Toronto-listed gaming operator Amaya received regulatory approval Wednesday to operate its PokerStars and Full Tilt brands in New Jersey, following a thorough and exhaustive review by the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement.

The approval will see the world’s largest online poker business re-enter the US market for the first time since April 2011.

Amaya said that it follows an “unprecedented” review by the DGE of its August 2014 acquisition of PokerStars and Full Tilt.

"We are very pleased to add New Jersey to the long list of regulated markets that have found PokerStars and Full Tilt suitable to offer real-money online gaming," said David Baazov, chairman and CEO of Amaya. "I want to thank the DGE for their thorough and fair review of our business.

“We look forward to bringing our popular brands, innovative technology, marketing prowess and world-class security and game integrity to the growing New Jersey online gaming market. We anticipate providing additional details of our launch plans in the near future."

Amaya already has an agreement in place with Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City to provide online poker and casino in New Jersey through the PokerStars and Full Tilt brands. The company has also previously received approvals from the DGE to provide B2B online and land-based gaming solutions in the state.

Amaya said that the DGE's review of PokerStars was “extremely thorough and exhaustive”, and included a detailed review of Amaya's operations and technology, sworn interviews with more than 70 individuals, and visits to approximately a half dozen international jurisdictions.

According to Amaya, the stringent review found PokerStars to be under “strong, ethical and trusted ownership and management with Amaya, and worthy of participating in New Jersey's regulated online gaming market.”

"Since the acquisition, we have consistently delivered on our stated strategy," said Baazov. “We are excited about our new product pipeline and enthusiastic that we will experience growth in existing and emerging markets in the future."

Shares in Amaya Inc (Co. Data) (TSX:AYA - NASDAQ:AYA) closed up 5.87 per cent at CAD$24.33 per share in Toronto Wednesday.


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