A Closer Look At How The New BetStars Spin & Go Format Works

Amaya Launches New Game Innovation On BetStars: Spin & Bet

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BetStars, otherwise known as the sports betting arm of the Amaya-owned PokerStars brand, has launched a new game innovation entitled Spin & Bet sports wagering.

Spin & Bet overview

The new format adds a layer of gambling to traditional sports betting. Players who make straight bets will have the chance to multiply the odds, and subsequently their winnings, by a factor of up to 10.

Upon placing a bet, bettors can choose to enable the Spin & Bet feature. Doing so will cause a small reel to spin, ultimately revealing an odds multiplier of 1x, 1.5x, 2x, 5x or 10x. If a bettor opts to “spin” the wheel, 10  percent of the stake will be applied toward the jackpot.

As an example, if a player bets $20 on a 3/1 shot and selects the Spin & Bet feature, the bet will be reduced to $18. Should the spin reveal a 1x multiplier, the bet remains $18 and the potential payout is $54 +$18 stake back, for a total of $72 minus the house take.

If the bettor is lucky enough to spin a 10x multiplier, the odds are increased to 30/1, resulting in a payout of (30 * $18) + $18, or $558 before house fees.

The odds of spinning each multiplier, as per the Spin & Bet informational page, are as follows:

  • 1x: 80%
  • 1.5x: 10%
  • 2x: 8.5%
  • 5x: 1%
  • 10x: .5%

A short video explaining the format can be found here.

More sports betting twists coming

According to PokerStars Director of Group Business Development and Strategy Guy Templer, additional online sports betting products are in the pipeline:

“We’re convinced our customers will love the new product as it brings a new and exciting dimension to betting for sports fans around the world. This is only the first in a number of exciting, unique products that we expect to introduce in 2016 to distinguish the BetStars brand from its competitors.”

Sports betting isn’t the only vertical in which Amaya hopes to introduce new products this year. In a November blog post, Amaya VP of Corporate Communications Eric Hollreiser stated that the company will be releasing a “standalone PokerStars branded app that we believe will bring a brand new twist to poker” sometime in early 2016.

Also, an entirely new poker product is on tap to launch sometime in the next 12 months.

This all sounds very familiar

It should. The Spin & Bet innovation is heavily based on the lottery style Spin & Go format found on PokerStars.

Launched in September 2014, Spin & Go’s brought lottery style sit & go’s to the mainstream. Today, they’re so widely popular that PokerStars devotes a significant chunk of its marketing dollars to promoting the format. This, despite widespread criticisms that the format is nothing more than a high variance cash grab designed to attract losing players whilst pulling traffic away from more skillful games.

It therefore comes as little surprise that the format has undergone a re-imagining as a sports betting device. However, in my estimation, Spin & Bet lacks much of the appeal of Spin & Go’s, for a few reasons:

  • The top end multipliers for Spin & Bet’s are significantly lower than for Spin & Go’s, which during certain promotions, can pay out upwards of 2,000,000x.
  • Sports bettors already have a multitude of ways in which to turn a little into a lot.
  • There is a sense of added adrenaline associated with Spin & Go’s, as players must still compete after learning the multiplier. In all but a few scenarios, only the winner of a Spin & Go receives a prize.

That being said, the Spin & Bet innovation should prove effective at piquing the curiosity of Spin & Go aficionados, if only because the formats bear surface similarities.

The possibility of crossover with casino also exists, given the gambling nature of the game.

- Robert DellaFave is a game designer and avid poker player. He writes for several publications centered on legal US online poker and the regulated online gambling industries in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
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