Sports betters will have a new venue available in 2015, as PokerStars, the world’s largest online poker site, will be adding sports betting and casino table games.

The table games will begin to launch on a market-by-market basis almost immediately with blackjack and roulette as the first offerings. The table games should be fully in place by the end of the year; sports betting will be available in the new-year.

The company is using its experience gathered from players in Spain, where the games have been available on PokerStars.es, as well as that from company owned Full Tilt, which began offering casino games in early 2014.

The announcement of the new endeavors has been anticipated for some time in light of comments made by CEO David Baazo several months ago where he discussed the company’s expansion possibilities. Sports betting has been an obvious priority.

In comments make in June, Baazo said “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 betting, and social gaming.”

PokerStars is the undisputed world leader in online poker and was established in 2001. During that time, the site has dealt over 120 billion hands and helped launch the career of many of the best-known names in poker.

Eric Hollreiser, head of corporate communications, says that this experience is being applied to the new ventures.

“We are taking the same principles, practices and integrity that make PokerStars such a successful and beloved brand and applying them to new verticals. These new products will also support the development of poker and grow the overall business.”

He also noted the input and data received from players on PokerStars.es was applied in the development of the new games.

“We thoroughly researched the opportunity and spent a lot of time talking to players and analyzing the behavior of our customers on PokerStars.ES and Full Tilt.”

Approximately 30% of the players on PokerStars.es visited the casino games monthly, with little effect on the poker revenue.

As poker remains the main focus of the company, PokerStars is including multiplayer games and some unique betting structures that are designed to appeal to the company’s core base. The company has indicated that there will be a social component involved as well.

The new table games are structured to appeal to the whole range of players, from the casual player to the professional. The blackjack games have some of the industry’s lowest margins. Micro-stakes tables will be part of the table games offering with bets starting as low as $0.10.



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