Canadian Giant Set To Become Colossal Force Following Merger With British Entity
The Stars Group Inc. (formerly known as Amaya Inc., Amaya Gaming Group Inc. and Rational Group), the Canada-based gaming and online gambling company traded on the Nasdaq and also the Toronto Stock Exchange and headquartered in Toronto, has announced a planned merger with Flutter Entertainment, the London and Dublin, Ireland, Stock Exchange listed gambling company which own and operate Paddy Power, the betting exchange Betfair and fantasy sports gaming operator, Fanduel.
Stars Interactive, the online gaming arm of The Stars Group, has licences (or related approvals) to operate in 17 jurisdictions but the merger, set to go ahead in the first half of 2020 pending shareholders backing, will increase the each of the new company to 100+ countries and jurisdictions.
The Stars Group – whose brands now include PokerStars PokerStars Casino, BetStars, Sky Betting (which is bought in 2017 for $4.7 billion) – and Flutter generated combined revenues of CA$6.8 billion in 2018.
In addition to the companies listed above, US racing broadcaster TVG is also part of Flutter’s current business portfolio and in May of this year the Stars Group announced a 25-year partnership with Fox Sports that will see the two parties launch Fox Bet, a real-money sports betting business in U.S. states where betting is legal (and a free-play betting product in other states).
Fox Bet is currently available in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and the Stars Group also have a footprint in Australia with the BetEasy online sportsbook and in the UK via the Oddschecker odds comparison website.
Announcing the merger the companies said that the combination is anticipated to deliver “substantial value creation for shareholders from pre-tax cost synergies of £140 million per annum, along with potential revenue cross-sell in international markets and lower finance costs”.
Outsiders would suspect those ‘synergies’ would mean job cuts with there being several overlaps in the newly cut cloth. For example both Paddy Power and Betfair have their own poker sites but they would surely be morphed into the much bigger and more successful Poker Stars site.
The Stars Group currently employ 4,500 people world-wide with their offices in Toronto, a stone’s throw from Union Station, being their official headquarters. It enjoys a 5.0 rating on Glassdoor while a satellite office in Calgary gets a 4.2 rating. However, it’s not all a bowl of cherries at the Stars Group with its Poker Stars website announcing job cuts in its Isle of Man and Malta offices during the past fortnight.