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In recent years, poker players in the United States have faced the heat of only a few states permitting real money online poker, and those in Australia being banned from online poker altogether. Offering them a feature-rich virtual environment without risking a single cent, The Stars Group (TSG) is launching a new social poker game app and site, ‘PokerStars Play.’
It is currently available on iOS and Android devices only for residents of U.S. and Australia and hosts an unrivalled game selection, offering an eclectic mix of Texas Hold ‘em and Omaha cash games and tournaments, Spin & Go tournaments, a number of online slots and slot mini-games as well as casino card games.
While there’s no real money involved, players can still purchase chips for cash as in-app purchases, the game is completely legal in the U.S. and Australia. The app also features live casino games where a real dealer dictates the action while players bet play money.
“PokerStars Play is a unique product, taking the best of real money gaming and merging it with the features players expect from mobile games,” director of Social Gaming at PokerStars, Lloyd Melnick said.
“It brings together the lessons we learned building Jackpot Poker, probably the best social poker game on the market, with the incredible brand equity we have at PokerStars. We are very excited to launch PokerStars Play as it represents a great opportunity for players of social poker products to now play with and against the best from the poker leaders,” Melnick added.
Since 2011, when real-money gaming was banned in the U.S., PokerStars’ presence in the U.S. market has been restricted to its real money platform in New Jersey, which was launched in March 2016. PokerStars pulled out of the Australian market after the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2016 that banned real-money gaming was approved by the Australian Senate in August 2017.
Like other social poker apps, PokerStars Play allows players to compete against real poker players and collect trophies in the various weekly leaderboards. The progressive slots jackpots feature is a new add-on that lets players win billions of chips.
Clearly, With PokerStars Play, the gaming giant intends to retain its presence in the U.S. and Australian markets and with the global social gaming sector estimated to grow to an estimated $17.4 Billion by 2019, is eyeing to capture a share of this growth.
While PokerStars Play is currently available only to Australian and U.S. residents, The Stars Group has ambitious plans to roll it out across all territories in the near future.