After months of rumors and speculation, PokerStars, the world's largest online poker site, announced the launch of BetStars, a new sports betting brand product of the Amaya Inc. family.
In a note sent to the media on Friday, Dec. 18, the poker room explained that BetStars will be initially available on a limited number of jurisdictions on the domains www.BetStars.com, www.BetStars.eu, and www.BetStars.uk, and on dedicated iOS and Android applications.
The plan, however, is to make the portal available in more countries during the next year, as the press release states that "this is the next stage of development of PokerStars' new sportsbook offering, which will continue to be rolled out during 2016."
As reported on PokerNews on Dec. 7, Amaya has already secured a number of international domains including Germany's BetStars.de, Italy's BetStars.it, Denmark's BetStars.dk, Spain's BetStars.es, and Portugal's BetStars.pt, leading many to think the company will soon start to offer sports betting services also in these countries.
We're applying the same dedication and passion we have for poker to sports betting and intend to create an authentic, world-class offering.
"We're very excited about the launch of the BetStars brand, and expect it to be one of the most talked about sports betting sites in 2016 as it continues to evolve with new products and features that we believe will set us apart as a betting brand for the true sports fan," said the Chief Executive Officer at the Amaya-owned Rational Group, Rafi Ashkenazi.
"We're applying the same dedication and passion we have for poker to sports betting and intend to create an authentic, world-class offering. The BetStars brand will build on this passion and provide a safe, trustworthy and, most importantly, exciting environment for sports fans."
At the launch, BetStars offers 23 sports to bet on including football, tennis, basketball, UFC, and eSports, but promises to add even more options during 2016.
"More sports, including horse racing, are intended to be added throughout 2016. The brand will also feature a range of in-play betting options and exclusive offers and promotions that sports bettors expect from a world-class online sportsbook," the company explains.
"PokerStars anticipates the brand will expand into additional key jurisdictions throughout 2016, extending its reach to approximately half of PokerStars' unique active poker customers."
To bring bettors on the platform and to "introduce an innovative new betting product on the platform which will distinguish the brand from competitors," PokerStars plans to release a significant marketing campaign in the first half of 2016."
PokerStars explained also that "BetStars will offer its customers a seamless experience between sports betting, casino and poker, with a single wallet for all three services."