The Stars Group, the parent company of the world's largest poker site, PokerStars, was sold to Flutter Entertainment, the company that owns the popular daily fantasy sports website FanDuel.
This deal makes Flutter the world's largest online gambling company. The Stars Group is one of the leading brands in the industry and offers the buyer a portfolio of major sports betting, casino and poker sites. This is one of the biggest acquisitions in the history of online gambling. This could have a big impact on the future of the industry.
What is going on?
The Stars Group has agreed to sell its gambling sites to Flutter Entertainment, formerly Paddy Power Betfair, for approximately $ 12 billion. Flutter originally merged Paddy Power and Betfair, two popular bookmakers, together.
But now the company has acquired The Stars Group, formerly Amaya Inc., and is officially the world's largest online gambling business.
Flutter will retain its CEO, Peter Jackson, in the same position as the company is moving forward. The current CEO of Stars Group, Rafi Ashkenazi, will assume the role of Chief Operating Officer. Many other Flutter executives will continue to occupy their current positions.
The deal will be finalized when the shareholders vote in the second quarter of 2020.
What is Flutter Entertainment?
Flutter Entertainment was already one of the world's leading internet gambling brands. Founded in 2016, the company is listed on the London Stock Exchange and generated £ 180.7m in net income last year.
Flutter brought together former rivals Betfair and Paddy Power. Paddy Power shareholders own 52 percent of the company, while Betfair shareholders own 48 percent.
Paddy Power, an online bookmaker, famously paid out $ 1.1 in winnings to those who chose Hillary Clinton to win the 2016 US presidential election, two weeks before the election. The company concluded that Clinton was the key to defeating Republican candidate Donald Trump. So the bookmaker, looking for positive publicity, paid Hillary's players early.
But a funny thing happened on election day. Trump, a real estate investor and reality show star, shocked the world and defeated his archenemy Hillary Clinton. So Paddy Power was on the hook for paying off both sides.
Flutter, formerly Paddy Power Betfair, made another big acquisition in 2018, acquiring 61 percent of FanDuel, America's main fantasy sports website, for $ 158 million.
What does The Stars Group bring to the table?
The Stars Group, formerly Amaya Inc. and Rational Group are another major player in the online gambling world. The company was originally known only for its poker site - PokerStars. However, due to the limited niche of poker, the business expanded and started offering additional forms of gambling a few years ago.
The Stars Group is a Canadian gaming company on the Toronto Stock Exchange, headquartered in Toronto. Over 4,500 employees work for The Stars Group.
The PokerStars poker site remains the company's greatest asset. However, poker players entering this site can also bet on sports and casino games such as blackjack and slots. In addition, The Stars Group controls Sky Betting after a purchase for $ 4.7 billion in 2018.
PokerStars has a long history in the poker world and is the world's largest online poker site. It previously operated in the United States but was banned by the Department of Justice in April 2011. The poker giant only obtained a license in New Jersey in 2016 and hopes to move to other states in the future.