[toc]The latest promotion from BetStars shows that Amaya is definitely off the bench and actively promoting its sports betting brand internationally.
After the launch of BetStars in December 2015, Amaya focused on promoting its sports betting offer internally. That effort focused on PokerStars, PokerStars Casino and Full Tilt players.
A deal with creative agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky promised a substantial marketing spend in 2016. This did indeed feed through into better sports betting revenue numbers by Q3.
In January 2016, BetStars launched its first major innovation, Spin & Bet.
The new feature allowed players to place an extra bet alongside their sports bet. This bet paid out a random amount of between one to ten times the stake, but only if the bettor won his original bet.
However, the BetStars brand hasn’t had a real blockbuster promotion that combined big money and game innovation until now.
The current promotion is putting up $1 million jackpot prizes for playing an innovative game BetStars Sports Jackpots. BetStars calls this:
“A reimagined sports betting experience that combines the best of fantasy football with daily, real-money tournaments and life-changing $1 million jackpot prizes.”
The promotion is the result of collaboration between BetStars and the company’s daily fantasy sports platform, StarsDraft.
Matthew Primeaux, CEO, StarsDraft said:
“Our team is excited to work with the fast-growing BetStars brand to further the mission of bringing much needed innovation to the sports betting market. With BetStars Sports Jackpots, there’s no easier way for punters and casual sports fans alike to turn a small bet into a big win.”
Short-term DFS contests that combine elements of skill and luck
The game provides a very short term fantasy sports-style competition. Players select which football team members will score the most fantasy points on a specific day.
Players can choose to use their own sports knowledge to inform their picks. They can also use a “smart pick tool.”
The smart pick tool allows players to select criteria from a range of factors. The software then automatically selects players to form a team.
The criteria selection process leaves a thin layer of skill in the selection process. But the smart pick tool introduces a lottery element to the DFS selection process.
This is in line with the latest developments that Amaya has made in its poker games, where a lottery process is used to produce the prize pool for Spin & Go tournaments.
The company has also introduced types of deposit promotion where the deposit bonus size comes from a random number generator.
Across the industry, gaming operators have recognized that players respond enthusiastically to games of shorter duration and with a luck element that provides the prospect of high payouts.
BetStars Sports Jackpots games are available from as little as $3. They range across contests for the English Premier League, Champions League, Europa League, as well as the National Basketball Association (NBA) and PGA Tour.
Widespread payouts of small prizes with a jackpot incentive
The game payout structure typically rewards the best performing 25 percent of participants. It is based on a leaderboard that tracks the fantasy points the player has won. The overall prize pool size is determined by the total number of entrants.
The $1 million jackpot prize is paid to the player or players who pick “that day’s top scoring fantasy player in each of the pre-selected groups.”
Contestants who come close to winning the jackpot will receive additional consolation prizes.
BetStars expects the new game to complement sports betting
BetStars is hoping that existing sports bettors will add BetStars Sports Jackpots to their existing play rather than switch to the new format.
Managing Director Zeno Ossko said:
“Football fans will be able to enjoy an added sweat by complementing sportsbook action with BetStars Sports Jackpots. It’s a fun, quick, and easy way to get the thrill of fantasy sports without having to commit to a whole season.”
One of the issues which other operators have experienced when introducing lottery-style games that can be played quickly is the cannibalization of some of their other games.
The fact that the new game may be shorter than most DFS contests, but still lasts the day should reduce the level of cannibalization.
Amaya operates a single electronic wallet system across all of its brands. So it is easy for players on PokerStars, PokerStars Casino or BetStars to switch funds and play new games on other sites in the group.
The promotion is available to all .com, .eu and .uk markets where BetStars is currently on offer.
Amaya investors will be pleased that the group is now putting on a significant innovation. That comes along with an impressive amount of marketing spend into its sports betting vertical.