Relaxed Approach Earns Unibet Poker and PokerStars Industry Awards

February 7th, 2020 | by Kaycee James

The casual approach to online poker is a winning formula for PokerStars and Unibet according to judges at Gaming Intelligence.

Relax Gaming has helped Unibet Poker win another industry award for excellence. (Image: Rushbie/Unibet Poker)

Relax Gaming has helped Unibet Poker win another industry award for excellence. (Image: Rushbie/Unibet Poker)

With various organizations reviewing the top operators of 2019, Gaming Intelligence has published its honors list.

Topping the list of standout performers was The Stars Group. As well as winning an award for its innovations, the company was praised for driving the industry forward.

Relax Deal Helps Unibet Poker Shine

Alongside the parent company of PokerStars, Unibet found its way onto the winners’ list courtesy of Relax Gaming. Relax Gaming was recognized for its software and named Online Poker Supplier of the Year.

2020 Gambling Intelligence Awards Winners

Bingo Operator – Gamesys Group

Sports Betting Operator – The Stars Group

Poker Operator – The Stars Group

Lottery Operator – Sazka Group

Casino Operator – 888 Holdings

Socially Responsible Operator – Betsson Group

Management Team – Gamesys Group

One To Watch – Fox Bet

Game Of The Year – Monopoly Live By Evolution Gaming

Sports Betting Supplier – SBTech

Casino Supplier – Evolution Gaming

Poker Supplier – Relax Gaming

Supplier Innovation Award – Sg Vision By Scientific Games

Lottery Supplier – IWG

Bingo Supplier – Playtech

One To Watch – Skywind Group

The common denominator between The Stars Group and Relax Gaming is their focus on recreational players. Novices haven’t always been a primary target for PokerStars. However, various products and updates over the last five years have shifted its focus.

For Unibet Poker and Relax Gaming, casual players have been important for the best part of a decade. When the latter broke away from the iPoker Network in 2013, its intention was to create a more social gaming experience.

Casual Focus Reshapes Poker Industry

Commenting at the time, Head of Gaming at Unibet Daniel Eskola said Relax would develop a standalone network for casual players.

“This project has given us the possibility to start from a blank piece of paper and define everything we believe is important for a fun poker experience. In a way, our goal is to bring the fun back to poker,” Eskola said in 2013.

Breaking away from an established network like iPoker was considered a gamble. However, in July 2019, Unibet Poker celebrated its 1 billionth hand.

Since then, the operator’s French-facing poker platform has been moved Relax Gaming’s network. Moreover, the brand returned to Ireland in 2018 after a three year hiatus.

The evolution of online poker over the last five years is well documented. With major operators introducing novice-friendly measures such as banning tracking software, the landscape has changed.

While some experienced grinders feel these changes have come at their expense, the industry is currently flourishing. As well as online prizepools reaching new levels, the live tournament scene is buzzing.

For PokerStars and Unibet Poker, these changing dynamics have put them among the top operators in the industry.


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