The Stars Group is eyeing the United Kingdom as a potential promised land where the company will seek to scale its operations. Sports betting is in focus, poker has been hit somewhat hard.
The Stars Group Speaks on Future o Sports Betting and Poker in the UK
According to The Stars Group Chief Executive Rafi Ashkenazi, the company has been doing quite well. In fact, The Stars Group now has a new ambitious plan to put itself out there and expand its offer by quite a fair bit.
Mr. Ashkenazi has vowed a double-digit growth for the operator in the UK market this year, propped by Sky Betting and Gaming’s growing portfolio. Sky Betting is one of the latest and arguably most important acquisitions the company has concluded in recent years.
In exchange for $4.7 billion, The Stars Group acquired one of the most significant betting operators in the United Kingdom, and the country’s market is arguably one of the world’s finest. Mr. Ashkenazi, didn’t miss to emphasize that Sky Betting was a well-established name in the country, with a significant customer base at that.
Despite a mild slow-down last quarter, Mr. Ashkenazi feels confident that the company will successfully leverage the brand awareness of both its own name and that of the newly added asset.
Poker Still Affected by Currency Fluctuations
The Stars Group is most famous for its flagship card room, PokerStars. Commenting on the recent development in UK poker, The Stars Group CFO Brian Kyle admitted that PokerStars’ prospects have been affected by the ban of poker apps in the iOS App Store.
So far as the poker business of The Stars Group goes, the intensifying regulatory climate in Russia has also caused a fair bit of confusion and reduction of the overall performance year-over-year. It’s amid these rapid changes that The Stars Group is looking to expand into the newly-regulated Swedish market.
PokerStars has also been pushing with a number of events, particularly the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, the brand’s own signature style.
Meanwhile, the company’s poker arm had to suspend activities in Slovakia because of freshly-introduced regulations that require certain operators to re-apply.
Despite opposition in certain places, such as the Netherlands, PokerStars remains confident that the card room will be able to enter the market once the Dutch government and national regulator, the KSA, have finalized a new regulatory framework allowing online companies to offer iGaming products so long as they have a physical presence in the country. A favorable decision in January also helped out the country’s poker players.
Europe Remains a Bastion of Poker, The Stars Group Thinks
Poker has enjoyed significant improvement of its poker fortunes. PokerStars has been able to introduce a shared-liquidity scheme between France, Span and Portugal, and unlike what’s happening in the United States, the initiative has been immensely successful.
Now another big market for poker options is being cajoled into joining. Italy would add much to PokerStars’ liquidity scheme, Mr. Ashkenazi confirmed:
Italy joining the shared liquidity or the pooled liquidity would be very meaningful for our poker business. So, we will definitely push for that.
The Stars Group is not giving up on the USA either. Despite a few blows below the waist, The Stars Group is as vibrant as ever and ready for a successful and most profitable year.