The Stars Group Gets Yet Another Six-Month Extension To Operate In New Jersey; No Timeline On Official License Yet

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New Jersey gaming regulators have granted another waiver to The Stars Group so it can continue to offer online gambling in the state.

On Dec. 20, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement gave the company six more months of permission to do business with Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City through Resorts Digital Gaming, the online gambling affiliate of the brick-and-mortar property.

The Stars Group, through its subsidiaries, has been conducting business in New Jersey on transactional waivers since the fall of 2015.

The short-term transactional waivers come as the DGE continues its full investigation of the company, prior to issuing a full, five-year license. Though there is no guarantee, full licensure seems more than likely for the company. A timeline for the plenary license is unknown.

New Jersey is well-known for having some of the most robust casino gaming regulations in the world. Just ask Elon Musk’s Tesla or the former owner of Revel.

The license that TSG is seeking is called a casino service industry enterprise (CSIE) license.

TSG in other states

The company is also working through the late stages of the regulatory process in neighboring Pennsylvania, through a partnership with the Mount Airy Casino Resort. TSG plans to offer online poker, online casino, and sports betting within the Keystone State borders, as it does in the Garden State.

There’s no official timetable for when online gambling products from TSG will launch in Pennsylvania, but the smart bet is on the first half of 2019. The company received an online gambling permit from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board in December.

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Sports betting through the BetStars brand is likely a ways off, however, thanks to the fact that Mount Airy hasn’t applied for a sports betting license yet.

In November, TSG forged a 20-year partnership with Eldorado Resorts, which has gambling facilities in 13 states, including Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and Ohio, which are all looking at expanding their respective legal casino gambling industries.

Under an ideal scenario, PokerStars, which controls 70% of the global online poker market, would be able to share liquidity with a multitude of online poker states.

New York market

TSG is slowly but surely gaining a strong foothold in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, but that might not be the case in another neighboring state.

A new online poker bill filed in New York State contains so-called “bad actor” language that would give New York gaming regulators the green light to exclude the company from the market thanks to it offering online poker to Americans in the years after the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006.

Rival online poker platforms offering online poker with liquidity sharing between Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Nevada, and New York would have a major advantage over TSG.

Michigan market

Despite TSG backing an online casino bill in the Wolverine State, Michigan’s former governor vetoed the legislation. The bill would have paved the way for PokerStars to do business in the state.

TSG testified in front of a Michigan House committee in 2017 in support of the legislation. All three Detroit casinos opposed the 2017 version of the bill, eventually warming to it before the bill made a last-minute charge in the Michigan Senate before Christmas last month.

It’s been a gradual process of re-entry into the U.S. market after TSG (when it was simply called PokerStars) was forced out of the country in April 2011. New Jersey was the gateway for its American do-over.

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Brian Pempus

Brian served as a senior reporter and online content manager for Card Player Magazine for nearly a decade before joining USBets in October 2018. He is currently focused on legal and regulated sports betting and online gaming. He's an avid jiu-jitsu practitioner in his free time.

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