Betstars is an all-in-one gaming portal; one which offers casino and poker games as well as major sports betting markets. The sportsbook wing of this website launched in 2016, and it is primarily the sportsbook section of PokerStars, which we're certain that Irish online poker players will be more than familiar with. Betstars offers sports bets on over 25 major sporting events, including live bets. Admittedly, the design and interface of the sportsbook is a little muddled, but once you've placed a few bets, you'll soon find your feet.
Betstars is licensed out of Malta, and can offer players both instant play and mobile sports betting action. The website can be played in English, French, Finnish, German, Swedish, Hungarian and Russian, although only English will be appealing to Irish players. Likewise, the euro currency will be Irish players currency of choice, even though UK pounds sterling are also accepted at this sportsbook.
It may not be a promotion per se, but the Spin & Bet feature is very much a part of the set up over at Betstars. This allows players to place a bet, and potentially multiply their bet at the cost of 10% of their stake. All players with winning bets can then, in theory, compete to win the sizeable pot.
As for proper promotions and bonuses, Irish players are going to find the welcome bonus competitive and generous. All new players can claim €20 in free bets (two €10 bets) when they wager €20 or more on matches with 1/2 odds.
For football fans, there is a money back offer worth up to €20 if a goal scored after 80 minutes leads to a win in Premier League games, whilst an accumulator bonus worth up to 100% is also available on selected football markets. Tennis accumulators can also be worth 100% bonuses, whilst special American sports-related promotions are prevalent during their respective seasons. With many daily, weekly, monthly and sports event tied promos, the list is seemingly endless over at Betstars.
The interface is a bit of a let-down, but it's hardly the end of the world. Betstars lobby is white in colour, and that can sometimes be problematic when you're showcasing a lot of information. The menus aren't particularly brilliant either, but like we've said, once you get used to it, you can navigate around the hot picks, popular links, promo offers and live in-play bets with ease. If there was an aspect where Betstars could improve, this would be it.
Most major sporting markets are covered over at Betstars. American football, badminton, baseball, basketball, biathlon, bowls, boxing/UFC, cricket, cycling, darts, e-sports, floorball, football, futsal, golf, handball, horse racing, ice hockey, motor sports, rugby league, rugby union, snooker, specials, table tennis, tennis and volleyball are all offered at Betstars. Unfortunately, there doesn't appear to be any Irish specials, which means sports like Gaelic football are seemingly excluded from Betstars. Irish players do have access to the Irish football and rugby leagues, though, which is something.
Odds can be displayed as fractional, decimalised or American at Betstars. This seems to be the industry standard, although, with Americans excluded from playing there, and not too many fans of American sports bets at the site, Irish players are likely to go for either fractional or decimalised odds.
Unlike some of its more popular rivals, Betstars does not have the right to stream games and matches live. However, they do provide a stats-centre in the lobby and via the in-play betting tab, where you can at least keep track of your ongoing live bets.
There is no mobile app for Betstars, but the sportsbook is mobile-friendly, in a manner of speaking. Irish players can access the sportsbook via their mobile phones, but the layout is crowded and not exactly ideal for gaming on the go. This is perhaps another area (alongside live streaming) where Betstars may wish to broaden their horizons.
The cash out feature came to Betstars back in 2016, so it's been in place for a while now. With this feature, players can cash out their bets early. It is important to note that the cash out feature is not available on all bets, and is primarily used to reduce your losses at the sportsbook when things turn against you.
Most of the major payment methods are accepted at Betstars, with players able to use bank transfers, Entropay, Maestro, MasterCard, Neteller, PayPal, Paysafecard, Skrill and VISA to deposit funds. Wire transfers withdrawals are possible, and the only option not available for withdrawals appear to be Entropay and Paysafecard. You shouldn't encounter fees for depositing or withdrawing from this site.
Being a new sportsbook, Betstars can be forgiven for not having everything up and running just yet (such as live streaming and a messy lobby). There are, at least, no issues regarding security at this site, which is top notch. Licensed by the MGA (Malta Gaming Authority) everything at Betstars is top of the line in that regard, with better security than most of their rivals.
Customer support is available around the clock via live chat. However, you can also fill out an e-form (or send an e-mail) where you can expect a response within an hour or two. Telephone support is available, but Irish players should really need to use it since they have great live chat options at this online bookie.