PokerStars Takes First Sports Bet, Eyes Daily Fantasy By NFL Season

Football Players

When Amaya Gaming and CEO David Baazov brokered its $4.9bn deal to acquire PokerStars last summer it was clear the objective was to expand far past its poker-only roots.

Those machinations have clearly been at work from the get-go with casino games introduced into the PokerStars client earlier this year.

The next phase of that expansion has also clearly begun to accelerate, as Baazov announced in today's Amaya earnings conference call.

Baazov said PokerStars will dive into the Daily Fantasy Sports market as early as the beginning of the next NFL season:

"We have also taken the strategic decision to enter the daily fantasy sports category category and are pursuing parallel tracks of internal development and strategic acquisition.


"We expect to provide more details on this strategy in the second half of 2015 but see a clear cross over from poker and daily fantasy sports.”

PokerStars also took its first official sports bet this morning as it rolled out the beta phase of its in-client sportsbook in select countries.

Record Earnings, Geographic Expansion

david baazov
Amaya CEO David Baazov

While PokerStars and Full Tilt's expected return to the US market has been slower than expected (although is expected in Q3 this year, Baazov says) it hasn't stopped Amaya from posting record financial results for 2014.

According to results posted today Amaya hit performance highlights in Q4 that include:

  • Revenues of $369 million compared to $37 million in Q4 2013
  • Adjusted net earnings of $86 million compared to $5 million in Q4 2013
  • Cash flow from operating activities of $56 million compared to $3 million in Q4 2013

The bulk of those earnings came from its core poker business along with geographic expansion that saw two million new customers registered in Q4.

The launch of new products like the successful Spin & Go's was also a big factor.

Expanded revenues from its casino products including live dealer games and mobile table games have also been seen with the rollout of slots and sportsbetting now also coming in the first half of 2015.

"Going forward," Baazov says, "Amaya intends to acquire new customers and gain online gaming market share through the continued expansion of the B2C business in other verticals, including sportsbetting, casino, social gaming and daily fantasy sports, which we expect will supplement our current growth plans for our core poker business.


"Amaya currently anticipates executing on this strategic direction through both organic development and strategic M&A."

Check the full earnings report and more details of the conference call from Amaya.

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