PokerStars, the largest online poker website has said that card sharks have driven out the novice bettors that generate the vast majority of the sites revenue. As a result, The Stars Group (TSG), which bought the website for $4.9 billion back in 2014, has seen revenue growth from the game flatten. In an effort to drive off the sharks, PokerStars has ended many off the perks/incentives, including a loyalty program, that rewarded the degenerate gambler. Instead, the company has reallocated tournament money and given perks to less frequent bettors, in an effort to bring back the casual poker player. It should be noted that shares are up 41% since CEO Rafi Ashkenazi was hired last year.
Howie Long-Short: Poker is no longer a growth business for TSG, unless they can enter new markets. I’m more interested in scuttlebutt on Baazov’s massive insider trading trial
Fan Marino: Sharks preying on beginner minnows? Fans of daily fantasy sports know that story well.