Eric Hollreiser, Vice President of Corporate Communications for Canadian gambling giant Amaya Inc., announced on Sunday that PokerStars, known to be the world’s biggest online card room, will undergo significant changes in 2016.
Mr. Hollreiser explained that the site will have its current VIP program eliminated and replaced by a new one. In addition, the PokerStars team is to introduce new gaming products and launch “broad-based consumer marketing campaigns”, including ones featuring football stars Neymar Jr. and Cristiano Ronaldo. The changes will be implemented in order for the popular poker site to be able to improve the experience of existing players and to attract new ones to its ecosystem.
Mr. Hollreiser also noted that PokerStars will launch new policies in a bid to reinforce human competition by limiting certain third-party software programs that sometimes offers some players unfair advantage over others.
Commenting on the new VIP Steps program, Mr. Hollreiser said that it would be the most obvious change for 95% of their players. Apart from the new loyalty program, the site will also replace its current variable FPP currency with a constant one called StarsCoin.
All VIP players – from BronzeStar to GoldStar ones – will receive similar rewards to the ones they are granted now. Yet, Mr. Hollreiser said that PokerStars’ loyalty program will be revamped in a manner that will “encourage competitive play over high volume play.”
The executive pointed out that their highest volume and high stake players will have their rewards significantly reduced. Thus, the world’s biggest online poker room wants to reward players’ skills rather than their playing for volume. According to the popular site, this is the whole idea of poker – to demonstrate your skills while playing against other people who want to demonstrate their own skills.
The changes in PokerStars’ VIP Club will become effective as of January 1, 2016.
As mentioned above, the online poker room also plans to introduce certain changes towards limiting the use of third-party software that gives advantage of some players over their opponents. Mr. Hollreiser noted that technology could aid people, but it should not take over. The executive revealed that the third-party software policy will be changed some time in 2016.
Last but not least, PokerStars is planning to invest even more in marketing campaigns that will attract the attention of new players and re-ignite the interest of lapsed ones. Mr. Hollreiser added that their investment will also include important research and development activities and initiatives, with some of those to be rolled out early in 2016, including a new PokerStars-branded app that will significantly change poker in its current form.