BetStars are relative newcomers to the sports betting scene, especially compared to industry stalwarts like William Hill and Ladbrokes.
You’ve almost certainly heard of PokerStars, the world’s biggest poker site, who have soccer superstar Neymar as their current talisman. BetStars belong to the same company, having launched as their own brand in January 2016.
People who’ve signed up to PokerStars can actually use their existing account straight away on BetStars, removing the need to sign up.
BetStars have cleverly positioned their offer for new bettors. You don’t actually get an offer for ‘signing up’; you get it for the first sports bet you place. This works well because it equally benefits existing PokerStars customers who want to try their hand at sports betting.
The BetStars beginner offer is basic, but reasonable. Place a bet of at least £10, and you’ll receive a Free Bet of £20 to use on any sport you like.
Of course, this offer comes with plenty of rules:
Generally speaking, the BetStars sign up offer isn’t anything to write home about. Most sites offer free bets of £20 at the very least when you sign up. The conditions of the BetStars Free Bet – particularly that it must be made at odds of 2.00 or more – seem overly restrictive.
It’s not a bad sign up offer, but it’s unlikely to get crowds pouring through their digital doors.
BetStars’ ongoing promotions aren’t extensive by any means, but they have some appealing deals, especially when it comes to accumulators.
Amongst their current offerings:
Put three or more teams in your accumulator, and if it comes off you’ll receive a bonus on your winnings, in the form of Free Bets. The size of your accumulator decides the size of your bonus: trebles only gets you a 5% bonus, but 10 correct choices will net you a hefty 60%.
(Note: you can’t use Free Bets for this accumulator offer, and each part of the accumulator must have odds of at least 1/10)
If you spend your Sunday evenings glued to Sky Sports watching a bunch of enormous men chucking a pigskin around, this offer’s for you!
Bet on 5 or more games, across the NFL, NBA, MLB or NHL, in an acca, and if you only miss on one game, you’ll get your stake back in the form of a Free Bet
(Note: the maximum Free Bet you’ll get back is £50, and each leg of the accumulator must have odds of at least 1/2)
If the sport of kings is your thing, this one should appeal.
Bet on any race across the UK or Ireland, and if your chosen horse falls, or is brought down, or unseats the jockey, your stake will be refunded as a Free Bet.
(Note: only applies to single bets, and the maximum amount you can get as a Free Bet is £25)
The BetStars mobile app is available on iOS and Android devices.
BetStars’ app isn’t specifically designed just for sports betting; it’s basically been incorporated into the main PokerStars app. In practice this doesn’t detract from your ability to bet on the move. It’s actually a good thing if you’re interested in playing poker or casino games alongside your sports wagering, allowing you to switch quickly between the various areas.
Their app includes all the normal features you’ve come to expect, including in-play betting and the ability to cash out early if things aren’t going your way.
BetStars have clearly done their homework on the more established brands in the market. Their own offering is streamlined and easy to use, but there’s nothing to especially distinguish it from its competitors.
BetStars currently has 29 different markets on which you can bet. All your old favourites are present and correct, including:
This represents a fine spread, and probably covers every major event you’re likely to fancy wagering on. Their offering is dwarfed, however, by other industry giants like bet365. Some exclusions are fairly surprising, like greyhound racing. Others – like futsal and Gaelic sports – are admittedly more niche, but it’s always nice to have the option!
In-play betting is, of course, included for most markets, with scores and odds on ongoing matches constantly being updated.
Live streaming of ongoing events is unavailable, however. This has become a pretty standard feature for premium online betting services, so its exclusion from BetStars’ offering is surprising.
Having already conquered the world of online poker with PokerStars, Amaya Gaming clearly wanted to diversify their portfolio with a dive into the world of sports betting.
With BetStars being such a young company, details on its operations and how successful it’s been are thin on the ground. The fact that it’s a part of Amaya Gaming, however, gives you a lot on confidence. Amaya are the world’s biggest publically-listed online gambling company. You can’t really ask for more than that; it’s fair to say that they probably know what they’re doing!
BetStars are a tricky company to weigh up.
On the one hand, they don’t offer any one thing to make them stand out above their more experienced competitors. Their sign up offer is perfectly fine, but it’s not enough to make up for some much-missed features. Chief amongst these missing features is, of course, live streaming.
They do offer a fine service, however. Their interface, both on computers and on mobile devices, is easy to use and visually appealing. They have in-play betting and all the major markets locked down. Their pedigree, as being a sister company to the fantastic PokerStars, suggests great things going forward. If you’re an existing customer of PokerStars, it’s quick and easy to simply hop over to BetStars and try it out.
The bottom line is that, right now, there are more appealing places out there to place your bets. This is definitely one to keep an eye on, though. The future may well be bright for BetStars.
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