Stars Real Money Casino & Sportsbook Revenue Doubles

Stars Group real money online casino and sportsbook revenue up 50%.

Real Money Online Casino and Sportsbook Revenue Up 50% at Stars GroupAt the end of June, PokerStars parent company announced its official rebranding as The Stars Group (formerly Amaya). Not even two weeks later, the company issued its first quarterly revenue report following the strategic rebrand and relocation of its head office to Toronto.

Among the findings, which were mostly positive, it was determined that the company’s poker room is no longer the only big earner for the group. PokerStars is still the most profitable parallel for Stars Group, by far. But its real money casino and sportsbook offerings are soaring up the proverbial ladder.

In fact, PokerStars revenue actually decreased in the second quarter of 2017, down 5.9% to $202.9 million compared to Q2-16. The firm’s real money online casino and sportsbook products, on the other hand, rose a phenomenal 50.2% to $89.6 million. Casino and sports betting products now account for 29% of the firm’s overall revenue.

The Stars Group also lauded a substantial decrease in company debt, following a number of multi-million pre-payments. The company’s debt skyrocketed in 2014 with the $4.9 billion acquisition of PokerStars via The Rational Group (now Stars Interactive). Under the leadership of CEO Rafi Ashkenazi, who made debt reduction a priority following his appointment in May 2016, the company now owes $2.55 billion in debt.

“Our evolution and transformation into The Stars Group continued as we completed our name change and head office move, while our second quarter saw the strengthening of our core senior management team and continued solid revenue growth led by our real money online casino offering,” said Ashkenazi.

As for the future, he said, “We plan to use this momentum to continue improving and strengthening our business and pursuing our strategic objectives.”

Focus on Real Money Casino & Sportsbook

The “strategic objectives” Ashkenazi spoke of include a new focus on mergers and acquisitions, particularly in the real money online casino and sports betting arena. With PokerStars leveling out for the time being, the immense growth in the company’s other parallels clearly deserves more attention.

“Now that we are out of this quite tight financial framework, we feel more comfortable to start allocating more budget towards supporting casino and sportsbook acquisitions,” said Ashkenazi during a conference call on August 9.

He noted that the online sports betting side of the business is a “primary focus” for mergers and acquisitions. This should come as no surprise following last year’s brief, and ultimately unsuccessful, merger talks with UK bookmaker William Hill.

The CEO has different plans for the real money online casino side of the business. Stars Group announced their intent to roll out 150 new casino games before the year is out. That will more than double the existing games menu, currently at 99.

“When it comes to casino, and I’ll also include the sports betting, I believe we are just at the beginning of the journey,” Ashlenazi assured Stars Group shareholders.

Flat Future for Online Poker Revenue

He’s not concerned with the latest decrease in online poker revenue. Although Ahskenazi doesn’t anticipate a rise in yield in the impending Q3 report, he isn’t expecting further losses, either. Having just implemented a new loyalty program that revolves around recreational player acquisition, the CEO is predicting a flat margin in that department.

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