Following weeks of speculation, an official announcement was made recently which stated that PokerStars has added casino to their product offering
Back in June, David Baazov, the CEO of PokerStars’ parent Amaya Gaming, hinted that PokerStars – the world’s largest poker operator – could also become a home to various casino games such as blackjack and roulette. Moreover, Baazov also suggested that sports betting would also be integrated in to the virtual gaming platform.
At the time of the announcement there weren’t any concrete plans for when the new products would be rolled out. However, following a press release at the tail end of November, it’s now been confirmed that around 50% of PokerStars’ platforms will offer at least two casino games by the close of 2014.
Spain was the first country to get a taste of PokerStars’ new casino games earlier this year and although a detailed breakdown hasn’t been published yet, PokerStars has stated that the rollout will take place on a market-by-market basis.
By the start of 2015, it’s expected that more than half of PokerStars’ player base will have access to casino games and, as the new year progresses, this number will grow. It’s hoped the new games will not only attract casino players to the platform, but a wave of new players to PokerStars’ poker axis.
Commenting on the new offerings, PokerStars’ Head of Corporate Communications Eric Hollreiser said: ‘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.’
Success in Spain
So far, PokerStars’ Spanish casino platform has seen 30% of the site’s poker players dabbling in blackjack and roulette on a monthly basis. Moreover, 50% of casino players on PokerStars’ sister site, Full Tilt, have said that the site is the only place where they play such games. This is something PokerStars is keen to build on as it looks towards its own future and that of the igaming industry as a whole. ‘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.
In addition to adding casino games to its online platform, PokerStars also announced that fully optimized mobile software will be released in 2015. PokerStars will also be adding sports betting provisions at some point in 2015.
Finally, to ensure current PokerStars players are given full control over their playing experience, the site will be adding an option for users to block casino games if they so choose. By adjusting their preferences, players can hide the new offerings, including blackjack and roulette (stakes starting from $0.10 per bet) as well as any promotional emails about the new casino.
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