PokerStars Was the Number One Online Casino Card Room in First Week of NJ Operations

PokerStars was the most-played online poker platform in the New Jersey market the first week after its launch. The immediate prominence is a sign of the potential PokerStars has to change the U.S. online gambling market.

Poker Scout reported that the average number of cash game players on the PokerStars site at any given time in the last week was 170. The peak number was 441, making the site the best by far in the New Jersey gaming market.

Won on Average Gamblers and Peak Gamblers

Because of the laws of the state, players who gamble for real money on PokerStars.nj cannot play against PokerStars customers from outside of New Jersey. Despite that limitation, signups and traffic have exceeded the expectations of many.

The 888/ website was next in the Jersey market with an average of 140 and a peak number of 341. The 888/WSOP site is affiliated with Caesars Interactive, the online version of Caesars Entertainment.

888 Poker Close Behind in 2nd

Though the 888poker numbers are in the same ballpark as the PokerStars numbers, 888 has had over a 2-year head start on PokerStars. The numbers for the Internet’s biggest community of card players are expected to grow significantly.

Coming in third in the competition was the Borgata/PartyPoker brand. The average number of cash players on Borgata Online was 95, while the peak number of the week was 252. Borgata Online continues to be online casino generating the most revenue from week-to-week.

PokerStars Launch

The PokerStars launch included a significant amount of promotion and fanfare. Amaya and Resorts Casino arranged for a number of professional poker players to be on hand for the launch, which had been anticipated for years. Because of its domination of the market and a business model generally considered the best in the business, PokerStars is given the star treatment when it makes news.

In many ways, the brand is like the New York Yankees or Dallas Cowboys of the online poker market. The loss of play privileges in 2011 hit hard for many American gamblers, so those living (or traveling into) New Jersey saw the launch of the new casino as their best opportunity to have a world class card playing opportunity on the Internet.

PokerStars Internationally

On the worldwide online poker playing scene, PokerStars has 70% of the international market. That represents an average of 17 thousand players at any given time. Their domination is due to smaller fees on cash games, larger payouts on tournaments, and a user-friendly poker platform.

Last week, the site announced it would raise the fees on most tournaments with buy-ins under $30. A PokerStars spokesman said the rake fees are still cheaper than competitors. This was the first price-hike since November/December of 2014, when players launched a strike to protest an earlier chance.

Amaya’s Purchase of Rational Media

That price increase came months after Amaya Inc. bought PokerStars and FullTilt Poker, which are part of the Rational Media company. Players saw the rate increase as a sign that the new owners had a profoundly different attitude towards their clientele, or because they needed to pay off the $4.9 billion loan to buy the world’s number one poker site.

PokerStars backed off the price changes at the time, saying it would revert to the earlier prices. At the same time, they promised not to hike prices in 2015. PokerStars made no promises for 2016.

Trading Scandal in Canada

Amaya Gaming, the Canada-based parent company of PokerStars, is currently undergoing a price trading scandal. Amaya’s founder and CEO, David Baazov, has been indicted with 5 charges in the insider trading case. His brother is seen as the key figure in the case, though.

Price increases and insider trading scandals have not dampened New Jersey gamblers’ love of PokerStars. The poker site dominated the American poker market before 2011. On April 11, 2015, the site’s domain was seized and its ownership indicted by a US federal court on what became known as Black Friday.

First US PokerStars Activity in 5 Years

Thus, New Jersey’s gamblers could not play on PokerStars for 5 years. Many who gambled on PokerStars before Black Friday could not wait to play legally on PokerStars again. That describes the readiness of players to sign-up on the first week of operations — this is a long time coming.

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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