PokerStars looking to New York for Online Gaming License

by Jeremy Olson on December 27, 2013

The United States have proven to be rough grounds for PokerStars, given that they’ve watched competitors like 888 and Party Poker earn gaming licenses in America. Meanwhile, Stars has been shut out of both Nevada and New Jersey, making it seem like it’ll be decades before they earn a US online gaming license.

So what’s next for PokerStars? Now it’s being reported that they are looking towards the state of New York as a potential foothold in the American online gaming industry. reported on the matter by writing the following:

That’s right, (PokerStars’ parent company) Rational is throwing its weight around in the Empire State now, figuring since they’re benched for two years in New Jersey anyway, they might as well find another team to play on. And since New York seems to be enjoying some pro-gambling fervor after a state vote by residents approved a seven-casino referendum for land projects, why not just piggyback online gambling into the mix at the same time?

One New York media source reports that one of PokerStars top lobbyists has already held private meetings with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo regarding this possibility. And after all, it makes sense; Cuomo pushed to legalize land gaming in his state for years, and certainly understands the financial possibilities for his state’s coffers via gaming taxes, so no reason why he wouldn’t feel warm and fuzzy towards online casinos as well.

Besides allowing PokerStars to finally get into the United States’ regulated market, this could almost be looked at as a revenge tactic. After all, New York is New Jersey’s neighbor to the north, so it would definitely be interesting if Stars got in a bigger and more profitable state.

One big problem with Stars’ ability to get a gaming license is their checkered past with the US Department of Justice. They were famously one of the four major poker sites that were indicted by the US Department of Justice on April 15th, 2011 (Black Friday). Now, both Nevada and New Jersey have suspended review of their gaming application on grounds of PokerStars’ past in the United States.