PokerStars Debuts Online Casino Games in Spain
Oct 3, 2014
For the first time, the PokerStars brand is offering more than just poker, bringing users casino games like blackjack and roulette.
Grab your blackjack strategy books, because PokerStars is offering you a new way to win money. The virtual poker room’s new parent company has set out to conquer the virtual gambling industry, and it picked Spain as a starting point, where blackjack and roulette have just become available via the PokerStars website.
Over the past decade, PokerStars has built an image and a very good reputation, being known as the world’s number one poker site. But now that the brand was bought by Amaya Gaming, the web service is getting a makeover and expanding its offer with online casino games.
Rumor has it Italy is going to be next in line for the experiment, as the company is planning on launching the new products on other European markets too. But for now, the industry is talking about the impact of PokerStars’ new products and speculating about the future direction of the company.
Improved casino experience
According to recent casino gambling news, the new owner of the world-famous online poker brand thought it was time for a change. In a recent statement, Gino Appiotti, who is President of the website’s Southern European branch told reporters: “PokerStars aims to remain as the number one poker operator in Spain. [We] strongly believe that in this market, adding casino games is the best way to serve players.”
Earlier in July, PokerStars’ Spanish subsidiary REEL Spain applied for and obtained a license to offer casino games on the local market. But the company announced that the new platform would only be launched later this year, on September 30.
“We know that many of our customers are enjoying online casino games on competing platforms,” Appiotti argued. The company president firmly believes that the new move will help “enhance [users’] experience with PokerStars and provide a safe, trusted and convenient way for them to be entertained.”
Italy next in line
Now that Amaya Gaming has taken the first step towards online and mobile casino gambling, the company has plans to replicate the experience and start offering the new services in other markets. Rumor has it Italy is the next one in line.
To some industry experts, this decision comes as a bit of a surprise, especially considering the poor performance of gambling industry in this country. This was one of the main reasons why the group decided not to invest money in launching its new Full Tilt poker and casino mixed online platform.
If Amaya makes a move on the Italian market, the project will fall into the hands of Marco Trucco, who is currently the Gaming Director of EuroBet. The expert will soon be replacing Barbara Beltrami, the former country manager of PokerStars Italy.
While industry experts expect the online casino games to be launched in Italy in the very near future, it is not known whether they will also become available on the international website.
Poker rooms get a remake
This March, owners of the PokerStars websites told reporters that the brand would remain “poker only”. However, after purchasing the world-famous virtual poker rooms Amaya announced “new verticals” were going to be introduced. That was when the group admitted that the PokerStars brand was a key part of their post-acquisition plans, but announced that it has come up with a new direction for it.
The new and improved Spanish poker site now offers a selection of Blackjack and Roulette games, both available for practice and real money. Customers can choose from a variety of stakes, and the casino games are available both in single and multi-player versions.
In order to clearly separate the new table games from poker, they were put under the “Casino” tab. The online poker lobby is still the first thing users see when they access the website. In addition, Blackjack and Roulette are only available on PokerStars 7. The client is available in most markets, including dot-com, but is the default in Spain.
At present, Amaya Group is using the Full Tilt brand to enter the new market of non-poker games such as blackjack and roulette, various slots titles, and most recently live dealer games. However, in Spain the group only operates the PokerStars website.
More to come in 2015
When it announced that it was going to reinvent its newly-bought brands, Amaya said that Spain and Italy were most likely going to be the first markets for its casino games. A “wider rollout” would follow sometime in 2015, the group added, including an in-house developed online sportsbook.
Meanwhile, Amaya is planning to introduce its products on the American gambling market as well, starting with the state of New Jersey where online casinos are already legal. US players can expect to get the same top quality products European gamblers have been enjoying for years, as PokerStars will probably enter the market in the next few weeks.
Tags: Amaya Group, Barbara Beltrami, blackjack strategy, casino gambling news, EuroBet, Full Tilt Poker, Gino Appiotti, Marco Trucco, mobile casino, mobile poker, Online poker, play poker in Spain, PokerStars, REEL Spain, Roulette, virtual poker room