PokerStars To Offer Casino Games By End Of NovemberNovember 24, 2014 1:51 pm
Having already launched casino games on its PokerStars.es website, the world’s biggest poker room is now in the process of introducing blackjack and roulette games across its PokerStars.com domain. While the initial roll out is expected to be completed by the end of November, the site hopes to have added a full selection of casino games by the end of 2014.
The decision to move away from offering just poker to also include casino gambling stems from the decline noted in the online poker industry over the past few years, and the need to seek out alternate sources of income. According to PokerStars, casino games will ultimately benefit all its customers as it will help gain access to a global market worth $25 billion each year, result in increased traffic to the site, and allow players to gain loyalty rewards across the whole poker/casino game platform.
Furthermore, PokerStars’ initial research in the Spanish market seems to indicate a demand for such games, with apparently 30% of the site’s Spanish customers now playing casino games on a regularly basis each month. A similar trend has also been noted on Amaya Gaming’s Full Tilt site, and commenting on its research, Head of Corporate Communications at PokerStars, Eric Hollreiser, explained:
“Those launches have been successful in reactivating dormant customers and extending the value of our existing poker customers. The experience on our poker platforms to-date also shows increases in net player deposits following the addition of casino games and a negligible impact on poker spend. We are confident these games will create more value to our PokerStars site and bolster the core poker offering.”
The move, however, is not without controversy as legions of PokerStars’ regular customers have aired their opposition to casino games, which they believe will draw money away from the virtual poker tables and thus squeeze their profits. Furthermore, many poker players would prefer to avoid the temptation of casino gambling, but addressing that concern PokerStars has said it will enable a feature allowing customers “to remove the additional games from their view and to opt out of direct marketing and promotions of the casino games.”