For the first time ever, American sports bettors will be able to wager with the PokerStars-operated BetStars sportsbook.
That news comes courtesy of PokerStars parent company The Stars Group, which recently revealed plans to launch BetStars in New Jersey as part of its current partnership with Resorts Casino Hotel. The Atlantic City casino is one of seven authorized interactive gaming license holders in the Garden State, with PokerStars NJ operating under the Resorts license since 2016.
Earlier this month, Resorts Casino Hotel made headlines by adding the DraftKings online sportsbook to its licensing group and the site’s launch marked the arrival of New Jersey’s first online sports betting provider.
Resorts isn’t slowing down, however, as the casino has already filed an application with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) to make BetStars the state’s second online sportsbook.
Matt Primeaux – who serves as senior vice president of strategy & operations in the U.S. for The Stars Group – offered the following statement on BetStars’ initial entrance to the American market:
“We have successfully launched the BetStars brand in many European regulated markets and we have invested heavily to create a premier global offering.
Working with our longstanding partner, Resorts, we are really excited to introduce a brand-new consumer experience by bringing New Jersey fans closer to the sports and the teams that they love.”
Resorts Casino Hotel president and chief executive officer Mark Giannantonio spoke in glowing terms about the venue’s expanded partnership with The Stars Group:
“We’re excited to double down on our already successful partnership with The Stars Group, which owns leading sportsbooks globally and has always been known and respected for their advanced technology, superior customer experience and cutting-edge security safeguards.”
While no launch date has been announced as of yet, the accelerated pace of DraftKings’ path from approval to going live – coupled with BetStars existing infrastructure in nearly a dozen worldwide markets – suggests bettors won’t have to wait long.
The Stars Group isn’t resting on its laurels, so within days of the New Jersey announcement going public, the company revealed its entrance to neighboring Pennsylvania.
The Keystone State approved a sprawling gambling expansion package last year, one which legalized all forms of iGaming along with both traditional and online sports betting. The regulatory red tape has nearly been ironed out, with most of the state’s brick and mortar casinos applying for iGaming licenses and securing relevant partnerships with third-party providers.
One of those casinos is Mount Airy Resort, which has joined forces with The Stars Group to facilitate online casino, poker, and sports betting.
Both the BetStars and PokerStars brands will be operational in Pennsylvania, which marks The Stars Group’s first expansion outside of New Jersey’s legal market.
Vincent Jordan – who serves as vice president of marketing and gaming operations for Mount Airy – issued a statement detailing the resort’s arrangement with The Stars Group:
“As one of Pennsylvania’s leaders in entertainment, offering internet sports wagering and gaming and partnering with The Stars Group is the obvious next step for us to continue diversifying our casino offerings.
Introducing internet gaming through The Stars Group will provide compelling opportunities for our customers, particularly our younger customers, who are ready to experience the next gaming challenge.”
Primeaux celebrated the company’s entrance to a second American statewide market in press release:
“We’re excited to take this next step as The Stars Group looks to broaden its presence in the United States.
In partnership with Mount Airy Casino Resort, we believe we’re well positioned to capitalize on opportunities in the Commonwealth by bringing our world leading offerings to Pennsylvania players.”
Pennsylvania regulators have until mid-October to approve the initial round of license applications, so Mount Airy players will have to wait until at least the Fall to fire up their BetStars and PokerStars accounts.