PokerStars is re-launching its social gaming app ‘Play’ as it seeks to retain its presence in markets where real money gaming has been made illegal and build its position in the social gaming space.
PokerStars Play was first launched in 2013 but failed to take off after which it was replaced by >Jackpot Poker. The app will now be rolled out first in the United States and Australia followed by a worldwide launch.
The platform will offer a range of free-to- play poker games, including popular versions of Texas Hold’em and Omaha as well as Spin & Go tournaments. In addition, several slot games will be on offer similar to those found inside PokerStars’ money platform.
PokerStars Play plans to combine typical online gaming features with some new mobile features. Additionally, the new app will look to introduce new ways for players to celebrate their wins. It is also is likely to focus on features that would appeal to players who play both poker and casino games.
Although no official announcement has been made by the company, there are rumors that the platform will allow players to interact between themselves, compete against fellow poker pros and collect trophies. There are also supposed to be weekly leaderboards and weekly tournaments going forward.
In a statement Lloyd Melnick, PokerStars director of social gaming said
PokerStars Play is the next phase in our progress toward being a leader in social casino, the new PokerStars Play app incorporates the lessons learned from building Jackpot Poker, which is probably the best social poker game on the market. 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
PokerStars’ focus on social gaming is not surprising. A report titled ‘Global Industry Analysis’ has forecasted that by 2019, the social gaming sector will be valued at $17.4 billion. The company has also been experiencing a slide in real money poker revenue while casino gaming and sports betting revenue is on the rise.
Its new app is expected to play a major role in not only strengthening its position in the social gaming market but also ensure that its brand remains active in markets where its real gaming operations are currently banned. The PokerStars Play app will soon be made available to both iOS and Android users.