Amaya Gaming-owned operator PokerStars announced Friday that it will launch sports betting and casino table games across its global PokerStars.com domain, with blackjack and roulette the first games to be rolled out later this month.

Last month, PokerStars launched online casino products under its Spanish-facing dot.es site, marking the first time the operator had rolled out non-poker products on its platform.

The operator has now confirmed that it will roll out its first casino products on PokerStars.com later this month with blackjack and roulette. The products will be rolled out on a market-by-market basis, with completion anticipated by the end of the year and reaching nearly half of PokerStars' current player base.  

The company said that it had devoted resources to develop unique multiplayer games, with social and betting features that will “appeal to poker-loving audiences.”

PokerStars will add sports betting and other popular casino games in 2015, and also plans to launch a full-featured casino on mobile and web during the course of next year.

“We are taking the same principles, practices and integrity that make PokerStars such a successful and beloved brand and applying them to new verticals,” said Eric Hollreiser, head of corporate communications for PokerStars parent Rational Group. “These new products will also support the development of poker and grow the overall business.”

PokerStars said that the launch of sports betting and casino games on its global platform will leverage the “expertise and experience” that has been gained from the launch of casino games earlier this year on PokerStars.es in Spain and on Full Tilt since January.

The operator revealed that approximately 30 per cent of poker customers on PokerStars.es and Full Tilt were playing casino games every month, with half of Full Tilt casino players stating that the site is the only online casino at which they play.

“We thoroughly researched the opportunity and spent a lot of time talking to players and analysing the behaviour of our customers on PokerStars.es and Full Tilt,” continued Hollreiser. “Those launches have been successful in reactivating dormant customers, and extending the value of our existing poker customers.

“The experience on our poker platforms to-date also shows increases in net player deposits following the addition of casino games and a negligible impact on poker spend. We are confident these games will create more value to our PokerStars site and bolster the core poker offering.”

PokerStars has also enabled features to allow customers to remove the additional games from their view and to opt out of direct marketing and promotions of the casino games, in an effort to recognise that some poker players prefer a poker-only environment.

“We are committed to extending our leadership in poker and will continue to serve the passionate online poker player, while expanding our reach into new audiences and new gaming opportunities,” added Hollreiser.

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