PokerStars Rewards Changes Beginning To Pay Off

At the end of last week, Amaya released its latest financial results, and all indications show that the Canadian company is in great health with revenues up by 10% to CAD$286 million, and net earnings rising by a huge 163% to CAD$78 million, versus Q2 of 2015.
From that tally, Amaya’s poker revenues stayed relatively flat at $215.62 million, while its casino and sportsbook revenue increased by an impressive 89% to $59.615 million. As a result, casino and sports betting now accounts for around 21% of the company’s revenues, up from 12% for the same period in 2015.
While the poker vertical remained flat, Amaya still hailed the result as being positive because of the declining purchasing power of its customers’ currencies compared to a strengthening dollar. As new Amaya CEO Rafi Ashkenazi subsequently commented:
“I’m very pleased with the momentum in our core poker business where despite some continued headwinds.. we have begun reversing certain negative trends we have faced over the past several quarters.”
Furthermore, it appears some of the dramatic changes PokerStars made to its VIP and Rewards programs at the start of this year are beginning to pay off. According to Ashkenazi, the shift in focus towards recreational players has resulted in a 4% increase in overall poker revenues, while there has also been “no negative revenue impact from high revenue players.” In addition, Ashkenazi stated that amateur players have been positively impacted by the changes, and that “bankrolls from recreational and casual players are lasting longer.”
When PokerStars initially implemented its changes, it caused an uproar amongst the site’s legion of regular grinders. Two boycotts of the site were subsequently organized, but even the 2,000 or more people who participated in each event failed to have a negative impact on the site traffic. In fact, traffic to the site went up during each period, and Amaya’s latest Q2 results are now starting to indicate that the changes are having a largely positive impact on the online poker ecosystem.

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