Amaya Inc., the parent company of PokerStars, saw a decline in poker revenue during the 2016 calendar year. The drop didn’t hurt the company, however. An increase in casino and sportsbook revenue more than made up for what the business lacked from online poker.
It’s been a rocky year for the company that owns the world’s largest internet poker site. CEO David Baazov was removed from his position following allegations of insider trading in March 2016.
He is scheduled to stand trial in November in what is considered the largest insider trading case in Canada’s history.
Heading into 2016, PokerStars angered some of its most loyal customers. The poker site made some significant changes to its player rewards system geared towards attracting more recreational poker players. In the process, it took away some benefits that the grinders loved.
Amaya’s poker revenue last year tapped out at $846.1 million. That’s a 4.6-percent decline from the previous year. During Q4, the company raked in $217.2 million from poker, a drop of 5.1-percent during the same time period in 2015.
It’s Not All Doom and Gloom
You don’t have to feel bad for Amaya or wonder if the company is about to go bankrupt. The business, overall, had a successful 2016.
Amaya had a record-setting year. The company generated $1.156 billion in sales last year, the most it has ever done. That is an increase of 7.8-percent compared to 2015.
With poker revenue down, where are the sales coming from? The new and improved online casino and sportsbook. For many years, PokerStars was a poker-only gambling site. After realizing that internet poker isn’t as popular as it was a decade ago, Amaya decided to venture into other forms of online gambling.
This has helped the company increase its revenue despite declining poker traffic. Online poker revenue still represented 73.2-percent of Amaya’s business, but the online casino and sportsbook rose to 22.8-percent of total sales.
Still the World’s Best
The online poker industry has declined significantly since Black Friday in 2011. With the United States mostly out of the market, it’s difficult for a poker-only site to thrive.
With that said, PokerStars remains committed to online poker and continues to dominate the industry. The world’s most popular poker site is responsible for more than 70-percent of the entire online poker market.
Prior to Black Friday, PokerStars had legitimate competition with Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet also raking in the dough. Those days are gone.