PokerStars, the world’s largest poker brand, announced today that it will launch sports betting and casino table games globally on PokerStars.com. While Roullette and Blackjack will be launched in the coming weeks, 2015 will see a full set of online casino games. This move, though expected since the takeover by Amaya Gaming has come too soon according to the poker world.
The first offerings – blackjack and roulette – will roll out on a market-by-market basis beginning this month with completion anticipated by the end of 2014 reaching nearly half PokerStars’ current player base. PokerStars will add sports betting and other popular casino games in 2015. It also plans to launch a full-featured casino on mobile and web in 2015.
The launch of sports betting and casino games on PokerStars.com leverages the expertise and experience that has been gained from the launch of casino games earlier this year on PokerStars.es in Spain and on Full Tilt in January 2014.
“We are taking the same principles, practices and integrity that make PokerStars such a successful and beloved brand and applying them to new verticals,” said Eric Hollreiser, Head of Corporate Communications. “These new products will also support the development of poker and grow the overall business.”
The rollout of casino on Full Tilt and PokerStars.ES has been greeted well by poker players with approximately 30% of poker customers playing casino monthly, where those games are available. Moreover, 50% of Full Tilt casino players say that the site is the only online casino at which they play.
“We thoroughly researched the opportunity and spent a lot of time talking to players and analysing the behavior of our customers on PokerStars.ES and Full Tilt,” Hollreiser said. “Those launches have been successful in reactivating dormant customers and extending the value of our existing poker customers. The experience on our poker platforms to-date also shows increases in net player deposits following the addition of casino games and a negligible impact on poker spend. We are confident these games will create more value to our PokerStars site and bolster the core poker offering.”
Recognizing that some poker players prefer a poker-only environment, PokerStars has enabled features that will allow customers to remove the additional games from their view and to opt out of direct marketing and promotions of the casino games.
“We are committed to extending our leadership in poker and will continue to serve the passionate online poker player, while expanding our reach into new audiences and new gaming opportunities,” Hollreiser said.
The blackjack and roulette games being launched have been built with poker-playing consumers in mind. The company has devoted resources to develop unique multiplayer games, with social and betting features that will appeal to poker-loving audiences. Combined with some of the lowest blackjack margins in the industry and micro stakes starting from $0.10, these games have demonstrated early success in appealing to a mass market poker-playing audience.