PokerStars Finding More Profit in Non-Poker Endeavors

2 min read

Poker revenue at PokerStars has taken a dive in 2017, and it’s a sign of shifting attentions at the world’s leading online poker site, which soon will be offering its games on one less continent than before.

PokerStars leaving Australia
As PokerStars prepares to exit Australia, overall online poker revenues around the world are on the slide. (Image: UNSW Sydney)

The Stars Group released its Q2 earnings report on Wednesday, revealing overall growth in revenue, a 6.8 percent increase year-over-year to $305.3 million. The positive result, however, is largely due to continued growth of PokerStars’ non-poker assets.

Online poker revenue during Q2 saw a 5.9 percent year-on-year drop to $202.9 million.

Portfolio Diversity Fueling Rise

By comparison, in the second quarter of 2016, poker revenue accounted for 75.5 percent of the company’s total revenue. In 2017, that number slipped to 66.5 percent.

As poker revenues fall, online casino revenues are becoming a more significant factor on the rebranded Stars Group’s bottom line.

As a share of overall company revenues, non-poker revenue (consisting of sports betting and casino) increased from 20.9 percent to 29.3 percent. This growth in influence comes on non-poker revenue of $89.6 million, a 50.2 percent jump.

While the overall picture is positive, there may now be some concern regarding poker revenue in light of Australia’s new law, which is almost certain to boot PokerStars out of the country.

Aussie Exit Plan

When the Australian government first introduced the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill in November 2016, PokerStars representatives confirmed that company would exit if it became law.

Now, after a vote in the Australian Senate made it clear that the country could start enforcing a ban in 30 days, no one expects PokerStars to reverse course and stay planted down under.

Under the terms of the new online poker ban, operating without an Australian license, such as PokerStars has been able to do for more than a decade, would be illegal and punishable by fines of more than $5 million a day if they don’t pull out.

That’s the kind of financial hit that even growing revenues from sports betting and casino wouldn’t be able to weather.


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