• Home
  • News
  • Casino
  • Free-to-play PokerStars VR rebrands to Vegas Infinite

Flutter Entertainment has rebranded its free-to-play virtual reality product PokerStars VR to Vegas Infinite, as part of a “full-scale overhaul”.

Flutter said that having launched almost five years ago, the newly rebranded offering “represents the next generation in the game’s evolution as a virtual entertainment destination.”

PokerStars VR has undergone continual developments since its launch in 2018, the operator added, which has accelerated since its acquisition by Flutter in 2021.

The rebranded product includes a new, bespoke 3D virtual cityscape featuring virtual “personal player suites, luxury casinos and exclusive rooftop escapes”.

Additionally, PC players will be able to join the game’s VR users on Steam VR and Meta Quest VR without the need for a VR headset.

“From a cutting-edge experiment in applying virtual reality to the poker table, we’ve grown to become a living entertainment destination with a full suite of games and experiences played in otherworldly environments that are home to an avid community of players.”

– PokerStars director of VR and innovation James O’Reilly

In addition to those changes, Flutter has also introduced new games into the Vegas Infinite product suite including blackjack, roulette, slots, craps and its proprietary game Rocket Rush.

Spin & Go poker, multi-table tournaments, and the Metaverse Poker Tour, have also been added to the product offering.

Further, Flutter has integrated AI live chat monitoring tool ToxMod to assist its moderation team, in a bid to further improve player safety measures.

“As we approach our fifth anniversary, it’s incredible to think how far our game has come,” said PokerStars director of VR and innovation James O’Reilly.

“From a cutting-edge experiment in applying virtual reality to the poker table, we’ve grown to become a living entertainment destination with a full suite of games and experiences played in otherworldly environments that are home to an avid community of players. 

“Today, we’re much more than poker and much more than VR. Vegas Infinite is where we’re taking our players next and there’s lots more in store.”

Flutter Entertainment-owned PokerStars VR is set to be a launch title for Facebook owner Meta’s Quest Pro mixed reality headset, which is expected to launch on 25 October.

The firm’s free-to-play virtual and mixed-reality social casino game will be one of a select few game titles chosen to launch alongside the flagship device, which was revealed by Meta yesterday (11 October).

The Quest Pro, which comes with an eye-watering $1,499 price tag (compared to existing headset the Quest 2 which starts at $399), brings the added benefit of mixed reality capability, allowing digital content to be overlaid on the real world.

Meta chief Mark Zuckerberg has described mixed reality as “the next major step for VR”.

Flutter said Lucky VR, the developers of PokerStars VR, have been working behind the scenes to come up with new ways of taking advantage of the headset’s capabilities and integrate them into the free-to-play casino game.

PokerStars director of VR and innovation James O’Reilly: “Our goal with PokerStars VR is to push the potential of new technologies as far as we can to create a fun and authentic social casino game that really is limitless.”

PokerStars VR players using the Quest Pro will be able to choose between a fully immersive virtual reality experience, a partially immersive experience that brings objects or spaces from the physical world into the game through “passthrough windows”, and a full mixed reality experience allowing players to bring virtual game elements into their own world.

Further, face and eye-tracking technology will add an additional dimension to the game, allowing players to make and see more realistic facial expressions in their customised avatars.

Players will be able to smile, frown, and glance at their cards as they would at a real poker table.

Flutter added that advanced haptics will also add to richer, more engaging gameplay with players getting the full experience of the hundreds of toys, props and items available.

“Our goal with PokerStars VR is to push the potential of new technologies as far as we can to create a fun and authentic social casino game that really is limitless,” said James O’Reilly, director of VR and innovation at PokerStars.

“We’re extremely proud to be part of the launch of Meta’s Quest Pro, which is a transformation in virtual and mixed reality. Our developers have been having great fun exploring what this technology means for our players and we can’t wait to show them what we have in store.”

PokerStars VR offers players a variety of free-to-play casino games in addition to poker. Roulette, Blackjack and slots also feature, while last week the brand announced the addition of craps to its list of available games.

Entain has promised to spend £100m on a new global innovation hub called Ennovate to explore metaverse entertainment projects in collaboration with leading tech firms.

Ennovate will provide the FTSE 100 operator with a platform from which to design and launch innovative NFT and virtual reality (VR) products and experiences across its portfolio of online gambling brands.

The first concept has been unveiled today (31 January) by partypoker, which Entain said will go live with an NFT collection to showcase some of the most iconic moments and tournament hands in the history of the brand.

This will be accompanied by the launch of unique digital avatars called PokerApes, tapping into the trend kickstarted by Bored Ape Yacht Club, a collection of 10,000 unique NFTs hosted on the Ethereum blockchain.

The partypoker NFTs have been developed in association with Theta Labs, a video delivery firm powered by blockchain and one of three tech companies working alongside Entain on the Ennovate project. The other two are Verizon and BT, which will focus on delivering the new technology via 5G connectivity.

Not-for-profit organisations are also collaborating with Ennovate, using technology for innovations which bring societal and environmental benefits. All external partners will collaborate with Entain’s own tech team and use the Ennovate Hub to conceive, develop, experiment, and launch their innovations.

“We want to lead the way with new, exciting products and experiences for customers and use our cutting-edge technology to pioneer innovations in sport, gaming and interactive entertainment for the metaverse,” said Entain CEO Jette Nygaard-Andersen.

“We also want to use our position as a global technology leader to help drive innovation more widely. Working with partners around the globe, Ennovate will demonstrate how Entain’s industry-leading technology can both revolutionise experiences for consumers and deliver real benefits to society,” she added.

Ennovate’s first dedicated innovation lab will be located in Farringdon – one of London’s tech hotspots – with £40m of the overall investment earmarked for UK-specific projects.

It will host on-site experimentation work involving around 50 full-time Entain developers and software engineers.

The London base will open in the spring and is being fitted with cutting-edge technology so that customers, investors and partners can trial new immersive gaming experiences.

This will include a virtual reality room and a VR multi-sports club experience, according to Entain, which could then be spun out into the operator’s retail estate later in the year.

The Ennovate hub will also serve as an accelerator and incubator of disruptive technology start-ups from the summer, with an initial commitment of £5m guaranteed by Entain.

“Our goal is to bring the most exciting experiences in immersive sport, gaming and interactive entertainment to life as the metaverse takes shape,” said Entain COO Sandeep Tiku.

“Working with partners we believe we can achieve great things faster, both for customers and to apply these technologies and skills to benefit wider society,” he added.

Justin Dellario, who is MD of esports at Entain following the operator’s undisclosed acquisition of Unikrn last year, is scheduled to speak at our iGaming NEXT New York City event in May.