Internet betting giant Amaya Inc. was granted a transactional gaming waiver by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement and will able to offer its online poker services within the state while its gaming license application is pending.
The awarding of the waiver was announced by Amaya in a press release, who indicated that it will jump on the ball and begin offering online poker services through its PokerStars and Full Tilt brands in a collaboration with Resorts Casino Hotel, which will host the company's servers.
Commenting on his company's licensing Amaya CEO David Baazov said, "The DGE's review of PokerStars was extremely thorough and exhaustive, including a detailed review of Amaya's operations and technology, sworn interviews with more than 70 individuals and visits to approximately a half dozen international jurisdictions."
"This stringent review found PokerStars to be under strong, ethical and trusted ownership and management with Amaya, and worthy of participating in New Jersey's regulated online gaming market. Since the acquisition [of Pokerstars' parent The Rational Group], we have consistently delivered on our stated strategy."
"Today's announcement follows the divesture of our B2B businesses for total gross proceeds of approximately US$524.8 million; the launch of casino games on PokerStars, which we estimate has one of the largest active user bases of any online casino; the refinancing of our long term debt and the reduction of our annual interest expense by approximately US$62 million. We are excited about our new product pipeline and enthusiastic that we will experience growth in existing and emerging markets in the future."
Between its two poker brands Amaya currently has more than 95 million registered users, and the company is poised to quickly become the largest online poker firm in New Jersey given Amaya's solid reputation as an industry leader and deep pocketbooks for marketing.
Amaya has been trying to get in on New Jersey online gaming for years, as the company had previously struck a deal to purchase the Atlantic Club Casino, but had to pull out after it was denied a gaming license at the time. The company had purchased PokerStars after the company paid a large $547 million settlement to the United States government following the Black Friday online poker indictments in 2011, which caused Full Tilt to nearly go under before it was acquired by PokerStars.
Casino Listings will update this story as more developments arise.