Thoroughly dominating the online poker market, PokerStars has announced plans to expand its reach into the realm of online casino games and sports betting.
The foray into new verticals will begin this month at PokerStars.com as online roulette and blackjack will be launched in a step-by-step process into various new markets. By year’s end, PokerStars anticipates that almost 50% of its current customers will have opportunities to hit 21 or to bet on black in the house-banked games.
PokerStars Head of Corporate Communications, Eric Hollreiser, said in a press release that in branching out, the company will be “taking the same principles, practices and integrity that make PokerStars such a successful and beloved brand and applying them” to the new online casino offerings.
Parent company Rational Group previously rolled out casino gaming on PokerStars.es and Full Tilt, managing to lure a good number of poker players to the online games of chance. The launches in those markets have been deemed “successful in reactivating dormant customers and extending the value of our existing poker customers,” Hollresier added.
Sports betting available in 2015
Wagering on sporting events, a highly lucrative market, will be made available at PokerStars sometime in 2015. Other casino game offerings will join roulette and blackjack next year as well.
It has been regarded by most that providing other gaming options typically enhances the number of players who find their way to the online poker tables. Many industry veterans are also of the mind that those casino players and sports bettors who do saunter over to the online poker lobby are not the best poker players.
We are confident these games will create more value to our PokerStars site and bolster the core poker offering,” Hollreiser said. “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.”
Online poker remains a priority
In an effort to not alienate poker players who distance themselves and perhaps even abhor games of chance where the house always has an edge, PokerStars will update its software to permit the hardcore poker grinders to eliminate viewing any of the new online casino options. That includes the ability to opt out of promotional efforts tied to casino gaming.
Also with a bent toward poker players, PokerStars aims to develop multi-player casino games that will highlight the social and wagering aspects typically found in the game of poker.