PokerStars Buys Into Hippodrome, Launching Live Poker Room
Online giant PokerStars already rules the virtual felt -- with more players than its 10 largest competitors combined -- and now it’s turning its sights on live poker in casinos.
The company recently announced it has signed a partnership agreement with Hippodrome, the UK’s largest brick-and-mortar casino, and bought a small percentage of the company shares.
PokerStars will run its own branded poker room in the casino with plans to run a variety of tournaments and special events.
The existing Hipppodrome poker room will be refurbished and branded by PokerStars to tap into the thriving poker scene in the UK as well as PokerStars’ global database of nearly 50 million players.
PokerStars has also taken an equity investment in Hippodrome as part of the deal, with plans to launch a live tournament schedule there in early 2013.
Online players will be able to win trips to events at PokerStars as well as through a new online poker offering branded by Hippodrome and powered by PokerStars.
Guy Templer of PokerStars had the following to say about the planned venture:
“The Hippodrome has dramatically raised the quality bar for the UK casino industry. So together we will give poker players the same great poker experience, live 24/7 in the heart of London that they get from PokerStars online.
"We are looking forward to unveiling some great new live events for the UK poker market in 2013.”
Hippodrome recently underwent a $50 million refurbishment that expanded its gaming space to about 90,000 square feet, making it one of the UK’s largest casinos.
Located on Leicester Square in London’s West End district, it has had a colorful history since it opened its doors in 1900, serving as a circus, theater and nightclub before its most recent transformation into a casino.