The good news: PokerStars NJ is launching a brand new rewards program earlier than expected.
The bad news: It is due to technical issues with their current program.
The online poker giant had originally only planned on unleashing their Stars Rewards to the public closer to the end of the year. In July of this year Dylan Coady, Head of Customer Loyalty, popped up on Two Plus Two Poker forum in a popular thread to discuss some of the glitches their loyalty program was suffering from:
“I wanted to provide an update on the VIP Club/VIP Steps issue. As I’m sure you’re aware, we haven’t been able to fix the lack of surfacing of the program in the NJ client. I won’t bore you with the technical details, but the issue was unforeseen and stems from maintaining two programs (VIP Club in New Jersey, Stars Rewards everywhere else) at the same time. At this stage, we don’t expect to fix the issue before we are in fact able to launch the new Stars Rewards program in New Jersey later this year.”
Dylan Coady - Head of Customer Loyalty at PokerStars NJ
Since his first post, Coady seems to have taken a liking to the platform and has become a regular poster, often taking suggestions from players:
“This situation is far from ideal, so I appreciate your understanding. The bonus window idea an interesting suggestion that I hadn’t thought of. Will investigate and see if there’s some type of solution that would help you track your monthly progress.”
Many seem to feel that if PokerStars NJ is still investigating this problem, Star Rewards could very well not be ready for use by the public yet and that the “investigating” is nothing more than a way to buy them more time.
Well-known online site PlayNJ, known for their reviews of NJ online casinos, contacted PokerStars NJ for comment and received an email in response from an as yet unnamed representative of the company, which read:
“We can confirm that we intend to launch Stars Rewards in New Jersey by the end of the year and will offer rewards for all our NJ customers’ activity (poker, casino, and sports), but a specific launch date cannot yet be confirmed.”
In response to these glitches, PokerStars NJ has been handing out StarsCoin, the currency used by the rewards program and their online store, to those players who have been affected.
The last time PokerStars NJ had to replace a rewards program; it did not go down to well with the public. Last fall they made the surprise announcement that player rewards for those regarded as the highest volume players would be a thing of the past and that it would replace with a totally new system. As you can expect, this left a bitter taste in those high volumes. And we assuming high-profit players, with many of them switching to another NJ online casino that offered online poker or even NJ sports betting.
At the time these players were rewarded for how much they played - the more they played, the more they’d earn. Players would earn StarsCoin and use them to select a prize from the online store, which could be anything from cash to travel packages to various international tournament stops.
The StarsReward program, which replaced it when it was rolled out across the various international platforms, does not just focus on the how often someone plays but rather on several factors, including the stakes they place during play, how frequently they play and how much they deposit into their PokerStars NJ account.
Instead of being able to pick a prize from the online store, players were now awarded loot chests that would be filled with random, individually created prize options suited to the player and how they use the site.
A rewards program tailored based on a player’s activity makes sense with NJ sports, To be frank, a rewards system that is based on the activity of the player is only logical, especially when you see how NJ sports betting has taken off since it became legalized and regulated.
Recently Resorts Casino Atlantic City told the public about the extension of its partnership with The Stars Group, operators of PokerStars NJ.
First coming together back in March 2016, long before the introduction of NJ sports betting, to bring residents of New Jersey online poker. This time they have joined forces to introduce mobile and online for NJ sports betting through BetStars.
The two companies first joined forces in March 2016 to bring online poker to the Garden State. Now, they are collaborating to launch mobile and online sports betting through BetStars. BetStars is a Euro-focused branch of The Stars Group that will be used as a vehicle to enter the blooming sports betting industry in the US
And much like PokerStars entry into NJ online poker, BeStars are planning to make a big splash from day one. In their recent press release informing us of the partnership with Resorts and their role BetStars would play we were also told:
“The company anticipates providing over time, subject to required regulatory approvals, a wide range of betting products including in-play wagering, bespoke accumulators, and live streaming, as well as an ecosystem of free-to-play products and promotions and sports content for dozens of sports, including professional and NCAA football, basketball, and baseball as well as horse racing, hockey, soccer, tennis and other sporting markets.”
With it being common knowledge that sports betting is the next target for the company, it seems increasingly likely that the new rewards program will be introduced with the launch of NJ sports betting by PokerStars NJ.
PokerStars NJ may be holding their cards close to their chest but this s more than just a guess. Almost in the final quarter of the year, we should have all our questions answered in a matter of days.