in many ways a completely different one than the room USA players last experienced in 2011. For example, PokerStars NJ will be completely separate from the global PokerStars.com player pool. Therefore, PokerStars NJ players will only be playing against players located within New Jersey.
Of course, it’s Amaya’s intention to get fully active in the US market again, but this process will take some time as only a few states have, so far, regulated online gambling including online poker and online casino gaming.
PokerStars and NetEnt
In April 2014, NetEnt and Rational Group started their partnership when they reached a first customer agreement for the company’s Full Tilt brand. In February 2015, Full Tilt launched NetEnt’s online casino games followed by PokerStars in May. Now NetEnt has signed yet another customer agreement with Rational Groups’s owner Amaya, NetEnt Games can be expected to be launched as soon as the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement approves the transactional waiver needed for NetEnt to supply a customer in new Jersey while the company’s application for a full license is still under review. With PokerStarsNJ.com becoming available to the New Jersey public for real money action from March 21st, NetEnt Games obviously won’t be available before this date.
The expanded partnership with Amaya is of big importance for NetEnt regarding NetEnt’s expansion in the regulated online casino market in New Jersey. NetEnt already signed partnerships in New Jersey with Borgata/bwin.party, Golden Nugget, Resorts Casino, Tropicana/Gamesys and Caesars Interactive Entertainment.
“I am very pleased that we have been able to extend our successful partnership with Amaya’s extremely popular gaming brand PokerStars to also include the regulated online casino market in New Jersey. 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,” says Björn Krantz, Managing Director of NetEnt Americas LLC.