The Stars Group is a Canadian company (now owned by Flutter PLC) with headquarters in Toronto and offices across Latin America and Europe. Founded in 2004, it owns multiple industry-leading, trusted brands, including PokerStars (by far its biggest product) PokerStars Casino, Full Tilt and others. The latter two were acquired in 2014 for almost $5bn.
And, as the owner of mobile-led online gaming operator Sky Betting & Gaming, it licenses the brands Sky Bet, Sky Casino, Sky Vegas, Sky Poker and Sky Bingo.
The company’s main goal is to provide a holistic gaming experience, in which all gambling sectors can be found under one virtual roof. It runs a single wallet and common accounts system across all main products alongside an industry-leading rewards programme, Stars Rewards, as part of this ethos.
The multi-billion-dollar operator, which was known as Amaya Inc. until August 2017, provides tech-based services and products across the online gaming entertainment industry. It’s involved at all stages, from design and development to manufacturing, distribution and sales. Collectively, The Stars Group has millions of customers around the world.
As the biggest publicly listed online gaming corporation, the business has traded on both the Toronto Stock Exchange and the US NASDAQ Stock Exchange.
As well as live poker and a sportsbook, the corporation, which employs approaching two thousand people, also operates a diverse casino, from which it is deriving an increasing share of its earnings.
In 2018, The Stars Group also revealed a stronger focus on sports betting across regulated markets, although the bulk of its income still comes from poker games.
While income from poker is solid, equally the higher-margin casino and sports betting games will stand the business in good stead for the future.
The Stars Group games
The purchase of a number of other software providers including Chartwell Technology and Cryptologic (later bought back by some of the previous owners) has allowed The Stars Group to expand its catalogue of online games.
Five-reel video slots are the main games category, with more than 300 games in the portfolio. Because The Stars Group offers games from multiple providers, it serves as a gateway to a huge variety of titles.
Among the most popular are Diamond Tower, Frogs’n’Flies, Avengers and Chilli Gold. The three-reel slot Millionaires’ Club is another favourite.
With these games, the RTP, or Return to Player, is decent at between 90 and 97%.
This runs some of the world’s most prestigious online poker series, including the World Championship of Online Poker, and includes the exciting live events run by PokerStars Live.
This is now one of the world’s favourite online casinos, offering some of the newest and biggest games via the PokerStars platform
Launched late in 2015, this brand offers a broad line-up of specialist, popular betting options, promotions and exclusive new products across an array of sports
After it was established in 2004, this quickly became one of the internet’s most popular poker rooms
The Stars Group works with government regulators to establish safe, licenced environments which reward operators who behave responsibly.
Indeed, The Stars Group is one of the world’s most regulated web-based gambling companies, licenced or similarly approved to trade across 19 jurisdictions, including in Europe, North America and Australia among other parts of the world.
In January 2017, the corporation became the first to be licenced in the Czech Republic as an online poker and casino operator – proof that it can break into and profit from emerging markets. The company has also been eyeing new territories in the US.
As well as only operating in well-regulated territories, The Stars Group works to help and safeguard any players potentially at risk from dangerous gaming, as part of its ethical approach.
Measures include guidance on playing responsibly, risk identification, self-exclusion and player verification. Indeed, its team working in this area was one of the industry’s first.
To this end, The Stars Group works closely with players, regulators and research institutions on the problems.
Games and the supporting technology are independently and regularly assessed by some of the world’s most stringent international gaming regulators, while fraud management systems are used 24 hours to reduce financial risk, track gameplay and block malicious activity.
Meanwhile, the registration process is aimed at preventing anyone below legal age from taking part in any real-money gaming activity, and there are stringent measures in place to review and reduce fraud risk, money laundering and similar illegal activity.