Amaya Unveils Innovative New Sports Betting Product Spin & Bet

January 16, 2016
Amaya Unveils Innovative New Sports Betting Product Spin & Bet

During its 18-month ownership of PokerStars, Amaya has launched a number of new gambling products as they push into new verticals ranging from daily fantasy sports (StarsDraft) to online casino games (PokerStars Casino). Amaya’s newest endeavor is a sports betting platform called BetStars.

Entering into an already crowded market, BetStars is trying to differentiate itself from the more established online sportsbooks by adding new, innovative products. The first of these expected products was announced last week, with the launch of Spin & Bet. The product is merely an offshoot of the company’s successful Spin & Go tournaments at PokerStars, and  it seems Amaya is hopeful Spin & Bet can capitalize on the success of Spin & Go’s and perhaps continue to build the “Spin” brand for the company.

“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,” PokerStars Director of Group Business Development and Strategy Guy Templer said following the introduction of Spin & Bet.

How Spin and Bet works

For a 10% charge (the charge is taken out of the wager), a player can activate the “Spin” function, randomly triggering one of five different multipliers between 1x-10x to their new, adjusted wager. Here are percentages of having each multiplier applied to your bet:

  • 1x = 80%, or 8 in 10
  • 5x = 10%, or 1 in 10
  • 2x = 8.5%, or (roughly) 1 in 12
  • 5x = 1%, or 1 in 100
  • 10x = .5%, or 1 in 200

For example, if you bet $10 on team x at 10/1 odds and elect to activate the Spin function your bet is reduced to $9, with the odds changing to 15/1 – 100/1 odds 20% of the time, and remaining the same 80% of the time.

If you were to play out this scenario 200 times the now $9 bet would:

  • remain at 10/1 odds 160 times
  • be increased to 15/1 odds 20 times
  • be increased to 20/1 odds 17 times
  • be increased to 50/1 odds two times
  • be increased to 100/1 odds once

Will Spin & Bet catch on?

One of the reasons Spin & Go’s have been so successful for PokerStars is the jackpot-type payouts players can win. With Spin & Bet multipliers currently topping out at 10x, it’s unclear if they will be as appealing to BetStars customers.

Furthermore, as discussed on social media, the “spin” concept seems better suited to poker, where players still have decisions to make after they spin, whereas in sports betting the player’s decision making has already ended when they find out if their wager will be increased through a spin multiplier.

As Weldon explained, increasing a person’s wager will only make it more likely they will hedge their bet, which means most Spin “winners” are simply presented with what amounts to a can’t lose scenario.

The obvious solution to this would be to allow players to Spin if they win their wager; with BetStars still taking a 10% cut of the total win. Under this model, a player winning their $10, 10/1 wager ($100) could either accept the $100, or elect to Spin, which would reduce their win to $90, but potentially increase the payout by up to 10x.

This model would require BetStars to adjust the multiplier percentages, as the 10% fee wouldn’t offset the multipliers, since they are only taking 10% from winning wagers, whereas winning and losing bets are hit with the 10% Spin fee under the current model.

BetStars could solve this by skewing the percentages, or even up the ante with larger multipliers as well as the addition of a negative multiplier, perhaps adding a .5x multiplier and even a 0x multiplier to really spice things up.

Final thoughts

I’m not sure Spin & Bet, at least in its current form, is the game changer for sports betting that Spin & Go’s have been for poker, but it’s a pretty solid first step if Amaya is truly interested in sports betting disruption.

Spin & Bet certainly has many interested in seeing what other changes the company has in store.

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