PokerStars Finding More Profit in Non-Poker Endeavors

Poker revenue at PokerStars has taken a dip in 2017, and it’s a sign of shifting attentions in 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 depart 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, demonstrating overall growth in revenue, a 6.8 percent increase year-over-year to $305.3 million. The positive consequence, however, is largely due to continuing growth of PokerStars’ non-poker assets.

Online poker revenue during Q2 saw a 5.9 percent year-on-year fall 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 getting to be a more significant factor on the rebranded Stars Group’s bottom line.

As a share of total company revenues, non-poker revenue (comprising 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 can now be some concern regarding poker revenue in light of Australia’s new law, which is almost sure to boot PokerStars outside 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 depart if it became law.

Now, after a vote at 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 keep planted down under.

Under the terms of the new online poker ban, working without an Australian license, for example PokerStars has been able to do for over a decade, could be illegal and punishable by fines of over $5 million per 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 have the ability to weather.

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