Yes, you read that right, the world’s biggest poker brand just got that much better–PokerStars is going to offer sports betting and casino table games. Somewhere, the voice of a million gamblers cried out in unison, “YES!”
The first games–blackjack and roulette-are set to begin in certain markets in December, with half of PokerStars’ current player base expected to be able to play by the end of 2014. PokerStars will also add sports betting and other casino games in the new year, and is set to launch a full-featured casino in 2015.
PokerStars originally launched a series of casino games on PokerStars.es in Spain and on Full Tilt earlier this year. Approximately 30% of poker players players played the casino monthly, and 50% of Full Tilt players saying that it was the only online casino they played.
Eric Hollreiser, the Head of Corporate Communications, spoke about the new move:
“We are taking the same principles, practices and integrity that make PokerStars such a successful and beloved brand and applying them to new verticals. These new products will also support the development of poker and grow the overall business.
“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. 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.
“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.”
At the same time, PokerStars has recognized that not all players want to play casino games or deal with sports betting. As a result, there will be an option to remove any additional games, marketing, and promotions, and instead keep the focus on a poker-only environment.
Blackjack fans can rejoice in the fact that PokerStars is set to offer some of the lowest blackjack margins in the industry, with micro stakes starting at $0.10.
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