BetStars, sister manufacturer of renowned internet poker site PokerStars, might be a relative newcomer to the online sports betting space, but in just a couple of short years it has closed the gap between the giants of the European sport booking industry.
With the debut of BetStars NJ on September 13, 2018, it starts down a journey to acquire the same big-name status here in the states. BetStars NJ is the New Jersey sports betting arm of The Stars Group (TSG), also represents an expansion of TSG’s gaming venture with Resorts Casino in Atlantic City. The publication’s launching in New Jersey includes a mere four months after the U.S. Supreme Court pulled the plug on PASPA, monitoring the debut of first mover DraftKings Sportsbook by roughly six months.
The expected sports gambling app lives up to its namesake in many ways, but for every two pros there’s a con. The program’s proprietary stage is in many ways second-to-none, featuring a lot of account management characteristics, cool innovations, and first-class integration with the TSG’s present NJ online poker product. BetStars NJ is also an innovative program, offering players adventures they simply won’t find elsewhere. Bet variety? Solid cashiering? Good promotions? BetStars NJ has it all.
Nevertheless, less than leading pricing in spots, lackluster support, along with an occasionally dizzying user interface rips the book down a peg. There’s still more good than bad, but a small refinement may be in order.
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How it works
BetStars has obtained a conventional route with its latest welcome bonus, but that’s not necessarily a terrible thing. The website offers a full refund up to $500 on a participant’s first bet, pending that wager loses. If the wager wins, players can receive whatever they are owed in keeping with the likelihood, but won’t lock a bonus. Liken it to a freeroll.
There are a couple caveats worth knowing about, most of which don’t diminish the offer. For starters, the free wager can only be used on straights and parlays. Spin & Bet and round robins are not eligible.
Also, players who made their first deposit with Neteller or Skrill aren’t qualified for the offer. This is a very odd nuance, and one which could go easily overlooked without prior understanding. On the other hand, it doesn’t appear that there are any chances restrictions tied to the free bet. So if you want to play it safe and bet to a heavy popular with -500 chances, feel free to do so — only know that only the winnings from free stakes will land in your cash balance, and not the free bet amount itself.
What is special about BetStars online sportsbook?
Great (and numerous) promotions: Barely anyone does promotions quite like BetStars NJ. From straightforward matched free bets, to big brand new player sign up bonuses, and an assortment of creative one-off events, there appears to always be numerous offers running, many of which can be stacked, and all of which provide very good value for deal-seeking bettors.
Innovation: BetStars NJ offers a variety of advanced functionality. A number of its innovations, like”Cash Out” can be found at a few other NJ online sports gambling sites, while some, such as Spin & Bet and Odds Boost Stacks are special to this operator.
Integration: The BetStars NJ program is intimately connected to the popular PokerStars NJ online poker program, and shares a wallet with the exact same. We are expecting TSG to proceed even farther 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 stakes of any operator, but it nevertheless offers a ton, among those imaginative multi-part props that frequently receive boosted odds. This, together with the creations BetStars NJ brings to the table, introduces a degree of fun that’s absent on more traditional NJ online sports betting sites.
What is not so special?
Some of the lines on single-game bets are not terrific.
Weak prop gambling.
No PayPal … yet.
BetStars NJ Sportsbook: Software photo The BetStars NJ program looks and works about as well as you might expect from a business renowned for its proprietary and cutting-edge gaming platforms. Well, perhaps nearly too.
Upon logging it (or just opening the program ), gamers will be treated to a homepage which highlights the programs greatest promotions, its popular stakes (broken out tabularly by game ), 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 lot of information into a tight space without putting too much strain on the eyes.
BetStars NJ App Homepage
Aesthetically and functionally this is a beautiful app, with a vibrant yet readable colour scheme, plenty of graphical icons, and that amount of responsiveness TSG goods are known for. Account management features — and there are lots of them — are neatly tucked away within a readily accessible side-menu, while key markets are recorded at the peak of the screen. Additionally, players can easily access PokerStars NJ in the program, using the duo sharing a common wallet. Cashier access, promotional tabs, and consumer 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. 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 problem however. What’s more, the program is somewhat unwieldy is spots. Detecting a current market, and straight bets within that market is a breeze. However, the bets for a single game are sort of just lumped together, occasionally making it hard to locate a bet of your liking. It is good for less popular contests, but for instance, and NFL sport, filters are fine.
Otherwise, BetStars NJ does an admirable job of grouping futures bets, and the combo of this Calendar and Highlights tabs works wonderfully for bettors looking to plan out some greater value stakes.
The significant no-no at launching was that BetStars NJ was originally only available for Android powered apparatus, together with iOS and pc accessibility additional afterwards. We’re pretty sure that this is a reflection of everyone rushing to market in time for NFL Season 2018-19, and subsequently releasing unfinished products. This black mark was later addressed with BetStars NJ now on the appropriate platforms.
Depositing and withdrawing at BetStars online sportsbook in NJ
As a result of its integration with all the PokerStars NJ platform, BetStars NJ didn’t start from scratch using its cashier, and it shows. There is a robust array of safe and reliable depositing and withdrawal options listed on the program, with the sole noteworthy exception being PayPal, however, that is supposedly coming soon. When it does, BetStars NJ will rank up there with Play SugarHouse Sports as supplying the ideal payment processing rollout from the biz.
PAYMENT METHOD DEPOSIT? WITHDRAWAL? MIN. DEPOSIT
ACH (eChecks) Yes $10
Visa/MasterCard Yes No $10
PokerStars Play+ Yes $10
Neteller Yes Yes $10
Skrill Yes Yes $10
Online Bank Transfer Yes No $10
PayNearMe Yes No $10
Cash @ Resorts Cage Yes $10
BetStars NJ will conveniently store the most recently used deposit procedures, enabling bettors to put subsequent deposits much quicker than they would be able to otherwise. Deposits generally validate inside a blink of an eye, quicker than on any other program we have played .
One little drawback is that BetStars NJ sets first deposit limits quite low. Being limited to between $500 — $640 per day and $2,000 a month for most methods feels a little too restrictive. High rollers are most likely best off with Skrill, which puts a $15,000 monthly limitation, or of going down to Resorts AC, where they could deposit up to $30,000 a shot ($100,000 monthly limitation ). Of course, players may also request increased limits, and support will normally oblige, pending all of their prior deposits processed.
What are the traces like at BetStars NJ?
Players looking for always great lines across the board may be somewhat disappointed by BetStars NJ. While its NFL point spreads and totals are usually par for the market, the cash lines we detected so far for MLB, NFL, and other sports are pretty mediocre: Generally, they are still a signal better than the currency lines posted on DraftKings Sportsbook, but amounts worse than on FanDuel Sportsbook and Caesars.
This isn’t to mention that BetStars NJ is devoid of high value chances, far from it. Besides myriad promotions, many of which significantly fortify a player’s expected value, the app will sometimes post a really competitive pre-game currency line. So keep an eye out. Not to mention, players who like to roll the dice on fancy prop bets, will often get to do this on BetStars NJ at better chances, thanks to the app’s Odds Boost creation. And we can assure you that Odds Boosts aren’t only a once-in-a-while gimmick. No, instead it looks like all major market games feature a variety of these low juice wagers.
Regular old fashioned bets are probably best avoided since the traces on even odds outcomes generally hover around -120, which isn’t excellent. And in-game odds are predictably worse than their pre-game counterparts, but not by any substance level more than they’re 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 (including NCAA)
Soccer (multiple leagues)
Bet variety at BetStars online sportsbook
BetStars NJ may be a small light on markets, but it nearly makes up for this by providing an array of bets within each market, a few of which are introduced via betting formats that can’t be appreciated elsewhere. Does it match the many stakes of any NJ online sportsbook? No, definitely not, but it ranks near the center, and especially excels in the football market.
Concerning gaming formats, BetStars supports the majority of the standard fare such as straight bets, totals, futures, parlays, and props. Surprisingly, teasers aren’t available on the website. To us, this signals that BetStars maybe hasn’t completely adapted to the NJ market, as teasers are primarily connected to popular American sports such as soccer and basketball.
Also, players large on betting props may be somewhat disappointed, as while BetStars NJ does provide a healthy number of vague team and individual stakes, that amount is still less than half of what we’ve seen at other books.
In-play, a betting format where players may place wagers on a match in-progress, is all of the rage of late. So it was little surprise to locate the option featured front-and-center on the BetStars NJ app.
BetStars NJ does a serviceable, but barely mind-blowing, occupation with in-play. Technically, everything seems up to snuff, with bets upgrading, and the server responding swiftly to in-play bet asks, so much so, that there wasn’t actually a question of if we would be shut out of a line.
Yet, to get a European operator using oodles of money, we just expected a bit more variety. In fairness, for the bigger contests the app will not offer a decent swatch of in-play options, and we are sure that amount will enhance even further over time, however, the average contest might only support half-a-dozen in-play stakes or less. Better than nothing, but barely enough to differentiate BetStars NJ from the pack.
As a result of the money out feature on BetStars NJ, players finally have a valid approach to rapidly modulate their risk. Money out works pretty much how one may anticipate, allowing players the option on straight and championships (pre-game and reside ) to Get Out Of Dodge, so to speak, locking up less cash they want if they won, but over they would if the bet was lost.
The precise amount of a cash out is a reflection of the original bet dimensions and the present in-play odds. As an example, if the Philadelphia Eagles are ransacking Atlanta Falcons 35 — 10 at halfway, and you bet that the Eagles, nicely a cash out will probably pay close to the amount if the bet was actually won. Flip the script and you might find a few bucks back for every hundred .
Spin & Bet
What would a Stars app be without some sort of slot machine mechanic?
Spin & Bet is ideal for action junkies that don’t mind giving a bit for the chance of winning a whole lot. How it works is that players first allocate 10% of their wager to the fates. Then, BetStars NJ decides via RNG if the remaining 90 percent of that wager will receive an improved payout, if it win. A little less than half the time (47.7%) it will not, but the other times, it’ll be given a bump between 1.2x and 10x.
Naturally the likelihood of hitting a high multipler are substantially lower compared to a more compact enhancement. For instance, the likelihood of landing on 1.5x are a decent 7.5%, but gamers just have a 1 in 1,000 chance of scoring that elusive 10x multiplier.
Give BetStars NJ credit for implementing a feature that introduces an additional element of pleasure to sports betting, which on average will see players trade 10 percent of the bet for augmented payouts more than half the time — not bad.
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BetStars NJ promos
There’s perhaps no additional NJ online sportsbook that does promotions as well as BetStars NJ. Beyond its lucrative welcome bundle, the program offers players a multitude of ways to boost their odds of success. Its promotional vehicles run the gamut from small on-the-fly bonuses, to season long occasions designed with maximum sweat in mind.
Here’s a quick glance of the types of promos players can expect on the routine:
Matched free bet: Bet a certain amount, receive a free bet in accordance with the dimensions of the initial wager. For example, BetStars NJ rolled a voucher at launch where players could receive a $5 free wager on their initial $25 in wagers, weekly. Expect more of those simple, yet generous, promotional types later on.
Deposit bonus: Deposit a certain amount and receive a percentage bonus, capped in a predetermined amount. Usually comes affixed with a small wagering requirement.
Odds Boost: More often occurring event than promotion, BetStars NJ often grants players better odds on a range of prop bets for popular contests. Be on the lookout for the red fire emblem next to an occasion, as that indicates Odds Boosts stakes are available.
Super Boost: Much like Odds Boosts, except more tailored toward gamers. Rather than winning improved payouts on straight bets, players that opt-in to Super Boosts will net a bigger score whenever they hit 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 prospective wager. That’s a pretty big deal considering several teams have been recorded at 10/1 or much better, opening the door for players to acquire over 10x what they would normally.
It was recently announced that PokerStars NJ will be transitioning away from its existing VIP program, and we all anticipate BetStars NJ to perform the same. In its stead will be Stars Rewards, a loyalty program that tailors rewards around how players bet, across all TSG solutions.
In its core, the program relies around bringing enough rewards points through real-money perform to fill a progress bar and earn a Chest. In the Chest will be a swatch of personalized rewards, which might include StarsCoin (which is the organization’s virtual currency), free play, and other special prizes.
But let us step back for another, as saying that the benefits are fully personalized could be a small misnomer. On the contrary, it’s more of a personalized selection of rewards, with the exact prizes inside that range determined by chance. There are six levels of Chests, which range from a Red Chest, which can hold around $50 in rewards, to a Platinum Chest, which is potentially worth $1,000. But, winning the most amount is just 1 in 10,000 crapshoot. More commonly, Red Chests will probably be valued at a below a quarter, and even Platinum Card Chests will only be worth $62 or less 95 percent of the time, with added featured rewards (that can be offered frequently ) bolstering the ordinary prize sum.
To be able to bring in Chest upgrades players will have to first win four Chests in a day. They can facilitate the process of earning updates by employing Boosts, which double the pace at which rewards points are earned. If this all sounds complex, it’s — or at least the internal workings are. However, in terms of making rewards, it’s as simple as wagering real-money about the app and seeing what you get.
We expect Stars Rewards to go live across all TSG products by the end of 2018.
Customer service BetStars NJ provides a range of support options, with some being more helpful 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 needing more personalized attention, their best option may be to contact a broker via Live Chat. Wait times to get in touch with an agent were on the short side, nevertheless, answers often took a while, and we got the feeling which more often than not, support was not properly equipped to answer our trickier inquiries. Nevertheless, they were fine enough and did at least seem to be making a solid work.
There’s also a contact service form, which seems to be bugged, as we weren’t able to utilize it. In concept, players may use this form to compose messages to support, which will be responded to via email. Together with their message, gamers are invited to select relevant classes and sub-categories, so it’ll be easier for support to kick the query to the proper department, leading to a faster turnaround time.
BetStars NJ does permit gamers to call in straight. Instead they must ask for a callback.
Overall, our support experience was a mixed bag, and we all anticipate somewhat better.
More about BetStars
After Amaya’s purchase 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 next calendar year, the iGaming behemoth purchased daily fantasy sports (DFS) website Victiv, later rebranding it as StarsDraft.
The newly-minted StarsDraft had its own official U.S. launch in September 2015, competing with the likes of industry giants FanDuel and DraftKings. Only 1 month later, but the business made a decision to limit operations to only four countries, citing regulatory concerns.
After StarsDraft’s entry to the DFS market, the company pushed forward towards offering full-on sports gambling in jurisdictions outside of the U.S., where the sector remained explicitly prohibited. While Stars had shot its first sports bet back in March 2015, it did not spin off its sportsbook as a standalone website until that November, when it bought the BetStars.com domain.
One month after, the operation went offering 23 betting markets, including eSports. The website was originally powered by technology supplied by UK sports stage supplier Amelco.
True to form, PokerStars soon began innovating at the space, launching a characteristic called Spin & Bet — a hybrid sports game that bore similarities to the popular Spin & Go poker games.
In addition, it began fusing poker with sports wagering, offering betting odds about 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 merchandise 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 relationship with the casino, starting its BetStars NJ Android app on September 19, 2018.
PokerStars’ sports was the funniest sports betting app to start from the Garden State, also was part of a flurry of sportsbooks to go during the time period.
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