A long, long time ago, in an era when the World Series of Poker was a sprawling, live event, I covered the WSOP in person for this site. The hours were long and weird – I once found myself writing an article as the sun came up – but getting to experience Las Vegas in my free time was a blast. One of my most cherished memories was getting to see the legendary comedian George Carlin perform at the Stardust in 2006. The casino closed on November 1 of that year and was razed in 2007, so I feel very fortunate that I was able to attend one of his last shows at the famed casino. Now, all these years later, the Stardust name is returning to the gambling world, this time as an online gaming brand.
On Monday, Boyd Gaming Corporation and FanDuel announced that they are teaming up to launch online casinos in New Jersey and Pennsylvania with the Stardust name. They hope to flip the switch in April, but it all hinges on receiving approval from gaming regulators in each state.
Interestingly, the introduction of the Stardust online casino in New Jersey means the end of the Betfair brand. FanDuel and Betfair are both owned by Flutter Entertainment; the companies made the decision to rebrand the existing Betfair Casino in the Garden State to the Stardust brand, owned by Boyd Gaming. The reason is fairly obvious: while Betfair is a big name in the internet gambling industry, Stardust is almost certainly a more recognizable name to the general public in the United States.
“For nearly 50 years, the Stardust was one of the most famous casinos on the Las Vegas Strip,” said Boyd Gaming president and CEO Keith Smith in Monday’s announcement. “And while the resort has been gone for more than a decade, the Stardust brand is still as well-known and popular as ever. We are excited to work with our partners at FanDuel to launch our first real-money online casinos and are confident this legendary brand will give us a significant advantage in connecting with players looking for a distinctive online gaming experience.”
The Stardust online casino will launch from scratch in Pennsylvania, rather than being a rebrand like the one in New Jersey.
Both sites will use FanDuel’s player account system, front end, and apps. And all players will be able to earn points in Boyd Gaming’s “B Connected” player loyalty program.
“The new Stardust Casino will retain all of the great games that customers love on Betfair Casino, while incorporating a new stylish look that captures the glitz, glamour and nostalgia of old Las Vegas,” said Amy Howe, president of FanDuel Group.