PokerStars Sees Surge in its Non-Poker Products

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PokerStars Sees Surge in its Non-Poker Products

This year, Amaya Inc. announced its last quarter results for 2016 and overall result for the whole of the year, and it made excellent news for the Canadian company with its Q4 revenues rising by 5.9 percent to $310 million, and by 7.8 percent to $1.15 billion for 2016. Furthermore, Amaya had reached a total of more than 108.1 million registered customers by the end of Q4. While the company’s poker-related revenues did decrease compared to the previous quarter, revenues from its sportsbook and casino verticals, on the other hand, continues to grow, and made up 25.8 percent of all revenues generated during the quarter, up from the 17.2% share the segments reported for Q4 of 2015.

Company Statement

Amaya’s recent results highlights the success Amaya is having in adapting to the ever changing landscape of the poker and gambling industry, and following the 2016 financials being released, Amaya CEO Rafi Ashkenazi, stated:

“Our proactive changes to the poker ecosystem and customer acquisition initiatives continue to reverse certain negative trends and we are starting to see organic growth in that business, our casino offering exceeded expectations as we introduced limited marketing campaigns and focused on our cross-sell efforts, and we continued to build and develop our sportsbook.”

BetStars Sportsbook

Known for its poker business, PokerStars, the biggest online poker platform on the planet, has been putting its focus on areas other than poker in order to diversify and grow its business. As a result, the sportsbook and casino vertices has thus far proven to have had the most potential for achieving such success. Amaya tags all of its products and services with their rewards bonus currency called “Stars,” including the BetStars sportsbook application that has been around for nearly a year and a half.

Its Fiscal year 2016 and Q4 earnings said that BetStars was currently in its investment phase with expectations that it will create a more competitive sportsbook in the coming year as it focuses on bringing its products to par with its competitors. Because of this, Amaya is searching out possible targets to acquire, while also considering how it can turn its huge poker playing base into customers willing to wager on its sportsbook.

Online Casino

Amaya is currently thinking up ways to keep exploiting its online casino, which still ranks as the largest online casino in the world based on public trading. Much of the reason Amaya decided to get into the casino business is that it noticed around 30 to 40 percent of its customers were gambling at online casinos, only not with Amaya which had no casino to speak of at the time. Evolving its products and making them more competitive than that of their rivals helped them develop a competitive casino product that has gone from strength to strength.


In 2015, Amaya also got together a daily fantasy sports system that it branded as StarsDraft, further exploring their non-poker games. Quickly, it became one of the most popular daily fantasy sports websites, but it still initially limited its gaming to the four states of Maryland, Kansas, New Jersey and Maryland, with the recent addition, also, of West Virginia and Rhode Island.

Legislative Challenges

Still, Amaya faces the considerable hurdle of the United States being slow in passing online gambling legislation, since 2013 just players located in Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware can legally gamble online. In the meantime, the possibility of other states such as Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New York passing legalization soon seems as far away as ever. Nevertheless, Amaya continues to be an active participant in the role of advocating an iGaming expansion across the country, seeing that online gambling coupled with its sportsbook could help drive impressive growth for the company in the future.

Future Looks Bright

Looking ahead, Chief Executive Rafi Ashkenazi has expressed his optimism as to the company’s strategic direction as it applies to achieving Amaya’s four priorities, namely maintaining its position as the global online poker leader, whilst also achieving a streamlined operation as its further develops a competitive online casino and sportsbook. As he commented recently:

“The strong performance of our business has helped us to reduce our currency risk, lower our interest expense and accelerate the payment of the remaining amounts owed on our deferred payment obligation, all of which will allow us to continue pursuing our four strategic priorities. We expect to continue our 2016 momentum and execute on our strategy in 2017.”

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