The Stars Group Seals $4.7 Billion Deal for Sky Betting and Gaming

April 23rd, 2018 | by Kaycee James

Sky Poker is set to become a stablemate of PokerStars after The Stars Group agreed a $4.7 billion deal with CVC Capital Partners.

Sky Betting and Gaming.

The Stars Group has diversified its online interests with a $4.7 billion takeover of Sky Betting and Gaming. (Image: Prolific North)

Following an April 21 article from Reuters, mainstream media outlets in the UK have with run with the news that Sky Betting and Gaming will become part of The Stars Group.

As per the reports, the parent company of PokerStars and Full Tilt will take a majority interest in the betting, casino, poker and bingo operator.

Sky Poker Aligns with PokerStars’ Current Interests

Under the terms announced, CVC will retain a 12 percent interest in the new entity, while former owners Sky Plc and a group of executives will retain 3 percent of the business. When the transaction completes later this year, The Stars Group will acquire an online poker site that’s known to cater for low stakes players.

As well as a desktop and mobile platform that has a 24-hour cash game peak of 560 players, Sky Poker is the organizer of a live tournament series. Known as the Sky Poker Tour and founded in 2009, the festival has made its name as one that casual players can enjoy.

In addition to buy-ins starting at $305, the main events are designed to start on a Friday evening when people have finished work and come to a conclusion on a Sunday. This dynamic has made it popular with novices and aspiring poker pros.

While The Stars Group will want to keep Sky Poker separate from its existing poker brands, access to another low stakes fanbase is something that aligns with PokerStars’ current trajectory and could prove useful in the future.

The Stars Group Betting on Sports Betting

Any innovations in the poker sector, however, will almost certainly take place long after The Stars Group has focused its efforts on the sports betting market. Following the launch of BetStars in 2015, The Stars Group purchased an 80 percent stake in Australia’s CrownBet at the start of 2018.

As part of that deal, the operator took control of William Hill Australia to become a leading player in the Aussie sports betting market. With its presence in this market on the up, the deal with Sky Betting and Gaming will open up a myriad of new opportunities in the UK and Europe.

On top of adding another sports betting platform to its portfolio, The Stars Group will have another casino site under its control as well as a bingo portal. These interests not only confirm it as one of the largest operators in the world but signal another departure from the poker-only vibe that was in place when the Rational Group owned PokerStars.

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