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Disclaimer: PlayStar Casino is not yet online in the U.S. This preview is speculative based on what we know so far and will be updated when PlayStar launches here.
In early 2021, PlayStar Casino entered into a multi-year agreement with Ocean Casino Resort in New Jersey. Thanks to this new partnership, PlayStar hopes to launch its online casino in the Garden State later in 2021, pending approval from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.
Once it launches, PlayStar Casino will become the third online casino operating with the Ocean Casino Resort as its land-based partner. Located on Atlantic City’s famed boardwalk, the casino first opened in 2018 and has both the Ocean Online Casino and the Parx Online Casino as skins.
Not to be confused with the similarly named company based in Taiwan, PlayStar Gaming is headquartered in Stockholm. The company has professed a desire to distinguish itself from other online casinos by focusing on providing a customized experience to each player. Among its stated goals is to deliver “personalization, engagement and exemplary customer service that makes players feel like the star of the show.”
PlayStar Gaming has partnered with the Gaming Innovation Group, a Malta-based online gambling technology company, to power PlayStar Casino. After it goes live in New Jersey, PlayStar plans to launch in other states starting in 2022.
Here’s an overview of what those who visit PlayStar Casino should expect to find, including discussion of welcome bonuses and other promotions, site features and game selection, and information about banking options and customer support.
While PlayStar Casino has yet to announce any welcome bonuses, it will no doubt offer some incentive to new customers. In such a crowded online casino market as New Jersey, sites must offer welcome bonuses in order to be competitive. Most likely PlayStar Casino will follow the pattern set by other NJ online casinos and offer both a no deposit bonus and a matching deposit bonus.
For the no deposit bonus, most sites simply offer a $10 bonus for creating an account. You can usually use the bonus money on any of the available games. Sometimes you can claim any winnings right away, while in other cases you must satisfy a playthrough requirement to withdraw any winnings.
With its namesake online casino, Ocean Casino Resort offers a more involved no deposit bonus called a welcome week bonus. The bonus includes free spins on popular slots like Starburst, Gonzo’s Quest and Dead or Alive, plus free wagers on a table game and on video poker or roulette. Winnings from the bonus are subject to a playthrough requirement.
That’s a nice variation on the no deposit bonus theme, giving you a chance to try different casino games without having to risk any of your own money. PlayStar Casino may well introduce a similar offer.
Matching deposit bonuses typically reward players with a 100% match of their initial deposit up to a maximum amount. This maximum can be $500 such as at Ocean Casino Resort’s online casino, or it might go as high as $1,000 or $1,500.
The matching deposit bonus always comes with a playthrough requirement. For instance, at Ocean Casino Resort’s online casino there is a 30x playthrough requirement. That means you have to wager 30x the bonus amount in order to receive the matching deposit bonus. Some games help you satisfy the playthrough requirement at a faster rate than others. For example, slots tend to count more quickly than roulette or other table games.
These bonuses usually have a time limit to meet the requirement, as well. For instance, you may have one week or 30 days to satisfy the playthrough requirement and claim the bonus. Expect PlayStar Casino to offer some form of 100% matching deposit bonus to new players.
PlayStar Casino will also no doubt offer ongoing bonuses and promotions to regular players, again as part of the effort to compete with other online casinos. Such promotions typically include some of the following offers:
Sites often award free spins for depositing or satisfying some other criteria. Risk-free wagers typically involve accepting an invitation to play a certain game and getting a set amount of losses refunded as site credits. Game-specific bonuses similarly encourage you to play a certain game, sometimes by offering the chance to win extra just for playing.
Players can also opt in to participate in daily leaderboards for various games, with those finishing in the top spots winning a share of cash prizes. Meanwhile refer-a-friend programs are quite common, giving you bonus funds when someone you referred signs up and deposits.
Given PlayStar Casino’s stated intention to personalize the online casino experience, that may include some player-specific promotions such as free spins on favored slots and the like.
PlayStar Casino will likely also offer some form of “VIP” or loyalty program to reward high-volume players. If it follows the pattern of Ocean Casino Resort’s online High Seas VIP Club, it would be a tier-based program in which you accrue points for your play in order to climb the levels.
The number of points you collect in a given month determines your VIP status. In turn, the higher the status, the better the rewards. In the High Seas VIP Club, for example, you are able to exchange bonus points for site credits, with the rate improving with each step up in levels.
As with similar programs at other online casinos, you receive points more quickly when playing games with higher volatility like slots and at a slower rate when playing video poker, roulette or blackjack.
Keep an eye out for a PlayStar Casino loyalty program once the site goes live. Usually you are automatically enrolled in such programs, making it worthwhile to keep track of how much you are playing and to take advantage of the bonuses these programs provide.
To sign up for a PlayStar Casino account and play online casino games, you must be at least 21 years old as required by New Jersey law. You need not enter any banking information when creating an account, although you will have to do so later before making a deposit.
You will, however, need to provide some personal information so the site knows you are who you say you are. Supplying such information is standard at all legal online casinos and helps ensure your security. Here’s what you’ll generally need to provide:
The PlayStar Casino will be accessible on a desktop or laptop computer via a web browser. You will also be able to play via mobile device by downloading the PlayStar Casino app. The app will be available for both Apple and Android devices.
To download, you can visit the PlayStar Casino website using your device and find the link to download. The site will automatically detect which version of the app you need.
Until PlayStar Casino launches in New Jersey, we can only speculate about site features. That said, having the Gaming Innovation Group as its software provider offers a few clues regarding what PlayStar Casino might look like. In addition to its many other endeavors, GIG powers multiple online casinos in Europe and elsewhere. These sites include Rizk, Guts, HighRoller, Betspin, SuperLenny, Thrills and Kaboo.
GIG sites all feature a slick design with integration between the casinos and sportsbooks and/or online poker rooms where available. Games appear in categories (e.g., slots, “jackpots” or progressive slots, table games, new games, etc.). There is a search bar to help you find favorite games quickly. There also are easy-to-spot links to promotions and account details, among other features.
Large game icons fill the front screen, much like other online casinos. The games then pop up in a new window that you can resize as you prefer. You can try most games in demo mode, letting you get a feel for them before risking any real money. The games feature state-of-the-art graphics and sound, aiming to create the same sort of experience you experience in a live casino.
When it comes to games, PlayStar Casino will benefit greatly from its partnership with GIG. If the software provider’s other online casinos provide any indication, GIG should help PlayStar provide a variety of slots, table games, video poker games and live dealer games to New Jersey players.
GIG works with a number of game suppliers like Ainsworth Gaming Technology, IGT, Evolution Gaming, NetEnt and more. Across its various online casinos, GIG features well over 1,000 slot titles. That’s a huge library, likely giving PlayStar a good selection to choose from. Expect to find many popular titles, including progressive jackpot slots.
GIG sites give players a nice selection of table games as well, with most including different varieties of the following:
Those games will surely be available at PlayStar in New Jersey, as will a variety of video poker games. When it comes to video poker, currently some GIG sites offer the following:
Worth mentioning as well are the many “first person” casino games powered by Evolution Gaming that feature 3D animations. Here are some first person games on GIG sites:
GIG online casinos also greatly emphasize live dealer games. It appears a certainty that PlayStar Casino will as well, especially given its emphasis on personalizing the gambling experience for its players. Popular live dealer options include the following:
The sites also feature live dealer Sic Bo, Mega Wheel, Dragon Tiger, and a variety of other games. It remains to be seen what live dealer games PlayStar will be able to offer under New Jersey regulations.
When it comes to depositing and withdrawing, PlayStar Casino’s selection will also be largely determined by what methods New Jersey allows. Expect there to be a minimum deposit amount (likely $10). Also expect a number of ways for players to fund their accounts. These could include some or all of the following:
Most online casinos offer multiple ways to withdraw funds, as well, although usually there are fewer options to withdraw than there are to deposit. Most NJ online casinos allow the same options for withdrawing:
There may be a minimum amount for withdrawing as well (for example, $10). Also, be aware that the amount of time necessary to process withdrawals varies.
Using PayPal or a prepaid card can sometimes take less than a day, while there are usually longer waits for an e-check (three to five days) or check (seven to 10 days). Even withdrawing by visiting the casino cage isn’t instantaneous, as you’ll have to initiate the withdrawal through the site or app first and then wait for your funds to become available. Generally speaking, using the same method to deposit and to withdraw works well.
Customer support will be another area where PlayStar Casino will need to provide a great deal in order to compete with other New Jersey online casinos. While most online casinos feature detailed FAQ sections to answer the most common queries, they also usually give players multiple ways to contact support staff should the need arise.
These methods include offering a phone number, email address and a live chat option built into the site itself. Hours vary, although some sites do provide at least one method and sometimes multiple methods 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Again, given PlayStar’s stated desire to make “players feel like the star of the show,” providing top-notch customer support will likely be a high priority.