When Amaya Gaming announced that they were purchasing the Rational Group, including PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, it was clear that they’d have a major impact on the future of those brands. With the sale not even completed yet, it’s still not clear exactly what those changes will entail. But even before Amaya truly takes control, one of those online poker giants is already gaining something from their soon-to-be owners.
The Amaya Gaming Group announced recently that they would be launching a selection of their online casino games at Full Tilt Poker to help the site expand into the world of online gambling. That move comes not long after the site was officially hosted at FullTilt.com, dropping the “poker” from its domain name and suggesting a more universal online gambling future for the brand.
This agreement is actually unrelated (or at least, not directly a part of) the acquisition of the Rational Group by Amaya. Instead, this continues a trend this year for Full Tilt of incorporating third-party casino games into their poker client.
“Rational Group will immediately enhance the online slots offering with Amaya’s Casino Gaming System and in the future will further leverage Amaya’s international reach and product pipeline for additional offerings,” the company’s announcement stated.
Full Tilt’s expansion into the world of casino gambling came in January, when players in some markets (including the United Kingdom) saw blackjack and roulette games added to what was formerly a poker-only client. A deal in April saw online slots provided by Leander Games, while Net Entertainment was later contracted to help improve the site’s mobile offerings.
It has been speculated that Amaya (and the Rational Group before them) would eventually work to make Full Tilt into an online gambling portal in order to distinguish it from their primary online poker offering, PokerStars. So far, there have been no signs that any games beyond poker will be added at PokerStars.
In contrast, it seems as though just about anything is possible over at Full Tilt. The Rational Group had made mention of potentially moving into the world of sports betting, something that likely would have been handled under the Full Tilt banner. Amaya has said that they hope to leverage the Rational Group’s assets to enter the world of online sports betting as well.
The rebranding comes as Amaya continues towards the finalization of their takeover of the Rational Group. Since the $4.9 billion acquisition was announced, events have progressed rather smoothly, with many regulators chiming in with support and anticipation over the transaction.
In the United States and Canada, various jurisdictions including New Jersey and Quebec have suggested that the change in ownership could be what PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker need in order to gain licensing. French regulator ARJEL has said that they see no problems with PokerStars keeping their license in the European nation following the change, and the removal of the Scheinbergs from the leadership of the company is likely to help in other jurisdictions as well. Returning the PokerStars and Full Tilt brand names to American markets was a major strategic goal outlined by Amaya at the time of the purchase.