Pala Interactive, an online gaming operator recently announced that it has launched an online poker website targeting the New Jersey market.
The tribal gaming company has launched a dedicated poker website called PalaPoker.com which can be access by players located within New Jersey state borders either though a desktop or via mobile platforms. The site is currently in beta testing.
Pala Interactive, which is owned by California’s Pala Band of Mission Indians, operates an online gaming casino site in New Jersey which was launched in 2014 as well as a bingo site launched in 2016.
The online gambling market in New Jersey got off to a sluggish start after legislators approved online gambling in the state. However in the last 12 months, online gambling revenue has significantly increased and provided a much needed boost to Atlantic City’s brick & mortar casino industry.
Pala Interactive has been developing its poker platform for a few years now, but Jim Ryan, the CEO of Pala Interactive had said in 2015 that the company was delaying the launch of its online poker site in New Jersey due to concerns regarding the liquidity.
The company’s focus was initially on its home state of California given its market potential and the New Jersey market was seen more as a testing ground for its poker platform. However the legislative attempts to legalize online gaming in California have failed to progress as anticipated leading to Pala’s decision to go ahead with the New Jersey launch.
However now that the New Jersey market is heading in the right direction, Pala Interactive has gone ahead with its launch. However expectations from the market may not be high given that the New Jersey poker revenue dropped to below $2 million in April. Even PokerStars, the biggest online poker website in the world has failed to increase the size of the market.
PalaPoker.com is largely expected to cannibalize from existing operators. Nevertheless, industry experts believe that the launch will help Pala in preparing itself to launch in several other states which are currently in the process of introducing bills to legalize online gaming. Some of these states include Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Illinois and New York
In a statement Jim Ryan said
We are excited to get our poker product launched as we have spent the last three years building a new poker platform in preparation for state based online gaming regulation in the U.S. In addition to the current regulated market in New Jersey, we believe that other states may regulate online gaming and specifically online poker in the foreseeable future.