PokerStars plots ‘unique’ VR offering

21 September 2018

The Stars Group has launched a preview of its new virtual reality online poker software on PokerStars, with a pledge to take the card game into the “next generation”.

PokerStars VR is a free-to-play, social poker game that enables players to handle cards and chips as they would do in the real world. Punters can also pick up tells from other players, chat in real time and handle interactive props at the table.

Other features include the option to play in five virtual reality settings: Macau 2050, The Macau Suite, The Showdown Saloon, Monte-Carlo Yacht and The Void.

The initial service will be offered as a No-Limit Hold’em version for invitees. The multiplayer game is currently in a closed beta with 100 playing and testing the game via Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Steam.

The Stars Group did not put a timeline on the commercial launch of the service.

Severin Rasset, director of poker innovation and operations at PokerStars, said: “PokerStars VR is a chance for us to take this amazing technology and bring something totally unique to poker players.

“Poker is about interaction. It’s been bringing people together for well over a century.

“We’re really excited to invest in the next generation of the game and to give players the opportunity to meet in a brand-new virtual reality dimension.”

A commercial launch would support Stars’ ongoing growth strategy, which also includes a focus on expanding the Sky Betting & Gaming (SBG) business.

Earlier this week, Stars said that total revenue at SBG amounted to £670.5m (€746m/$876m), up 30% on the previous year. Gross profit was also up 33.2% to $500.1m.