Amaya management must be breathing a sigh of relief following the news today (Friday) that the New Jersey Division for Gaming Enforcement has renewed the transactional waiver that enables it to operate for a further six months whilst its full licence remains under consideration.
In a three week period filled with bad news for the online gambling group which has included the prosecution of CEO David Baazov for insider trading and the filing of a New York class action against the company and its two top executives (see previous reports) it was a welcome bright spot.
Amaya announced the renewal in a press statement Friday, revealing that Pokerstars and Full Tilt will continue to operate in New Jersey, where a promising debut was achieved on March 21.
Amaya initially received its transactional waiver to operate PokerStars and Full Tilt in New Jersey on Sept. 30, 2015, but this expired at the end of March with the full licence deliberations by the regulator still underway, necessitating the renewal of the waiver for a further six months.
The Amaya press statement notes that:
“Amaya currently estimates that since its launch, PokerStars New Jersey has contributed to the growth of the New Jersey real money online poker market and has quickly become the market leader in online poker, with players responding positively to the quality of the software, selection of games, and the integrity and security of the platform. The site has also seen promising engagement with its casino offering.”
Interim Amaya CEO Rafi Ashkenazi commented in the statement:
“While it’s very early, we’re extremely pleased with the initial launch of PokerStars in New Jersey and the positive working relationship that Amaya has with the DGE. I’m very proud of our employees, including those we have hired in New Jersey, who have worked diligently to prepare for the launch of a robust, stable platform backed by great customer service. We hope to continue our early positive momentum in the market as PokerStars NJ continues to roll out additional marketing and promotions.”