Why Amaya Thinks Casino and Sportsbook Will Benefit Poker Players
During a conference call to discuss Amaya’s second quarter financial results, CEO David Baazov remarked that the companies expansion into new ID mean verticals will benefit its online poker players.
Baazov contends that the addition of new customers that will be acquired via Amaya’s expansion into online casino and sports books will help increase liquidity for the company’s online poker sites PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker.
It is Amaya’s position that half of its existing poker players engage in these additional verticals and therefore combining them under the Rational name will allow players to earn loyalty points on a single platform.
Another vertical in which Amaya plans to expand into is the branding and licensing of the poker stars name for use in land-based poker rooms and live events. The first occurrence of this was announced earlier this month with PokerStars’ sponsorship of the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open. Players are able to buy into the Main Event through the PokerStars client using funds in their account.
Since launching casino games in January 2014 on Full Tilt, exposure to the existing player base has been fairly low: There has so far been no significant marketing push as the company works towards ensuring the casino product is up to the same quality standards as its poker offering, Baazov stated.
Amaya will be significantly “scaling up” the promotion of casino games and its mobile products to Rational’s player base, including launches into new regulated jurisdictions in Q4 and 2015, he stated.
Casino games are expected to launch on PokerStars in Spain and Italy, and a broader distribution on the Full Tilt client as well.
Amaya plans to offer its products in more regulated markets, and views regulation as an advancement in the protection of consumers as well as the overall health and legitimacy of the igaming market.
Baazov sees fund protection, game integrity and combating collusion along with fraud and money laundering protection as some of the key benefits regulation can bring.
Latin America was mentioned by Baazov as a region where we may see significant growth and expansion in the future. However, PokerStars just recently released some of its biggest sponsored pros in Latin America including Humberto Brenes.
Expansion into sports betting is targeted for 2015 and the company is already working toward that goal.
The sports betting product is currently being developed in-house; however, Baazov indicated that that does not exclude the possibility that Amaya may license other online sports betting software in the future.
Amaya is confident the sports betting product will be popular with its customers. He went as far as to note that during the World Cup there was a noticeable decrease in traffic during the games, but that at the halftime break traffic did spike.