All eyes have been on Amaya Gaming and PokerStars, wondering when the online poker site will begin to offer services in New Jersey as well as California. On September 11th, the legislature of California closed until 2016, so poker is a no go in regards to online play. However, executives of Amaya have stated that it is not a matter of if they will enter California once legislation is passed but when.
According to a report by the Financial Post, the Vice President of Corporate Communications for Amaya, Eric Hollreiser, stated that the company has seen a lot of momentum in the state and ‘it’s really a question of when not it, and obviously we’re hoping that it’s sooner rather than later’. Hollreiser’s comments came during the Quebec MBA Association in Montreal yesterday.
According to David Baazov, the CEO of Amaya, commented during the luncheon that with regulation, it is ensures license holders will have the correct auditing, fraud and fund protection that is in place to protect consumers plus allow strict government oversight. Baazov stated that to achieve these objectives, it is important to support and lobby for clarity and regulation that will give consumers as well as the government the security to know that they are protected by not only a legitimate industry but also forward-looking.
While the company see themselves entering the California online poker industry once it is legalized and regulated, they are currently prepared to enter New Jersey in the coming weeks. According to Baazov, PokerStars is expected to gain licensing in New Jersey within the third quarter of 2015.
For now, Amaya will be focusing on New Jersey, but still has partnerships with California card rooms and tribes to be ready for online poker gaming once legislation is approved. It will be interesting to see how the industry is affected across the board once PokerStars is live in the United States.
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