Revenue drops for PokerStars but players are promised a strong 2017 with new launches

  • Amaya’s record revenues, driven by wider choice, come at a cost to PokerStars
  • The company’s new tier 1 casino games have ‘poached’ its own players

There’s good news and bad for Amaya Gaming, the Canadian gaming giant behind the PokerStars brand. It was recently reported that, while online poker is still its top profit-maker, the company’s successes in other parts of it’s business have actually led to a reduction in revenue for PokerStars.

Success in other areas of it's business has seen Pokerstars' revenue shrink
Success in other areas of it’s business has seen Pokerstars’ revenue shrink

With success comes challenges…

Amaya recently launched a casino vertical, which has resulted in cross-selling driving some of its own customers to jump ship from PokerStars.

What’s more, the brand has pulled out of the Australian market, causing an expected loss of revenue.

And it might not end there. With the addition of two further tier 1 casino content providers and mobile device product launches to look forward to, poker revenues could potentially take another hit.

70 new tier 1 games

In November, Amaya announced that it had introduced 70 new slot games from tier 1 casino content providers in 2016 to boost its casino offering. These are games produced by some of the leading suppliers in the gaming industry.

The company is also set to integrate further slot, progressive jackpot and branded games in the near future, all of which could mean more competition for PokerStars.

How Amaya fared in 2016

Amaya’s earnings for 2016 rose by 7.8% to a record level of $1.15 billion. Revenues from online poker make up 73.2% of the stated profits, which is actually a decrease from 82.7% in the previous year.

However, Amaya’s growth in sportsbook and online casino revenue more than compensated for the loss. Their share of the profits increased from 12.7% to 22.8%.

“2016 was a record year of revenues for Amaya. 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”
Amaya CEO, Rafi Ashkenazi

What does the future hold?

Amaya is confident the figures do not represent a shift away from online poker and instead anticipates 2017 will bring growth.

The company is looking at bringing the PokerStars brand to new markets as well as offering new mobile products and VIP opportunities for its casino offering.

OUR VERDICT

PokerStars may have seen its revenue – and perhaps influence – within Amaya Gaming’s overall business but it still remains the top earner. That being said, a drop of around 10% in terms of how much PokerStars makes is a significant figure. And while Amaya may be right in saying that it doesn’t necessarily mean a shift away from online poker, it shows that a) the choice of what’s on offer is bigger than ever and that b) players are more than willing to use that choice. If you’re a PokerStars fan, consider it good news. It means, if nothing else, that Amaya will spend time developing the brand and bringing you more as the year progresses.

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