New Jersey Launch Will Go on Sans PokerStars

The one company that everyone has been watching in the New Jersey online gambling licensing processing has been PokerStars, and this week it became final: PokerStars will not receive licensing approval before the full-scale launch of online betting in the Garden State on November 26.

The acknowledgement that licensing for PokerStars – while still not out of the question – is definitely not going to happen in time for the official start of the online betting market puts to bed weeks of “will they or won’t they” talk that has emerged with each new update from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.

PokerStars confirmed DGE won’t green-light company in time

A spokesperson for PokerStars, Eric Hollreiser, who serves of head of corporate communication for the world’s largest online poker room, announced on Tuesday night via Twitter what everyone was beginning to suspect, that the company was not going to be licensed in time for the launch of what will be the largest regulated real money online betting market in the nation.

“Our conversations with NJ DGE are continuing, however it is now apparent that we will not have approval in place to launch on Nov. 26,” Hollreiser tweeted.

“We remain committed to working with the Division to complete the review process,” he added.

Soft launch kicks off today

Though the full-scale launch of real money Internet betting in New Jersey won’t happen until next Tuesday, November 26, today is already an historic one, as the state will be kicking off online gambling with a “soft launch” that gets underway at 6 p.m. local time tonight.

A soft launch essentially amounts to a test run. During the five day soft launch period, only players who were invited or who signed up in advance can play on the betting sites, which will be monitored for functionality and other concerns before the sites become open to the general public.

New Jersey was most recent state to clear the way for Internet betting

New Jersey has attracted a tremendous amount of attention in the months since its newly re-elected governor, Republican Chris Christie, signed the state’s online gaming legislation into law last February. The Garden State was the third in the nation to regulate some form of Internet-based wagering behind Nevada and Delaware.

Bettors in New Jersey will have access to a wide variety of online casino games in addition to real money online poker. The same is true in Delaware, which saw its sites go live late last month.

In Nevada, however, only online poker is permitted to the exclusion of other games, a status quo that is likely to remain in place for some time to come, according to recent remarks made by Nevada Gaming Commission head A.G. Burnett, who said that the state needs to focus on online poker for now.

As for New Jersey, early predictions says that the online gambling industry there could generate up to $1 billion in annual revenue, money that is desperately needed.

For years, New Jersey’s casino economy has struggled in the face of increasing competition from states up and down the East coast, a situation that state lawmakers, gambling regulators, and casino interests are hoping can be changed with the advent of online wagering.

About Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller has been an online writer for 14 years. He worked for Small World Marketing for a decade, where he covered topics like gaming, sports, movies, and how-to guides. Since 2014, he has blogged about US and international gambling news on,, and

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