PokerStars is returning to the United States with a new social gaming app.
For the most part, PokerStars has been out of the US market since April 15, 2011. This date has become known as Black Friday. It marks the day the Department of Justice charged PokerStars founders and other online poker executives with various bank fraud, money laundering, and illegal gambling offenses. Black Friday effectively shut down online poker in the US for several years.
Details on the social gaming app
Now the company has rolled out its new social poker game, PokerStars Play, in the United States. Plus, the app is also available in Australia. PokerStars pulled real-money gaming earlier this month in Australia. This following the passage of new online gambling laws which basically outlawed online poker.
According to a press release, PokerStars’ newly renamed parent company The Stars Group just began a phased rollout of the app. It calls the app a fun and authentic game for social poker players.
PokerStars Play is said to be a “cohesive gaming experience that epitomizes the variety and fun that has become synonymous with PokerStars.” Pokerstars also says the app combines the best of social gaming and poker action.
Hold’em, Omaha and Spin and Go games
Traditional poker games available on the app include hold’em and Omaha. The app also features PokerStars’ popular poker and casino game hybrid Spin and Go games. Additionally, there are casino-style online slots. The app is available on various iOS and Android devices.
Lloyd Melnick, PokerStars’ director of social gaming, spoke in more detail about the app in a press release:
“PokerStars Play is the next phase in our progress toward being a leader in social casino. PokerStars Play is a unique product, taking the best of real money gaming and merging it with the features players expect from mobile games.
“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.”
Pokerstars’ latest entry into the social casino industry
Jackpot Poker was PokerStars’ previous entry into the billion-dollar social casino industry. It is a free-to-play mobile poker game the company launched in 2015. Jackpot Poker combined the features of both the company’s Facebook app and Spin and Go games.
The new PokerStars Play app supposedly has a “next generation look with a slick lobby, exciting user-experiences to celebrate winning moments, the chance for players to play against real poker players from around the world, collect trophies, and compete to be the best in weekly leaderboards.”
It is not real-money gaming. However, the company says players can still win billions of play-money chips in tournaments on the app. Players are also able collect up to 100,000 free chips daily with which to compete on the app.