Stars Group is Betting Big On Legal Sports Betting In the US

Canada's online gambling laws have led to one of the most interesting situations in the market: one of the biggest online gambling companies in the world can't legally accept players in its home country. While Canadian players are playing Mummys Gold online blackjack offshore for lack of a local alternative, Stars Group, based in Toronto, does business mainly overseas. The company has grown out of Amaya Gaming, a global online gambling company that already spent a massive amount on a big gaming brand - it took over Rational Group back in 2014, the owner of the two best-known online poker brands in the world (PokerStars and Full Tilt) for $4.9 billion. This year, in turn, it seems to want to grow further: it has recently purchased Sky Bet from the UK-based betting and gambling group Sky Betting & Gaming, the largest publicly traded gambling company, for £3.4 billion (a bit over 6.1 billion Canadian dollars or 4.74 billion US dollars).


Those familiar with the workings of the online gambling business might ask themselves why did the company spend such a massive sum on a betting business when it already has one - BetStars, launched in December 2015. Let Rafi Ashkenazi, the chief executive of the Toronto-based company, say a few words on the acquisition:
The acquisition of Sky Betting and Gaming is a landmark moment in The Stars Group's history. SBG operates one of the world's fastest growing sportsbooks and is one of the United Kingdom's leading gaming providers. SBG's premier sports betting product is the ideal complement to our industry-leading poker platform. The ability to offer two low-cost acquisition channels of this magnitude provides The Stars Group with great growth potential and will significantly increase our ability to create winning moments for our customers."
Some say that becoming the largest listed online gambling firm was just one of the several reasons why Stars Group bought into the Sky-branded betting business (20% of the company's shares are owned by Sky News, an international news TV channel based in the UK). Apparently, the company formerly known as Amaya has big plans of expansion in mind in the United States where it hopes - along with the legislators of more than a dozen states - that sports betting will become legal and regulated.

How big a market are we talking about?

There is no way to tell - most of the sports betting in the United States is done illegally. But estimates speak of at least $150 billion a year - and this amount coming out of the dark would make it the biggest single sports betting market in the world. Of course, everyone - including the MLB and the NBA - wants a slice of this sizable cake.
Mathieu Blake

Mathieu Blake - Internet Entrepreneur, loves technology, sports, the Montreal Canadiens, Poker, Poker chips, current events and travel. You will often find him Writing about different topics that interest him on websites and blogs. To submit an article, contact the website directly.