Casino games for real money have launched on PokerStars’ Spanish online poker room. It marks the first time that real money games other than poker have been offered under the PokerStars brand.
Various forms of Blackjack and Roulette are available for both play money and real money, with a variety of stakes and both single and multi-player options available.
A launch in the regulated Italian market is expected soon. Whether the games will also launch on PokerStars.com is not yet known.
“We know that many of our customers are enjoying online casino games on competing platforms and our offering will enhance their experience with PokerStars and provide a safe, trusted and convenient way for them to be entertained,” Gino Appiotti, President of Southern Europe for PokerStars, is quoted as saying in a press statement.
The games are available from within the online poker client under a new “Casino” tab, keeping the table games separate from the online poker lobby. They are only available on PokerStars 7, the online poker room’s new client that is the default in Spain and available in most markets, including dot-com.
There is no indication yet if or when casino games will launch on the PokerStars brand in the dot-com market. Currently the group is using its Full Tilt brand for its entry into non-poker games, blackjack and roulette, various slots games, and most recently live dealer games, are already spread. Players are able to play blackjack or poker online at various other online poker rooms. In Spain, the group only operates the PokerStars brand.
“PokerStars aims to remain as the number one poker operator in Spain and strongly believes that in this market, adding casino games is the best way to serve players,” stated Appiotti.
In March 2014, PokerStars stated that the brand would remain “poker only”—but new owners Amaya revealed in August that “new verticals” on the PokerStars brand was a key part of their plan post-acquisition.
Amaya stated that Spain and Italy would be the first markets to launch casino games, with “a wider rollout” coming in 2015. The introduction of an in-house developed sportsbook is also expected to follow.
The casino games launch gives a hint of what things may be like in the New Jersey online gambling market. PokerStars is expected to enter the market in the coming weeks and spread both online poker and casino games in the regulated market.