Amaya has begun the next stage of development of PokerStars’ sportsbook offering with the new BetStars brand rolled out in a number of jurisdictions., as well as and sites, have gone live alongside dedicated iOS and Android apps, initially offering a range of betting options across more than 25 sports including football, tennis and basketball. It will also offer odds on eSports and poker competitions.

Further sports such as horseracing will be added throughout 2016. The site will also feature a number of in-play betting markets alongside exclusive offers and promotions that customers would expect from a high-quality sportsbook.

Players will also be able to move seamlessly between the sportsbook, casino and poker products using a single customer wallet.

“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,” Rational Group chief executive Rafi Ashkenazi said.

“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.”

PokerStars plans to launch BetStars into additional key jurisdictions over the coming year, extending its reach to approximately half of the operator’s unique active poker customers.

The roll-out will be supported by the launch of an external customer acquisition campaign in the first half of 2016, with PokerStars hinting at the launch of what it believes to be “an innovative new betting product … which will distinguish the brand from competitors.”

Shares in Amaya Inc (Co.Data) (TSX:AYA) closed down 4.55 per cent at CAD$19.72 per share in Toronto yesterday.