PokerStars’ revenue drop

PokerStars’ revenue dropped last year.

Amaya, parent company of the world’s largest poker platform, declared its fourth-quarter earnings this week. The company revealed that online poker revenues for the quarter were $217.2 million, a drop of 5.1 percent year-over-year. Poker revenue for 2016 was approximately $846.1 million, a dip of 4.6 percent compared to 2015.

PokerStars has roughly 70 percent of the worldwide online poker market, but it functions in just one U.S. state. For many years the firm has been lobbying elsewhere in America.

Amaya states, excluding the effect of year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates, online poker revenues would have ebbed by approximately one percent for the quarter and remained constant for the year.

“Amaya continues to see a positive impact from its previously announced strategy of focusing on recreational players, including through changes to its online poker loyalty program and rake structure, and certain adjustments to the poker ecosystem despite the year-over-year declines,” the company said.

Amaya has upwards 100 million registered online poker players.

In 2015, poker amounted for 82.7 percent of total company revenue. The figure was 73.2 percent last year. Amaya had $1.15 billion in sales in 2016, up 7.8 percent as opposed to the $1.07 billion from 2015.

Apart from poker, online casino games are driving the company’s growth.

Despite record annual revenue for Amaya, gain for Q4 was 53 cents per share, which missed the mean analyst projection of 56 cents, reported by Bloomberg.

“2016 was a record year of revenues for Amaya,” CEO Rafi Ashkenazi said in a statement. “Our proactive changes to the poker ecosystem and customer acquisition initiatives continue to reverse certain negative trends and we are starting to see organic growth in that business, our casino offering exceeded expectations as we introduced limited marketing campaigns and focused on our cross-sell efforts, and we continued to build and develop our sportsbook.”

The company reported it acquired 2.6 million registered gamblers in Q4 of 2016. Over the past six months, PokerStars has averaged roughly 12,500 cash game players.

Amaya stated that through January and February of 2017 total revenue of about $215.3 million was 13.3 percent higher than the same period last year. Through the second month, real-money online poker revenue accounted for lower than 70 percent of total revenue.

The company’s poker site could take a massive hit this year thanks to Australia, one of the biggest gambling markets in the world, passing a law this month to effectively prohibit online poker. PokerStars declared earlier this year that it might leave the market.