The evolution of PokerStars continued this week after the Amaya-owned company announced the launch of BetStars.
Following the release of sportsbook provisions earlier this year, PokerStars has announced the launch of a new portal that will provide a greater range of services for those wanting to bet on something other than poker.
Prior to the release of BetStars, PokerStars had integrated a sports betting platform into its main poker client.
Initially offering a handful of sports, the tab has grown to offer a combination of pre-game and in-play options on major events from around the world.
PokerStars Separating Its Brand
However, in a bid to use its industry leverage to give sports betting fans something different, PokerStars has created a separate online platform as well as mobile apps for iOS and Android users.
The new platform will go live in selected jurisdictions throughout 2016 and by the end of Q2 the operator hopes to have reached around half of its active customers around the world.
Existing PokerStars players will be able to see the BetStars brand inside their PokerStars client and that means they’ll also be able to use their existing funds to bet on sport.
However, for new customers who join BetStars, this will become their main platform and from here they’ll be able to access the poker and casino games offered by PokerStars.
In addition to a single use wallet, PokerStars has promised to launch a range of unique features and an “innovative betting product” that will help the company distinguish itself from its competitors; however, exactly what that means at this stage is unclear.
Also announced in the recent press release were details of a new customer acquisition campaign. Set to launch in the first half of 2016, the campaign will focus on bringing new players to BetStars rather than relying on the operator’s existing playerpool.
Possible Positives for Poker Players
This news could prove positive for poker players on PokerStars as an influx of new players, combined with a single use wallet, could mean an increase in traffic at the poker tables.
For the last six months the average number of cash game players on the site has held firm at around 16,000 players, but extra liquidity is always important in the poker world.
Although sports bettors aren’t usually avid poker players, they do migrate across to cash games and tournaments and that could prove profitable for regular players in the coming months.
So far the reaction to the news appears to be positive with a number of poker players happy that PokerStars has decided to separate its sports betting options by offering it under a new brand.
“Stars is a brand now like 888 (who also have 888bingo ftw). I think the good thing is that sports bettors will punt around their winnings in poker games instead of vice versa,” wrote Uhrenknecht on 2+2.