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 are strongly committed to Rational maintaining this focus in order for the game experience to remain as enjoyable and exciting as ever for online poker players,” Baazov explained.
“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.”
While playing at PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker is still a while off for players in the United States, Bovada Poker offers everything you could want in an online poker room. Welcome bonuses, promotional offers, competitions, and even WSOP qualifying events will guarantee you play a winning hand.
The online poker community got some huge news on Thursday when it was announced that Amaya Gaming Group Inc. had acquired Rational Group, the parent company of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, in a deal worth $4.9 billion.
Amaya and privately-held Oldford Group Limited (the parent company of Rational Group) struck a definitive deal that entitles Amaya to all issued and outstanding shares of Oldford Group, meaning PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker have been sold to Amaya in an unprecedented acquisition within the world of online gaming. With the transaction, Amaya will become the world’s largest publicly-traded online gaming company.
The deal is expected to accelerate the re-entry of the two online poker rooms back into the U.S. market. Both have been entangled in regulatory and legal difficulties for more than three years now, which saw them banned from operating in the United States.
According to a press release issued by PokerStars on Thursday, “Amaya believes the transaction will expedite the entry of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker into regulated markets in which Amaya already holds a footprint, particularly the U.S. Additionally, Amaya will provide an extensive selection of its online casino games to expand the Full Tilt Poker casino platform. Amaya intends to strongly support Rational Group’s growth initiatives in new gaming verticals, including casino, sportsbook, and social gaming, and new geographies.”
Poker players around the world don’t have to worry, according to the press release, “Rational Group’s executive management team will be retained and online poker services provided by PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker will be unaffected by the Transaction, with players continuing to enjoy uninterrupted access to their gaming experience.”
The following day, while speaking to the 13 Amaya Gaming investors on a conference call, Amaya CEO David Baazov noted the acquisition represents a “strong deal from a financial perspective” that will “transform the entire global gaming industry.”
The purchase of the privately-held OGL will lead to the creation of a “global online gaming powerhouse in a large and growing online gaming market, which H2Gambling Capital estimates to grow up to approximately 42 billion dollars by 2018,” Baazov said.
“Rational is the owner of the operators PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, the two most profitable and powerful online gaming brands,” Baazov continued. “Over the past fourteen years, [Rational] has become the world’s largest poker business, earning the loyalty of millions of players.”
“With the continuing trend of online gaming regulation around the world, the company has in front of itself an enormous opportunity to leverage its brand recognition and customer loyalty to diversify into other gaming verticals as casino, sports betting and social gaming.”
Baazov also noted he expects the operation to be completed by September 30.
The possible entry of one of the world’s most popular poker rooms to the U.S. market is an exciting prospect for players, likely to shake-up the already competitive market. If you want to play some online poker right now though, why not head over to Carbon Poker – the market leading poker room for players in the United States.