Amaya Gaming CEO David Baazov explained his company’s acquisition of the Rational Group during a conference call on Wednesday. He explained that the way millions of poker players have come to love playing at Pokerstars and Full Tilt Poker will not undergo any change.
“We’re very excited with the progress of Amaya during the quarter. The company has been transformed through its acquisition of the Rational Group, which we announced during the quarter and which was completed on August 1.
“The second quarter was a transformative period for Amaya as we announced and completed well ahead of schedule our acquisition of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, which collectively hold a healthy majority of the market share in online poker,” he continued.
“Led by its highly experienced management team, Rational Group provides Amaya with a strong platform for growth in revenues and profitability and will be significantly accretive to our earnings.
“The worldwide recognition of the PokerStars and Full Tilt brands, bolstered by being the largest producer of live poker tours and events across the globe and producer of televised and online poker programming, also provides Rational with an enormous opportunity to take advantage of adjacency opportunities in online casino and sportsbook, in jurisdictions where they can be offered – while growing in new geographies,” Baazov continued, hinting at the possibility for both PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker to enter the US regulated poker market again soon.
There is a plan to expand the brand to online casino gambling and sports betting, like Bovada Poker, but this development will not take away any focus or importance of the poker business.
“[Amaya] is determined that that they not provide any disruption to the core poker offering, and that the new vertical offerings are as robust and enjoyable as Rational’s online poker,” Baazov reassured.
Full Tilt Poker already offers casino games, but the plan is to expand the company’s flagship PokerStars with a casino twist.
“The company has launched casino games on Full Tilt in 2014 through its downloadable poker client,” Baazov said. “The results this far have been encouraging, though the exposure to the percentage of Rational’s player base is still quite low. There has not been a major marketing push behind it as yet.”
There is no clear timeline for the launch of the company’s first casino platform, but all signs point towards an imminent change. PokerStars’ Spanish subsidiary has already secured licenses to offer blackjack and roulette and Rational Group applied for a similar license in Italy last month.
Baazov explained that “we expect growth in 2014 in [our new] initiatives, notably in online casino, as the company continues to develop its technology platforms up to its high standards and works with various regulators to certify its solution.”
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