PokerStars’ Diversification in Preparation for US Launch

October 16th, 2015 | by Kaycee James
PokerStars casino ready for New Jersey.

David Baazov’s desire to diversify PokerStars could be in preparation for the operator’s launch in the US. (Image: Agence QMI)

A recent press release by PokerStars has outlined a new direction for the online gaming operator.

Once the largest online poker site in the world, PokerStars has gradually evolved into a multi-vertical platform in recent months and is now considered to be a complete iGaming provider.

Although plans to implement a casino client were in place well before Amaya assumed control of PokerStars, the launch of these new products was expedited once the acquisition had been completed.

PokerStars Increasing Its Arsenal

Amaya has a long history in the online casino and sports betting world, and it was David Baazov’s intention to use this experience to turn PokerStars into a complete gaming platform.

Evidence of this evolution was outlined earlier this week in a note to press by PokerStars. Referencing the recent changes across its UK and European platforms, PokerStars explained that it is now aiming for game diversification.

For UK-based players, PokerStars recently introduced a selection of video poker products. Offering bets starting from as little as $0.10, the games, such as Deuces Wild and Joker Poker, have jackpots worth 4,000X a player’s bet and will now sit alongside other casino options such as blackjack and roulette.

Similarly, Spanish players can now access slot games for the first time via the interface; while Italian customers will soon be able to enjoy live dealer options via their desktop and mobiles.

Preparation for PokerStars NJ?

The ongoing evolution of PokerStars (an evolution that also includes the introduction of sports betting) appears to be part of a much bigger strategy that goes beyond local diversification.

Although the introduction of new betting options in the UK and EU has helped stabilize traffic across the network, it seems to be the case the New Jersey is PokerStars’ major focus.

As evidenced by the Garden State’s recent iGaming revenue reports, poker is struggling to attract the masses in the same way that casino games are.

Although some platforms have enjoyed a modicum of success in the poker arena, it’s games such as blackjack and slots that are propping up the economy.

In fact, according to the latest stats released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, online poker generated $1.9 million in August, while casino games raked in $10.2 million over the same period.

This discrepancy has been the source of much debate ever since New Jersey regulated iGaming in 2013, but it looks as though PokerStars isn’t willing to focus on one single market.

While many are confident that PokerStars’ reputation for poker will spark a mini-boom within the state, the company itself appears to be more intent on offering a broad range of games.

By honing their products in the UK and Europe before they go live in the US, PokerStars should be able to refine its platform enough to ensure it makes the most money possible and, therefore, stands a better chance of survival in a tough market.


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