PokerStars and Full Tilt platforms to merge

By David Cook
Amaya has confirmed it is to integrate its PokerStars and Full Tilt brands into one platform.

The provider said: “This platform migration will allow Amaya’s development and technology teams to focus on improving one market-leading platform rather than two, leading to a better gaming experience for all.

“Rather than splitting resources developing Full Tilt Jackpot Sit & Go and PokerStars Spin & Go features independently, teams will be able to work together on delivering the best possible product on one platform.”

Players will have one account where they will be able to access both brands.

PokerTube reported that the Full Tilt brand may be scrapped entirely, though it is unclear whether that means it will be dissolved or sold.

PokerScout, which tracks online poker traffic, shows at the time of writing that PokerStars is ranked first with a seven-day average of 17,500 players, more than seven times second-placed 888Poker with 2,400, while Full Tilt ranks 11th with 850 players.

Rafi Ashkenazi, CEO of Rational Group, which the brands operate under, said: “It will also make us more nimble as we can focus our technological innovation on one platform, rather than two, so we will be able to innovate more quickly and enter newly-regulating and existing markets swiftly.”

Amaya said in its H1 report last year that PokerStars holds a 68% share of the global real-money online poker market, while Full Tilt holds a 3% share.

The move is the latest change Amaya is to implement on its brands, after making the decision to remove heads-up cash games from PokerStars, which followed various changes to its VIP policies.

Spin & Go tournaments were launched on PokerStars last year, a product which is also being offered with Amaya’s BetStars sports book brand.

PokerStars bought Full Tilt in 2012 following the reaching of an agreement with the US Department of Justice as part of a settlement agreement after both brands were shut down in the US following post-UIGEA operations that were conducted in the country.

Both brands have continued to operate separately however and were acquired when Amaya bought Oldford Group for $4.9bn in 2014.

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