If online gaming regulation happens on a state by state basis, then it will be a slow slog for Pokerstars as it re-enters the US online poker market. But if the federal government steps deeper into online gaming regulation, and players are allowed to pool wagering among state location, then Pokerstars will have a clear edge over its competitors.
Especially in California, gaming Tribes may force the federal government to become more involved in online gaming. The NIGC and the IGRA could become more influential if Tribes can’t make agreements with individual states.
Pokerstars thrives because its the market leader in technology and player experience. And it gains from network effects by its market position. If online poker is regulated state by state, it will decentralize the market position of Pokerstars and thereby decrease its network advantage.