BetStars, sister brand of renowned internet poker site PokerStars, might be a relative newcomer to the internet sports betting space, but in just a couple of short years it has closed the gap between the giants of the European sports booking industry.
With the debut of BetStars NJ on September 13, 2018, it starts down a trip to gain the same big-name status here in the states. BetStars NJ is the New Jersey sports gambling arm of The Stars Group (TSG), and represents an extension of TSG’s gaming partnership with Resorts Casino in Atlantic City. The publication’s launching in New Jersey comes a mere four months after the U.S. Supreme Court pulled the plug on PASPA, trailing the introduction of first inspector DraftKings Sportsbook by roughly six months.
The anticipated sports betting app lives up to its namesake in lots of ways, but for each two pros there’s a con. The program’s proprietary platform is in many ways second-to-none, including a lot of account management characteristics, cool creations, and top-notch integration with all the TSG’s present NJ online poker item. BetStars NJ is also an innovative app, offering players experiences that they simply won’t find elsewhere. Bet variety? Strong cashiering? Good promotions? BetStars NJ has everything.
Yet, less than stellar pricing in spots, lackluster support, along with an sometimes dizzying user interface rips down the book a peg. There’s still more good than bad, but a little refinement may be in order.
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How it works
BetStars has taken a conventional route with its latest welcome bonus, but that is not always a bad thing. The site supplies a complete refund up to $500 on a player’s first bet, pending that wager loses. If the bet wins, players can receive whatever they are owed in accordance with the odds, but will not lock down a bonus. Liken it to a freeroll.
There are a couple caveats worth understanding, most of which don’t diminish the deal. For starters, the free wager can only be employed on straights and parlays. Spin & Bet and round robins are not qualified.
Also, players that made their first deposit with either Neteller or Skrill aren’t eligible for the offer. This is a very strange nuance, and one which may go easily overlooked without prior understanding. On the plus side, it does not appear that there are any chances restrictions tied to this free bet. So if you want to play it safe and bet to a heavy popular with -500 odds, don’t hesitate to do so — only know that only the winnings from free stakes will land in your cash balance, rather than the free bet sum itself.
What is particular about BetStars online sportsbook?
Great (and numerous) promotions: Hardly anyone does promotions quite like BetStars NJ. From straightforward matched free bets, to large brand new player sign up bonuses, and a variety of creative one-off occasions, there seems to always be numerous offers conducting, a lot of which can be stacked, and all of which provide very good value for deal-seeking bettors.
Innovation: BetStars NJ offers various advanced functionality. A number of its creations, such as”Cash Out” can be found at some other NJ online sports gambling sites, while some, such as Spin & Bet and Odds Boost Stacks are unique to this operator.
Integration: The BetStars NJ program is intimately connected to the favorite PokerStars NJ online poker program, and shares a pocket with the same. We’re expecting TSG to proceed even further here, integrating its online casino as part of this app, and linking together PokerStars NJ and BetStars NJ on desktop.
Bet variety: BetStars NJ might not have the maximum bets of any operator, but it nevertheless offers a ton, among those creative multi-part props that frequently receive boosted odds. This, along with the innovations BetStars NJ brings to the table, introduces a degree of fun that’s absent on more conventional NJ online sports betting sites.
What’s not so special?
Some of the lines on single-game stakes are not great.
Weak prop betting.
No PayPal … yet.
BetStars NJ Sportsbook: Software photo The BetStars NJ program looks and works about and one might expect from a business famous for its cutting-edge and proprietary gambling platforms. Well, perhaps nearly as well.
Upon logging it (or simply opening the program ), gamers will be treated to a homepage that highlights the apps greatest promotions, its popular bets (broken out tabularly by sport), and some featured”Odds Boosts”. There are also sections for trending stakes and current in-game bets. It’s all very nicely laid out, effectively packing a lot 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, featuring a vibrant yet digestible color scheme, plenty of graphic icons, and that level of responsiveness TSG products are famous for. Account management features — there are lots of them — are neatly tucked away within a readily reachable side-menu, while essential markets are listed horizontally at the top of the screen. Additionally, players can quickly access PokerStars NJ from the app, with the duo sharing a frequent wallet. Cashier accessibility, promotional tabs, and user customization settings are a click away. In terms of bells and whistles, players won’t find better than BetStars NJ.
There are a couple drawbacks. On occasion, we found that gambling options for person games/matches were slow to load, or didn’t load at all. A simple refresh generally fixed the problem however. Furthermore, the program is somewhat unwieldy is spots. Detecting a current market, and straight stakes within that marketplace is a breeze. But the bets for an individual game are sort of just lumped together, occasionally making it difficult to find a bet of your own liking. It’s good for less popular contests, but for instance, and NFL sport, filters would be nice.
Otherwise, BetStars NJ does an admirable job of group futures bets, and the combo of this Calendar and Highlights tabs works superbly for bettors looking to plan some greater value bets.
The significant no-no at launching was that BetStars NJ was initially only available for Android powered devices, together with iOS and computer access additional afterwards. We’re pretty sure that this is a manifestation of everyone rushing to advertise in time for NFL Season 2018-19, and then releasing unfinished products. This black mark was addressed with BetStars NJ now 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 didn’t begin from scratch with its own hive, and it shows. There’s a robust array of safe and reliable depositing and withdrawal choices listed on the program, with the only real notable exception being PayPal, however, that is supposedly coming shortly. When it does, BetStars NJ will rank up there with Play SugarHouse Sports as supplying the best payment processing rollout in the biz.
PAYMENT METHOD DEPOSIT? WITHDRAWAL? MIN. DEPOSIT
ACH (eChecks) Yes Yes $10
Visa/MasterCard Yes No $10
PokerStars Play+ Yes Yes $10
Neteller Yes Yes $10
Skrill Yes Yes $10
Online Bank Transfer Yes No $10
PayNearMe Yes No $10
Money @ Resorts Cage Yes Yes $10
BetStars NJ will conveniently store the most recently employed deposit procedures, allowing bettors to put subsequent deposits much faster than they’d be able to otherwise. Deposits generally validate inside a blink of an eye, even quicker than any other program we have played on.
One small drawback is that BetStars NJ sets initial deposit limits quite low. Being restricted to between $500 — $640 per $ and $2,000 per month for most methods feels a little too restrictive. High rollers are probably best off using Skrill, which sets a $15,000 monthly limitation, or of heading down to Resorts AC, where they could deposit up to $30,000 a shooter ($100,000 monthly limitation ). Of course, players may also ask increased limitations, and support will generally oblige, pending all their prior deposits processed.
What are the traces like at BetStars NJ?
Players looking for always great lines throughout the board may be somewhat disappointed by BetStars NJ. While its NFL point spreads and totals are usually par for the market, the money lines we detected so far for MLB, NFL, and other sports are still fairly mediocre: On average, they are still a signal better than the money lines posted on DraftKings Sportsbook, however degrees worse than on FanDuel Sportsbook and Caesars.
This is not to say that BetStars NJ is devoid of top value chances, far from it. Besides myriad promotions, many of which considerably fortify a player’s expected value, the app will sometimes post a very competitive pre-game money line. So watch out. And of course, players who like to roll the dice on elaborate prop bets, will often get to do this on BetStars NJ at better odds, as a result of the app’s Odds Boost innovation. And we can assure you that Odds Boosts are not only a once-in-a-while gimmick. No, instead it looks like all major market games include an assortment of these low juice wagers.
Frequent old fashioned bets are likely best avoided since the lines on even odds outcomes generally hover round -120, which isn’t excellent. And in-game chances are predictably worse than their counterparts that are overburdened, but not by any material level more than they are on many other NJ online sportsbooks.
BetStars NJ is currently a tiny light on markets, but predominantly, so are the rest of the NJ industry’s sports gambling apps. Instead of the 25+ markets available on BetStars’ global supplying, in New Jersey we get 10 to begin:
Basketball (including NCAA)
Football (such as NCAA)
Football (multiple leagues)
Bet variety at BetStars online sportsbook
BetStars NJ might be a little light on markets, but it nearly makes up for this by providing an array of bets within each current market, some of which are introduced via betting formats which can’t be enjoyed elsewhere. Can it sport the most stakes of any NJ online sportsbook? No, certainly not, but it at least ranks close to the center, and particularly excels in the soccer industry.
In terms of betting formats, BetStars supports the majority of the conventional fare such as direct stakes, totals, futures, parlays, and props. Surprisingly, teasers aren’t available on the site. For us, this signals that BetStars perhaps has not completely adapted to the NJ market, as teasers are predominantly tied to popular American sport such as soccer and basketball.
Also, players large on gambling props may be mildly disappointed, as while BetStars NJ does provide a healthy variety of obscure team and individual bets, that number remains less than half what we’ve seen at other novels.
In-play, a gambling format where players can place wagers on a game in-progress, is all of 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 barely mind-blowing, job with in-play. Technically, everything appears around snuff, with bets upgrading, and the host reacting swiftly to in-play wager asks, so much so, that there was never really a question of whether we’d be shut out of a line.
Yet, for a European operator using oodles of money, we just expected a bit more variety. In fairness, for the bigger contests the program will not offer an adequate swatch of in-play options, and we are sure that amount will enhance even further over time, however, the ordinary contest might only encourage half-a-dozen in-play bets or less. Better than nothing, but hardly enough to distinguish BetStars NJ from the bunch.
Thanks to the cash out feature on BetStars NJ, players finally have a valid way to rapidly modulate their risk. Cash out functions pretty much just how one might anticipate, granting players the option on direct and championships (pre-game and reside ) 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 lost.
The exact amount of a cash out is a manifestation of the original wager 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 out a cash will probably pay close to the amount if the bet was actually won. Flip the script and you may get a couple bucks back for every hundred wagered.
Twist & Bet
What would a Stars program be without some sort of slot machine mechanic?
Twist & Bet is perfect for action junkies which don’t mind giving a bit for the chance of winning a whole lot. How it works is that bettors allocate 10 percent of the wager to the fates. Afterward, BetStars NJ determines via RNG when the remaining 90 percent of that wager will receive an improved payout, should it win. A little less than half of the time (47.7percent ) it won’t, but the other instances, it is going to receive a bump between 1.2x and 10x.
Obviously the odds of hitting a top multipler are significantly lower compared to a smaller augmentation. For instance, the odds of landing on 1.5x are a respectable 7.5%, but players just have a 1 in 1,000 chance of scoring that elusive 10x multiplier.
Give BetStars NJ charge for implementing a feature that introduces an added element of pleasure to sports betting, which generally will see players trade 10% of the bet for augmented payouts more than half of the time — bad.
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BetStars NJ promos
There is perhaps no other NJ online sportsbook that does promotions as well as BetStars NJ. Beyond its lucrative welcome bundle, the program offers players a multitude of strategies to boost their chances of succeeding. 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 glimpse of the Kinds of promos players can expect on the routine:
Matched free bet: Bet a certain amount, receive a free bet in compliance with the dimensions of the initial wager. As an example, BetStars NJ rolled out a voucher at start where players would receive a $5 free wager on their initial $25 at wagers, weekly. Expect more of those simple, yet generous, promotional kinds later on.
Deposit bonus: Deposit a certain amount and receive a percentage bonus, capped at a predetermined amount. Usually comes affixed with a small wagering requirement.
Odds Boost: More regularly occurring event than marketing, BetStars NJ often grants players greater chances on a range of prop bets for favorite contests. Be on the lookout for the crimson fire emblem beside an event, as that suggests Odds Boosts stakes are readily available.
Super Boost: Much like Odds Boosts, except more tailored toward gamers. Instead of winning improved payouts on straight bets, players who opt-in to Super Boosts will net a bigger score whenever they strike a parlay.
Beyond the above, we have also seen the occasional high-value one-off. A fantastic example could be 100/1 Super Bowl Winner, which provided players 100/1 chances on the first $5 of a Super Bowl future wager. That’s a fairly major deal considering several teams have been listed at 10/1 or much better, opening the door for players to acquire 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 all expect BetStars NJ to do the same. In its stead will be Stars Rewards, a loyalty program that tailors rewards around how players wager, across all TSG solutions.
In its heart, the program relies on earning enough rewards points through real-money play to fill up a progress bar and make a Chest. In the Chest will be a swatch of personalized rewards, which may include StarsCoin (which is the company’s virtual currency), free play, and other special prizes.
But let’s step back for a second, as saying that the rewards are fully personalized would be a bit of a misnomer. Instead, it’s more of a personalized range of rewards, together with the exact prizes within that range determined by chance. There are six levels of Chests, ranging from a Red Chest, which may hold around $50 in rewards, to some Platinum Chest, which is potentially worth $1,000. However, winning the most total is a 1 in 10,000 crapshoot. More commonly, Red Chests will be valued at a under a quarter, and sometimes even Platinum Chests will only be worth $62 or less 95% of their time, with added featured rewards (which are offered frequently ) bolstering the ordinary prize amount.
In order to earn Chest upgrades players will have to first win four Chests in a day. They could ease the process of making upgrades by employing Boosts, which twice the rate at which rewards points are earned. If this all sounds complicated, it’s — or at least the internal workings are. But in terms of making rewards, it’s as straightforward as wagering real-money about the app and seeing exactly what you get.
We expect Stars Rewards to go across all TSG products by the end of 2018.
Customer service BetStars NJ provides an array of support options, with some being more useful than others. For the most frequent inquiries there’s a FAQ, which is fairly well laid out and covers a diverse array of topics.
For gamers in need of more personalized care, their best bet may be to get in touch with an agent via Live Chat. Wait times to get in contact with a broker were on the short side, nevertheless, answers often took some time, and we’ve got the impression which more often than not, service was not properly equipped to answer our multiple-choice questions. But they were pleasant enough and did at least seem to be creating a solid effort.
There’s also a touch service form, which seems to be bugged, as we weren’t able to utilize it. In concept, players can utilize this form to compose messages to support, which is responded to via email. Together with their message, players are encouraged to choose relevant categories and sub-categories, so that it’ll be easier for support to kick the query to the appropriate department, resulting in a faster turnaround time.
BetStars NJ does allow players to call in directly. Rather they must ask for a callback.
All in all, our service experience was a mixed bag, and we anticipate somewhat better.
More about BetStars
Following Amaya’s acquisition of PokerStars in June 2014, the company began exploring opportunities outside of poker, turning its focus partly to sports wagering verticals. In August of the next year, the iGaming behemoth purchased daily dream sports (DFS) site Victiv, later rebranding it as StarsDraft.
The newly-minted StarsDraft had its official U.S. launch in September 2015, competing with the likes of business giants FanDuel and DraftKings. Just one month later, but the company made a decision to restrict operations to just four states, citing regulatory worries.
Following StarsDraft’s entry to the DFS marketplace, the company pushed forward towards supplying full-on sports betting in jurisdictions beyond the U.S., in which the sector remained explicitly illegal. While Stars had taken its first sports wager back in March 2015, it did not spin off its sportsbook as a standalone site until that November, when it purchased the BetStars.com domain.
One month later, the operation went live, offering 23 betting markets, such as eSports. The website was initially powered by tech supplied by UK sports platform provider Amelco.
True to form, PokerStars soon began innovating at the area, launching a feature named Spin & Bet — a hybrid game sport which bore similarities to the favorite Spin & Go poker games.
Additionally, it began fusing poker with sport wagering, offering betting odds on the PCA Main Event final table along with the $25K High Roller. Other innovations followed, such as BetStars Sports Jackpots, a combination between DFS and real money tournaments.
PokerStars launched its internet poker product in New Jersey in 2016 via a partnership with Atlantic City’s Resorts. When sports gambling was made lawful in the state, it continued its connection with the casino, launching its BetStars NJ Android program on September 19, 2018.
PokerStars’ sports was the funniest sports betting app to start in the Garden State, and was a part of a flurry of sportsbooks to go live during the time period.
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