Amaya Gaming recently completed the acquisition of the Rational Group. Amaya founder and CEO David Baazov discussed upcoming plans for PokerStars and Full Tit during a discussion with shareholders and other potential investors.
Baazov said that PokerStars.com and FullTilt.com face a number of opportunities in the coming year. He expects both brands will be available in the United States in the near future. He also stated that Amaya intends to expand its presence in India, Latin America and other emerging markets.
Most people expected that securing a presence in the U.S. would be one of Amaya’s primary goals. Eyal Ofir from Clarus Securities asked Baazov if expanding in the United States would be the company’s main focus in 2014. Ofir said that the New Jersey gambling market is likely to grow in the near future.
Baazov said that the U.S. is a lucrative opportunity for Amaya, but expects it will take time for other states to regulate online gambling. He feels that reaching customers into new markets shouldn’t be Amaya’s sole focus in the coming year. Amaya plans to offer additional services to existing customers. Baazov said that approximately half of all PokerStars customers are playing other forms of online gambling on competing sites. He said that Amaya plans to leverage the PokerStars brand by providing sports betting and other games that appeal to its current player base.
Baazov is confident that the PokerStars and Full Tilt brands will be highly profitable under the new leadership. However, he warned investors that actual profits could be lower than projected. Market trends and regulatory changes are difficult to predict, but Amaya executives remain confident that the market will grow in the near future.