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    Social Gaming App to Diversify PokerStars’ Portfolio

    August 21st, 2017 | by Kaycee James
    PokerStars

    PokerStars Play set to give the poker operator a new presence in the social gaming arena. (Image: PokerStars.com)

    PokerStars is aiming to gain some traction in the social gaming market which is predicted to be worth $17.4 billion in the next two years.

    Announced on August 18, the new mobile app will give players access to a variety of free-play games, including Hold’em and Omaha ring games as well as Spin & Go tournaments.

    Designed to incorporate the best of its real money betting platform as well as “social” features, PokerStars Play will initially be available for iOS and Android users in the US and Australia.

    Social Presence to Expand Brand

    Although the exact details of some features haven’t been fully announced, the official announcement suggests it will give players new ways to celebrate wins. On top of this, users can compete and communicate with real players on top of earning rewards in the form of trophies.

    The decision to launch a new app in the social gaming space is twofold. With PokerStars aiming to bring more casual players into its real money betting site, the app will act as a bridge between the two mediums.

    The more immediate benefit for PokerStars, however, will be the financial rewards from the social gaming market itself.

    Despite a recent downturn in activity, Zynga, the company behind Zynga Poker, reported a strong quarter at the start of 2017. With bookings up by 14 percent to $207 million, the company’s generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) revenue hit $193.3 million.

    Social Gaming a Market on the Upswing

    Between Zynga and other market leaders such as Rovio Entertainment (the company that made Angry Birds), analysts believe the social gaming market will be worth $17.4 billion by 2019.

    If that’s the case, PokerStars Play has the potential to earn its parent company, The Stars Company, a significant amount of revenue in the coming years.

    This diversification comes at a time when real money poker revenue at PokerStars is starting to slide. According to the company’s 2017 Q2 results, year-on-year poker income dropped by 5.9 percent to $202.9 million.

    In contrast, casino and sports betting revenue was up 50.2 percent to $89.6 million during the same period.

    With the operator now looking to make moves away from its core product (poker), PokerStars Play could be the perfect way to break into new markets and attract casual players. Following the rollout of PokerStars Play in the US and Australia, app will gradually go live in territories around the world.

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