The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) has given PokerStars the go-ahead on its stateside launch. Currently, the online poker room is only available for play to an invite-only player pool of approximately five hundred. PokerStars is banking on the soft launch going well and plans to be fully operational on March 21, when it will be accessible for real-money play to the entire state.

Resorts Casino Hotel is partially responsible for the resurrection of stateside PokerStars. The Atlantic City-based casino is providing PokerStars with a land-based casino affiliation in an attempt to establish itself better in NJ’s online gambling industry.

Before the partnership, PokerStars was unable to reenter the United States due to legal issues stemming from the 2011 government crackdown on unregulated online poker. In the aftermath of those proceedings, PokerStars paid a hefty fine to the Department of Justice. The NJDGE recently decided to allow PokerStars back into the state, and it required the company to have a licensed casino partner.

Now that the launch date is looming just around the corner, other online poker rooms are starting to fret. The anxiety is very reasonable considering several online poker rooms are operating in the state.

How are NJ online casinos responding?

PokerStars is renowned for being the best online poker room around, and that’s making other NJ online casinos a bit nervous. 888poker announced on March 16 that it would begin its largest-ever online casino promotion. The correlation between 888’s customer loyalty promotion and PokerStars’ soft launch is incredibly apparent.

888poker has been operating in New Jersey for three years and is making sure the customers know it’s going to remain competitive. Despite 888poker’s ulterior motives, the Spring Fever Giveaway promotion does have an incredible amount of value for players.

The Spring Fever Getaway at 888poker has spared no expense in its attempt to overshadow PokerStars’ return. During the promotion 888poker plans on giving away PlayStation 4s, GoPro cameras, Beats by Dre headphones, and plenty of 888 merchandise. There will also be freeroll tournaments with substantial cash guarantees.

The lowdown on 888’s Spring Fever Promotion

The Spring Fever Giveaway is a promotion that promises to award over $300K in cash and prizes during the promotional period. Every week until June 19, 888poker will be running two $1,000 daily freerolls and one weekly $3,000 freeroll.

In an effort to maximize player participation in the Spring Fever Giveaway, the online poker room is giving each registered player two daily freeroll tickets and one weekly freeroll ticket at the beginning of the promotion. Freeroll tickets, cash, and bonus surprises are all part of the Spring Fever Giveaway.

Will the Spring Fever Giveaway be enough?

It is hard to say whether or not this promotion will be sufficient to dampen the blow of PokerStars’ launch, or if it will even encourage the customer loyalty 888poker is hoping for. One positive for 888poker is the fact that it shares a player pool with WSOP NJ. The increased liquidity between both sites will likely make it easier for the sites to continue offering a wide variety of games even if a lot of players decide to go and give PokerStars a try.

Rudee Rossignol

About

Las Vegas-based Rudee writes about a variety of topics, all surrounding regulated U.S. online gambling. A longtime poker player, she offers an on-the-ground take on Internet gaming matters.