BetStars, sister brand of renowned online poker website PokerStars, may be a relative newcomer to the internet sports gambling space, but in only a few short years it has effectively closed the gap between the giants of the European sport booking industry.
With the debut of BetStars NJ on September 13, 2018, it begins down a trip to acquire the exact big-name status here in the states. BetStars NJ is your New Jersey sports gambling arm of The Stars Group (TSG), also represents an expansion of TSG’s gaming partnership with Resorts Casino in Atlantic City. The book’s launch in New Jersey includes a mere four months following the U.S. Supreme Court pulled the plug on PASPA, monitoring the debut of first mover DraftKings Sportsbook by about six months.
The anticipated sports gambling app lives up to its namesake in lots of ways, but for every two experts there’s a con. The app’s proprietary stage is in several ways second-to-none, including tons of account management features, cool innovations, and top-notch integration with all the TSG’s present NJ online poker product. BetStars NJ is also an innovative app, offering players adventures that they just wont find elsewhere. Bet variety? Solid cashiering? Good promotions? BetStars NJ has it all.
Yet, less than stellar pricing in areas, lackluster support, and an occasionally dizzying user interface rips the book down a peg. There is still more good than bad, but a little refinement might be in order.
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How it works
BetStars has obtained a traditional route with its welcome bonus, but that is not necessarily a terrible thing. The website offers a full refund up to $500 on a participant’s first wager, pending that bet loses. If the bet wins, players will get whatever they’re owed in accordance with the odds, but will not lock a bonus. Liken into a freeroll.
There are a couple caveats worth understanding, the majority of which don’t diminish the offer. For one, the free bet can only be employed on straights and parlays. Spin & Bet and round robins aren’t eligible.
Additionally, players who made their initial deposit with Neteller or Skrill are not qualified for the offer. This is a very odd nuance, and one that may go easily overlooked without previous understanding. On the plus side, it doesn’t appear that there aren’t any odds restrictions tied to the free bet. Therefore, if you would like to play it safe and bet to a heavy favorite with -500 chances, feel free to do so — only know that just the winnings from free stakes will land on your cash balance, and not the free bet sum itself.
What is special about BetStars online sportsbook?
Great (and numerous) promotions: Hardly anybody does promotions quite like BetStars NJ. From straightforward matched free stakes, to large brand new player sign up bonuses, and an assortment of creative one-off occasions, there seems to always be multiple offers running, many of which may be stacked, and all of which provide good value for deal-seeking bettors.
Innovation: BetStars NJ delivers various innovative performance. A number of its creations, such as”Cash Out” can be found in a few other NJ online sports gambling websites, while others, like Spin & Bet and Odds Boost Stacks are special to the operator.
Integration: The BetStars NJ app is intimately connected to the favorite PokerStars NJ online poker program, and shares a wallet with the exact same. We’re anticipating TSG to proceed even farther here, integrating its online casino as part of this app, and tying together PokerStars NJ and BetStars NJ on desktop.
Bet variety: BetStars NJ might not have the maximum stakes of any operator, but it still offers a ton, one of those imaginative multi-part props that frequently receive boosted odds. This, along with the creations BetStars NJ brings to the table, introduces a level of fun that is absent on more conventional NJ online sports betting sites.
What’s not so special?
A few of the traces on single-game bets are not terrific.
Weak prop betting.
No PayPal … yet.
BetStars NJ Sportsbook: Software photo The BetStars NJ program looks and functions about as well as one would expect from a business famous for its cutting-edge and proprietary gaming platforms. Well, perhaps nearly as well.
Upon logging it (or simply opening the app), gamers will be treated to a homepage that highlights the programs greatest promotions, its most popular bets (broken out tabularly by sport), and a few featured”Odds Boosts”. Additionally, there are sections for trending bets and present in-game bets. It is all quite well laid out, effectively packing a great deal of information into a tight space without placing too much strain on the eyes.
BetStars NJ App Homepage
Aesthetically and this is a gorgeous app, with a vibrant yet digestible color scheme, lots of graphic icons, and that level of responsiveness TSG goods are famous for. Account management attributes — and there are a lot of them are neatly tucked away in a readily accessible side-menu, while essential markets are recorded at the top of the display. Additionally, players may easily access PokerStars NJ from the app, with the duo sharing a frequent wallet. Cashier accessibility, promotional tabs, and user customization settings are all a click away. In terms of whistles and bells, players won’t find better than BetStars NJ.
There are a couple drawbacks. But, we found that gambling options for person games/matches were slow to load, or did not load in any way. A simple refresh normally fixed the issue however. What’s more, the app is somewhat unwieldy is spots. Detecting a market, and straight stakes within that market is really a breeze. However, the bets for a single game are sort of just lumped together, occasionally making it difficult to find a bet of your liking. It is fine for less popular competitions, but for say, and NFL sport, filters are nice.
Otherwise, BetStars NJ does an admirable job of grouping stocks stakes, along with the combination of the Calendar and Highlights tabs works superbly for bettors looking to plan out some greater value stakes.
The big no-no at launching was that BetStars NJ was originally only available for Android powered devices, with iOS and pc accessibility added later. We’re pretty sure that this is a manifestation of everyone rushing to market in time for NFL Season 2018-19, and subsequently releasing unfinished products. This black mark was addressed with BetStars NJ currently on the proper platforms.
Depositing and withdrawing at BetStars online sportsbook at NJ
As a result of its integration with the PokerStars NJ platform, BetStars NJ did not start from scratch using its own hive, and it reveals. There’s a robust selection of secure and dependable depositing and withdrawal options listed on the app, with the sole notable exception being PayPal, however, that is supposedly coming shortly. Once it does, BetStars NJ will rank up there with Play SugarHouse Sports as offering the best payment processing rollout in the biz.
PAYMENT METHOD DEPOSIT? WITHDRAWAL? MIN. DEPOSIT
ACH (eChecks) Yes $10
Visa/MasterCard Yes No $10
PokerStars PlayYes $10
Neteller Yes Yes $10
Skrill Yes Yes $10
Online Bank Transfer Yes No $10
PayNearMe Yes No $10
Cash @ Resorts Cage Yes Yes $10
BetStars NJ will conveniently save the most recently employed deposit methods, enabling bettors to put subsequent deposits much quicker than they would be able to otherwise. Deposits generally validate within a blink of an eye, even faster than any other program we have played .
1 little drawback is that BetStars NJ sets initial deposit limits fairly low. Being limited to between $500 — $640 a $ and $2,000 a month for the majority of methods feels a little too restrictive. High rollers are most likely better off using Skrill, which sets a $15,000 monthly limitation, or of heading down to Resorts AC, where they can deposit up to $30,000 a shooter ($100,000 monthly limit). Of course, players may also ask increased limitations, and support will generally oblige, pending all their previous deposits processed.
What are the lines like at BetStars NJ?
Players searching for consistently great lines throughout the board might be somewhat disappointed with BetStars NJ. While its NFL point spreads and totals are usually par for the market, the money lines we observed so much for MLB, NFL, and other sports are still pretty mediocre: On average, they are still a tick better than the currency lines posted on DraftKings Sportsbook, but degrees worse than on FanDuel Sportsbook and Caesars.
This isn’t to mention that BetStars NJ is devoid of top value chances, far from it. Besides myriad promotions, many of which significantly bolster a player’s expected value, the program will occasionally post a really competitive pre-game currency line. So watch out. Not to mention, players who like to roll the dice on fancy prop bets, will frequently get to do this on BetStars NJ at greater chances, thanks to the app’s Odds Boost innovation. And we can assure you that Odds Boosts are not just a once-in-a-while gimmick. No, instead it seems like all significant market games feature an assortment of these reduced juice wagers.
Regular old prop bets are likely best avoided since the lines on odds outcomes generally hover round -120, which isn’t great. And in-game odds are inherently worse compared to their counterparts that are overburdened, but not by any substance degree more than they are on most other NJ online sportsbooks.
BetStars NJ is currently a tiny light on markets, but mostly, are the rest of the NJ business’s sports gambling apps. Rather than the 25+ markets available on BetStars’ international offering, in New Jersey we get 10 to start:
Basketball (including NCAA)
Soccer (such as NCAA)
Soccer (multiple leagues)
Bet variety at BetStars online sportsbook
BetStars NJ may be a little light on markets, but it almost makes up for it by providing various bets within each market, a few of which are presented via betting formats which can’t be appreciated elsewhere. Can it match the many bets of any NJ online sportsbook? No, certainly not, but it at least ranks near the middle, and especially excels at the football industry.
Concerning gaming formats, BetStars supports the majority of the standard fare including straight stakes, totals, futures, parlays, and props. Surprisingly, teasers aren’t available on the website. To us, this indicates that BetStars perhaps has not completely adapted to the NJ marketplace, as teasers are primarily connected to popular American sport such as football and basketball.
Also, players big on betting props may be somewhat disappointed, as while BetStars NJ does offer a wholesome number of obscure team and individual bets, that number is still less than half of what we’ve seen at other books.
In-play, a gambling format where players can place wagers on a match in-progress, is all the rage of late. So it was little surprise to find the alternative featured front-and-center on the BetStars NJ program.
BetStars NJ does a serviceable, but hardly mind-blowing, job with in-play. Technically, everything seems around snuff, with bets upgrading, and the host reacting swiftly to in-play wager asks, so much so, that there wasn’t really a question of whether we’d be shut out of a line.
Yet, to get a European operator with oodles of money, we just expected a bit more variety. In equity, for the bigger contests the program will not offer an adequate swatch of in-play options, and we are sure that number will enhance even further over time, but the ordinary contest might only support half-a-dozen in-play stakes or less. Better than nothing, but hardly enough to differentiate BetStars NJ in the bunch.
As a result of the cash out feature on BetStars NJ, players finally have a valid way to rapidly modulate their risk. Money out works pretty much how one may anticipate, allowing players the choice on straight and parlay bets (pre-game and live) to Get Out Of Dodge, so to speak, locking up less money they want if they won, but over they would if the bet was dropped.
The exact amount of a cash out is a reflection of the initial bet dimensions and the current in-play odds. For instance, if the Philadelphia Eagles are ransacking Atlanta Falcons 35 — 10 at halfway, and you bet that the Eagles, nicely a cash out would likely pay close to the amount if the wager was actually won. Flip the script and you might get a few bucks back for every hundred wagered.
Spin & Bet
What would a Stars program be without some kind of slot machine mechanic?
Spin & Bet is perfect for action junkies that don’t mind giving a bit for the odds of winning a whole lot. How it works is that bettors allocate 10% of the bet to the fates. Then, BetStars NJ determines via RNG when the remaining 90 percent of the wager will receive an enhanced payout, should it win. A little less than half of the time (47.7%) it will not, but the other times, it’ll be given a bump between 1.2x and x 10x.
Obviously the likelihood of hitting a top multipler are substantially lower than a smaller augmentation. For instance, the odds of landing 1.5x are a respectable 7.5%, but gamers only have a 1 in 1,000 chance of scoring that elusive 10x multiplier.
Give BetStars NJ charge for implementing a quality that introduces an additional element of pleasure to sports betting, which generally will see players trade 10 percent of their wager for augmented payouts over half the time — bad.
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BetStars NJ promos
There is not any additional NJ online sportsbook that will promotions as well as BetStars NJ. Beyond its successful welcome package, the app offers players a multitude of strategies to boost their odds of success. Its promotional vehicles run the gamut from little on-the-fly bonuses, to season long occasions designed with maximum perspiration in mind.
Here’s a Fast glance of the Kinds of promos players can anticipate on the routine:
Matched free bet: Bet a particular amount, receive a free bet in accordance with the size of the first wager. As an example, BetStars NJ rolled a promo at launch where players would receive a $5 free bet on their first $25 at wagers, weekly. Expect more of these simple, yet abundant, promotional kinds in the future.
Deposit bonus: Deposit a particular amount and receive a percentage bonus, capped at a predetermined amount. Usually comes affixed using a small wagering requirement.
Odds Boost: More regularly occurring event than promotion, BetStars NJ often grants players greater chances on a range of prop bets for popular contests. Be on the watch for the red fire symbol beside an event, as that indicates Odds Boosts bets are readily available.
Super Boost: Similar to Odds Boosts, except more tailored toward gamers. Rather than winning improved payouts on straight bets, players that opt-in to Super Boosts will internet a bigger score whenever they strike a parlay.
Beyond the above, we have also seen the occasional high-value one-off. A fantastic example would be 100/1 Super Bowl Winner, which provided players 100/1 odds on the first $5 of a Super Bowl future wager. That’s a pretty big deal considering a few teams have been listed at 10/1 or much better, opening the door for players to win more than 10x what they would normally.
It was recently announced that PokerStars NJ will be transitioning away from its current VIP program, and we anticipate BetStars NJ to do the same. In its stead will be Stars Rewards, a loyalty program that communicates rewards around the way players wager, across all TSG products.
At its core, the program is based around earning enough rewards points through real-money perform to fill up a progress bar and earn a Chest. In the Chest is going to be a swatch of personalized rewards, which may comprise StarsCoin (which will be the organization’s virtual money ), free play, and other special prizes.
But let’s step back for another, as saying that the rewards are fully personalized could be a small misnomer. On the contrary, it’s more of a personalized selection of rewards, with the specific prizes within that range depending on opportunity. There are six degrees of Chests, ranging from a Red Chest, which can hold around $50 in rewards, to some Platinum Chest, which is potentially worth $1,000. However, winning the most amount is a 1 in 10,000 crapshoot. More commonly, Red Chests will be appreciated at a below a quarter, and sometimes even Platinum Card Chests will just be worth $62 or less 95 percent of the time, with added featured rewards (that can be offered frequently ) bolstering the ordinary prize sum.
In order to earn Chest upgrades players will first have to win four Chests a day. They could ease the process of earning upgrades by employing Boosts, which twice the pace at which rewards points are earned. If this all sounds complicated, it is — or at least the inner workings are. But in terms of making rewards, it’s as simple as wagering real-money about the app and seeing exactly what you get.
We anticipate Stars Rewards to go across all TSG products by the end of 2018.
Customer support BetStars NJ offers an array of support options, with some being more useful than others. For the most frequent inquiries there’s a FAQ, that is pretty well laid out and covers a diverse variety of topics.
For players needing more personalized attention, their best bet might be to contact an agent via Live Chat. Wait times to get in contact with an agent were on the short side, however, responses often took some time, and we got the feeling which more often than not, support wasn’t properly equipped to answer our trickier inquiries. But they were pleasant enough and did seem to be making a good effort.
There is also a touch service form, which appears to be bugged, as we weren’t able to use it. In theory, players can utilize this form to compose messages to support, which is responded to via email. Together with their message, players are invited to select relevant classes and sub-categories, so it’ll be easier for help to kick the question to the proper department, resulting in a faster turnaround time.
BetStars NJ does allow gamers to call in straight. Rather they need to ask for a callback.
All in all, our support experience was a mixed bag, and we anticipate somewhat better.
More about BetStars
Following Amaya’s acquisition of PokerStars in June 2014, the business began exploring opportunities outside of poker, turning its focus partially to sports wagering verticals. In August of the following calendar year, the iGaming behemoth bought daily fantasy sports (DFS) site Victiv, afterwards rebranding it as StarsDraft.
The newly-minted StarsDraft had its own official U.S. launching in September 2015, competing with the likes of industry giants FanDuel and DraftKings. Just one month later, but the company decided to restrict operations to only four countries, citing regulatory concerns.
After StarsDraft’s entry into the DFS marketplace, the company pushed forward towards supplying full-on sports gambling in jurisdictions beyond the U.S., in which the industry remained explicitly prohibited. While Stars had taken its first sports wager back in March 2015, it did not spin off its sportsbook as a standalone website until that November, when it purchased the BetStars.com domain.
One month later, the performance went live, offering 23 betting markets, including eSports. The site was originally powered by technology supplied by UK sports stage supplier Amelco.
True to form, PokerStars shortly began innovating in the area, launching a characteristic called Spin & Bet — a hybrid sports game that bore similarities to the popular Spin & Go poker games.
In addition, it started fusing poker with sport wagering, offering betting odds on the PCA Main Event final table and the $25K High Roller. Other innovations followed, like BetStars Sports Jackpots, a combination between DFS and real money tournaments.
PokerStars launched its online poker merchandise in New Jersey in 2016 via a venture with Atlantic City’s Resorts. When sports gambling was made lawful in the state, it continued its relationship with the casino, starting its BetStars NJ Android app on September 19, 2018.
PokerStars’ sports offering was the eighth sports gambling app to start in the Garden State, also was a part of a flurry of sportsbooks to go during the time period.
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