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PokerStars to Set the Bar High in New Jersey

The suitability of PokerStars to receive an online gambling license in New Jersey under its new ownership via Amaya Gaming remains under review by state regulators, with approval expected in due course.

With that approval will naturally come a completely different online gambling environment in the Garden State, one that will require the state’s current gaming operators to improve in order to keep up with the industry giant. One of the areas of improvement will likely be in marketing, an arena in which many believe the current crop of New Jersey gambling sites have fallen short.

Criticism of the marketing efforts of New Jersey gaming sites have come from many different directions that include the media, legislators, and even site operators who have admitted their shortcomings in promoting the newly-regulated industry. New Jersey State Sen. Raymond Lesniak, who was responsible for lighting the torch that brought online gambling to the state, told the Wall Street Journal a short time ago that the casinos have done a poor job of reaching the right audience.

The arrival of PokerStars is likely to change all that. Quite adept at both attracting and retaining a solid customer base, PokerStars knows the players it wants to reach and there is every reason to believe that that knowledge and ability will be put to use once the red carpet is rolled out by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE).

It has been plain for all to see that PokerStars does a great job of appealing to hardcore online poker grinders with a player loyalty program that rewards the multi-tabling crowd more than satisfactorily. Recreational players have not been left out either, enticed by periodic milestone hand promotions that boost player traffic numbers substantially.

While we can likely expect more of the same once PokerStars arrives in New Jersey, perhaps of greater importance is getting the word out that players can legally gamble online. Believe it or not, there are some state residents who have yet to be made aware of that fact.

The name recognition that PokerStars brings, along with an anticipated marketing push to herald its entry into the market, will probably do more to spread the word than the companies who launched eight months ago have done up until now. That’s not to say that the likes of, Caesars, 888, and Ultimate Gaming have necessarily failed. It’s just that PokerStars has shown the ability to elevate its game to a new level and expectations are that the same high standards will be brought to the table in New Jersey.

The other aforementioned companies who got a head start by launching in November reportedly curbed marketing spend to some degree after PokerStars’ application to offer online gambling in New Jersey was suspended by DGE regulators in December. Apparently, the thinking was that with PokerStars out of the picture, marketing budgets could safely be reduced.

Well, PokerStars is back in the picture and those budgets will need to be increased in order to play the game. While some of the other companies may continue to cry foul that the alleged “bad actor” is allowed in, a dose of reality suggests that the entire New Jersey market will be changed for the better. That improvement includes the other gaming operators as well, as long as they strive to aim as high as PokerStars.



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Charles Rettmuller

Charles has been an avid poker player for a number of years, both live and online. He holds a degree in journalism and previously worked as a reporter for a Chicago-based newspaper. Charles joined the PokerUpdate team in early 2012 and writes daily news articles for the site.