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PokerStars goes from big to biggest in Sky Bet Acquisition

Bailey Haun
by Bailey Haun

The Stars Group, the famous Canadian-based online gambling, and gaming company, best-known for its PokerStars online poker platform has revealed that they will purchase SkyBet. SkyBet is the sports betting division of the UK-based Sky Betting & Gaming company. With this acquisition, The Star Group will become the world’s biggest online gambling company and cover the company’s absence in the field of online betting.

This unexpected deal is worth around $4.7 billion. The complete realization of this deal will take place in the third quarter of 2018. The companies are still waiting for the approval from the gambling regulatory bodies, NASDAQ and the Toronto Stock Exchange. It’s interesting that more than half of the sum (3.6 billion dollars) will be paid in cash. The rest of the deal will be paid in stocks.

Debt Financing

This is not the first time for The Stars Group to make huge deals. Just four years ago, they have bought PokerStars for almost the same amount of money – 4.9 billion dollars. In order to complete this huge deal, The Stars Group has managed to get 6.9 billion dollars of debt financing. With this amount of money, they will also cover the current SkyBet debt and refinance the loan.

What can the Stars Group and SkyBet expect from this Deal?

As previously mentioned, this deal will form the largest publicly traded online gambling company in the world. As a result of this trade, The Stars Group will improve their international presence and they will take a larger portion of the global betting market. According to official statistics, SkyBet is a company that has the most active online bettors in the United Kingdom.

This also means that they are one of the most successful companies in the world when it comes to betting and gambling in general. What’s interesting is that almost 80% of its total revenue comes from mobile users. This is probably the factor that contributed to the final decision made by The Stars Group because experts predict that the number of mobile players will increase rapidly in the next few years.

Besides sports betting, SkyBet is offering a few other forms of online gambling. Their primary focus is British players, although they have a strong base of users from Europe and even from Asia. That’s why they had revenue of over 600 million British pounds last year most of it generated from sports betting and poker.

A Global Expansion

Gambling companies know that the United Kingdom has strict rules when it comes to gambling activities. In this way, The Stars Group will penetrate the British market in a simpler way. SkyBet has years of experience in this area and the company has been able to adjust its work to the changing laws.

SkyBet has also introduced its Italian online sportsbook project two years ago which means that The Stars Group will have direct access to this significant market. As the world’s largest online gambling company, The Stars Group will have more chances to enter the restricted US gambling market which is expected to open up to the international gambling companies this summer.

Interested in PokerStars? Check out our PokerStars casino review.

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