PokerStars Launches Sports Betting, Gets Ready for Nasdaq Listing

  • Giovanni AngioniGiovanni Angioni
PokerStars Launches Sports Betting, Gets Ready for Nasdaq Listing 0001

Things move fast in the online world, and after months of speculation and announcements, PokerStars has finally decided to release its sports-betting offering in the United Kingdom.

Accessible right from the PokerStars 7 client, the new sports-betting platform currently accepts bets on football, tennis, basketball, ice hockey, rugby union, handball, and volleyball, plus a banner promises that more sports will be added to the platform very soon. Those who like to bet on sports as things happen will also be able to do so right from their mobile devices, as the PokerStars' sports-betting platform is also accessible from the iOS and the Android app.

As PokerNews UK & Ireland Editor Matthew Pitt points out, at first glance PokerStars odds seem comparable to more established bookmakers.

For example, when looking at the upcoming UEFA Champions League Final to be played on Saturday by Barcelona and Juventus, the odds offered by PokerStars seem to be in line with what on tap at other more experienced online bookmakers. Here's a comparison of what PokerStars, Betfair, Tonybet Sports, and Unibet offer on that match.

SiteJuventus WinDrawBarcelona Win
PokerStars5.754.001.60
Betfair6.04.21.61
Unibet6.204.101.60
Tonybet Sports6.003.901.60

The PokerStars Sportsbook launched in beta phase on March 31, when the world's biggest poker room celebrated the first bet being placed on its platform. As stated in the operational highlights published by Amaya in April — when the company also reported record financials and its plan to enter the daily fantasy sports industry — the rollout of the PokerStars web and mobile sports book should be completed by the end of 2015.

"The Corporation anticipates PokerStars will launch its beta version of its sports-betting product, available both on the web and in the PS7 client, in certain jurisdictions in the near future, with rollout to other markets across the dot-com network through the next two quarters of 2015," the document from Amaya stated. "The company anticipates launching sports betting on mobile in 2015 as well."

According to Amaya's CEO David Baazov, the launch of the sportsbook, which follows the introduction of casino games to the platform, will allow to allow the company to pursue a further growth and enlarge its customer base. "We have further developed our casino offering through the introduction of live dealer games and table games on mobile, with slots anticipated to roll out on PokerStars through the first half of 2015," Baazov said.

"Thus far, we have seen cross-sell rates and revenue yields above our expectations, with a significant majority of the casino spend coming from new deposits to the platforms. Going forward, Baazov continued, "Amaya intends to acquire new customers and gain online gaming market share through the continued expansion of the B2C business in other verticals, including sports betting, casino, social gaming, and daily fantasy sports, which we expect will supplement our current growth plans for our core poker business."

Amaya to Hit Nasdaq Stock Echance on June 8

As the company that owns PokerStars and Full Tilt announced on May 27, Amaya will begin trading shares at Nasdaq on June 8.

"We anticipate that the Nasdaq listing will provide greater visibility and better liquidity for our stock," Baazov said in a statement. "Our listing on Nasdaq is an important milestone for Amaya and a testament to the tremendous progress we have made over our five years as a public company."

Amaya's listing on the Nasdaq takes place right while the company has been reportedly negotiating the purchase of the London-listed online gambling company Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment Plc, and while Canada's Authorités des Marchés Financiaires investigate over possible wrongdoings committed at the time of the purchase of PokerStars and Full Tilt from the Rational Group in 2014.

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