Amaya makes brand merger move

Amaya makes brand merger move

Wednesday, February 17, 2016 Totally Gaming
PokerStars and Full Tilt to combine in the coming months

Amaya has revealed plans to merge its PokerStars and Full Tilt brands within the next few months in a move that will create a single, larger and more “nimble” platform.

Confirming the merger in a statement, Amaya said that the migration would allows its development and technology teams to focus on one platform, instead of working to enhance two separate services. Industry analysts have told TotallyGaming.com that the development was largely predictable given PokerStars' strength in relation to Full Tilt.

Under the plans, Full Tilt will retain its brand, while customer avatars and rewards will remain in place. However, players will now have a single account. 

Reflecting on the decision, Rafi Ashkenazi, chief executive of Rational Group, the Amaya-owned operator of both brands, said that although Full Tilt is still a profitable poker room, it has been in decline since relaunching in 2012.

“Players will benefit from a larger pool of players offering greater game choice, bigger prize pools,” Ashkenazi said.

“It will also make us more nimble as we can focus our technological innovation on one platform, rather than two, so we will be able to innovate more quickly and enter newly-regulating and existing markets swiftly.”

Other changes that existing Full Tilt customers will benefit from include access to the PokerStars VIP Club rewards programme. Customers will still able to play ‘The Deal’ feature that has proved popular since launching on Full Tilt, offering jackpots of more than $100,000 (€90,000). 

Amaya, which will contact Full Tilt customers directly to outline the changes, said that the Full Tilt Casino will also be included in the migration process and would be subject to the same automated account changeover process. The web casino, video poker, baccarat and double-ball roulette will initially not be made available on the combined platform, but may be added at a later date.

Amaya also noted that the development will result in a number of job losses at its site in Dublin, Ireland. Staff members who are at-risk have been notified and the company, and the extent of the redundancies will be confirmed in the coming months.

Amaya's share price on the Toronto Stock Exchange was up marginally by 12.30pm local time today (Wednesday).

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