Online gaming company Amaya Inc, owner of online poker giants PokerStars and Full Tilt, saw revenues for the 4Q16 and the full year increase by 5.9 percent and 7.8 percent respectively on the back of numerous cost-cutting measures.
However, its flagship online poker business suffered losses of 5.1 percent and 4.6 percent respectively, adjusted to a 1 percent decline year-on-year when changes in foreign exchange rates are taken into account.
Amaya reported that its online poker revenues and real-money online casino and sportsbook combined revenues continue to represent the majority of revenue at 70 percent and 25.8 percent respectively for 4Q16.
In a statement, the company said its decision to target recreational players on PokerStars while cutting loyalty programs for regulars was gaining momentum.
“Amaya continues to see a positive impact from its previously announced strategy of focusing on recreational players, including through changes to its online poker loyalty program and rake structure, and certain adjustments to the poker ecosystem despite the year-over-year declines,” it said.
Amaya recently renegotiated the terms of its first lien term loans to save around US$15.4 million of interest expense annually. The deal also included a clause preventing founder and former CEO David Baazov from launching any further takeover bids following a handful of unsuccessful attempts over the past 18 months.
“2016 was a record year of revenues for Amaya,” said CEO Rafi Ashkenazi. “Our proactive changes to the poker ecosystem and customer acquisition initiatives continue to reverse certain negative trends and we are starting to see organic growth in that business, our casino offering exceeded expectations as we introduced limited marketing campaigns and focused on our cross-sell efforts and we continued to build and develop our sports book. We expect to continue our 2016 momentum and execute on our strategy in 2017.”