PokerStars is, once again, expanding its online portfolio with the addition of a new sports betting service that should be operational by April, 2015.
PokerStars Chief Executive Officer David Baazov said in a press release the company was looking at a rolling launch for the sports betting site:
The sports betting product will launch within the PokerStars poker client in certain markets and PokerStars will gradually add more markets as well as web and mobile versions throughout the year.
So far, that effort seems to be going very well and punters in some markets may have access to the service as early as March.
The projected launch of the new PokerStars sports betting vertical comes right on the heels of the company’s recent foray into casino games. Both of these new services are part of a concerted effort by PokerStars’ new owner, the Amaya Group, to branch out beyond the volatile online poker world.
According to Baazov, that effort is a business necessity these days:
With the continuing trend of online gaming regulation around the world, the company has in front of itself an enormous opportunity to leverage its brand recognition and customer loyalty to diversify into other gaming verticals as casino, sports and betting and social gaming
In Spain, where PokerStars blackjack and roulette have been available for a while, the company already has already gained an impressive market share.
Even better, for PokerStars, company officials are saying that the new casino vertical has had only a negligible on poker operations.
Given both the volatility of the online poker market, and the amount of money Amaya spent acquiring the PokerStars brand, these diversification efforts aren’t too surprising. The Canadian based outfit spent billions reviving the brand and rehabilitating its less-than-stellar post-Black Friday image.
So far, that effort seems to be heading in the right direction and the addition of sports betting services will bolster them considerably.