It was a shock to many poker players when Pokerstars and Full Tilt was sold to Amaya Gaming as part of their acquisition of the Rational Group. Many were worried that it would destroy the poker focus on the sites and that it would no longer be as great a place to play poker anymore.
Despite a rough start for Amaya, with many mistakes being made such as increasing the rake and then later remove most of the rake increases, Amaya has managed to boost the revenues and player pool since their acquisition and Pokerstars and Full Tilt now runs with even more success than before.
"We completed our transformation into an online consumer technology leader in 2014 with the successful integration of PokerStars and Full Tilt into Amaya. The strength and vitality of the platforms supported strong growth and innovation, highlighted by the launch of Spin & Gos on PokerStars, and delivered strong customer growth, with more than two million new customers registered during the fourth quarter.” David Baazov, Chief Executive Officer at Amaya Inc said in a press release.
Amaya Gaming has seen a massive boost in revenues and profits after acquiring the two poker sites, going from CAD$37 million in revenues in Q4 of 2013 to CAD$369 million in Q4 of 2014. Profit wise the company had a profit of CAD$5 million in Q4 of 2013 while these numbers were boosted to CAD$86 million in Q4 2014.
Amaya plans to boost their business their revenues even more in 2015 through new initiatives, growing their poker business through entering new markets, focus on the existing key markets as well as create new promotions and get more celebrities to promote their brand.
"PokerStars intends to continue to grow its core poker business through geographic expansion, new and innovative marketing campaigns, including exciting global celebrity endorsements and promotions, and continued innovation in games and technology to improve the consumer experience and attract new players to the game and our other offerings.” Baazov said.
The biggest story was not the record revenues however, but the fact that Amaya is planning to enter the Fantasy League industry, as reported by OnlinePokerReport.com, who listened in on the earnings call that Amaya Gaming had with their investors.
"We have also taken the strategic decision to enter the daily fantasy sports 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 crossover from poker and daily fantasy sports.” Baazov said in the call.
Baazov added that they plan to launch before the start of the 2015 NFL season, just in time for the biggest Fantasy League season. Their impact on the industry might be significant and create more competition in a market which is primarily dominated by the two biggest sites, DraftKings and FanDuel.