Amaya Buys Victiv, Plans to Use Its DFS Platform as a PokerStars Daily Fantasy Site
Amaya Gaming Group purchased the Texas daily fantasy sports service “Victiv” this week. Victiv will be rebranded as “StarsDraft” and launched in select markets at first. Eventually, StarsDraft is going to be linked with the PokerStars platform.
Thus, Victiv is going to become the long-awaited daily fantasy sports unit of the PokerStars gaming network. While this has not been made explicit, it can be assumed Victiv’s existing service will not be linked with PokerStars until that poker site is approved in the United States.
The launch of the StarsDraft brand is expected to be in the coming weeks. The speculation is David Baazov wants the site launched by the start of the 2015-2016 NFL regular season, which begins on September 10. While the NFL only has 16 regular season games compared to the 82-game schedule of the NBA and the 162-game schedule of Major League Baseball, America’s most popular sports remains the key generator of revenues in the DFS industry.
For the time being, those who have been operating Victiv are expected to stay in control of the service, which is a competitor of industry leaders FanDuel and DraftKings. A press release from Amaya Gaming stated, “The current Victiv team will manage the DFS business, which will be rebranded StarsDraft and will be initially launched at StarsDraft.com in select U.S. markets and later through the PokerStars platform.”
US Licensing for PokerStars
PokerStars continues to wait for licensing in New Jersey, which happens to be the state most amenable to the poker website’s inclusion in the US market. California and Pennsylvania are considering “bad actor” bans on PokerStars (if they approve ipoker), while Delaware and Nevada already have included the poker brand.
Victiv only got into the daily fantasy sports business in September 2014, but it has positioned itself ahead of big corporate DFS sites from USA Today and Sports Illustrated to become the number three competitor. The site set itself apart with an innovative platform using an interactive dashboard and anonymous head-to-head contests, along with promotions like the Bankroll Builders (no deposit), 18% cashback on some bets, and Victi points earned for each contest you play.
Matthew Primeaux on Sale of Victiv
Matthew Primeaux, the CEO of Victiv, spoke about the buyout. He said, “StarsDraft will combine Victiv’s innovative platform and experienced DFS team with Amaya’s expansive consumer base and operational excellence as the world’s preeminent online gaming brand.”
“We intend to capitalize on what we believe is strong crossover between online poker players and daily fantasy sports. PokerStars is the most-trusted brand in online gaming and brings unmatched security, customer support and technical infrastructure that we believe all players can rely on.”
This should prove a solid combination, though a service which focuses on American sports might have trouble with the PokerStars brand, for the reasons discussed above.
Of course, David Baazov might be planning to use the Victiv platform to sign up international players from the PokerStars community. If so, then UEFA football matches and contests involving other football federations might be more fo the focus. If so, then the product could be a major player on the international market, after a short time retooling the games.
Competing DFS Services
CBS and Yahoo each have launched their own daily fantasy sports services this summer. Both hope to leverage their databases of traditional fantasy sports owners to lure DFS customers. Those fantasy sports databases have been built up in over a decade-plus in the business. Those corporations now have a third major competitor trying to nail down who is third in the industry.
It’s an important position, because one recent analyst predicted the DFS industry might be worth $2.5 billion a year by the year 2020. Is so, then the third position should rake in more than enough money. That estimate is almost as much as the US legal online gambling community.