Ever since Amaya Gaming acquired the Rational Group which owned PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker (FTP), the poker community has speculated in terms of the future of Poker Stars and FTP.
Initial speculations were that wholesales changes could be made to the way both online poker websites operated and that gave existing players a cause for concern. Amaya Gaming was quick to address those rumors and assured its players that the acquisition of Poker Stars and FTP would in no way hamper their gaming experience or freedom to play online poker.
PokerStars in the biggest online poker website in the world and Full Tilt Poker is certainly one of the most popular online poker websites and together they offer Amaya Gaming a database of 85 million players. Amaya Gaming recently announced their second quarter results and has done reasonably well. The company has confirmed that they have strategic plans to expand both Poker Stars and FTP by launching new games that target the sports betting and online casino verticals.
These two new verticals combined give Amaya Gaming a new market that is estimated to be close to $50 billion. This will be one of the key strategies for Amaya Gaming as they look to expand and capture a majority of market share. Amaya Gaming will also look to venture into the United States and launch the FTP and PokerStars brand. Currently most states in the U.S. have banned online poker but are slowly looking to relax and change the laws that govern the online gambling industry.
Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey are some states that have recently licensed online poker but have not been very keen to grant licenses to FTP and PokerStars due to their past history.
Amaya Gaming will have its work cut out to launch operations in the U.S as first it needs to ensure a system of trust and accountability is established before trying to break into the U.S. market.
Amaya Gaming is currently targeting European markets as it expects a significant percentage of revenues to come from here. In a statement, Amaya Gaming CEO David Baazov said
The trend toward regulation has been most evident in Europe, where Rational generates a majority of its revenues. However, we anticipate that the trend will continue in the Americas and Asia in the future, though we do not have a crystal ball on timing