Since Amaya’s acquisition of Rational Group in 2014 it has become apparent that even an industry behemoth such as PokerStars is not immune to the global poker market’s decline.
While focus may be pulled away from the core product by PokerStars’ expansion into sports betting and casino, and almost-constant M&A speculation, the operator has quietly and carefully made excellent progress in revitalising poker.
The launch of new game formats such as Beat the Clock and Knockout Poker, coupled with an overhauled VIP programme and rake structure, helps PokerStars appeal to casual players.
Recreational players have become the top target for poker operators, and PokerStars has done more than any other company to bring them in. The restorative effect of these efforts is only just starting to show, but with a foothold in the US as well, the operator is more than deserving of retaining its crown.
Gaming Intelligence Awards & Hot 50 of 2017
GIA Casino Operator of the Year: Amaya
GIA Bingo Operator of the Year: Jackpotjoy
GIA Poker Operator of the Year: Amaya
GIA Lottery Operator of the Year: British Columbia Lottery Corporation
GIA Social Casino Operator of the Year: Zynga Casino
GIA Sports Betting Operator of the Year: Sky Bet
GIA Socially Responsible Operator of the Year: Unibet
GIA Game of the Year: Cash Out Roulette, Be The House
GIA Marketing Campaign of the Year: 888Sport
GIA Bingo Supplier of the Year: Dragonfish
GIA Casino Supplier of the Year: NETENT
GIA Lottery Supplier of the Year: Scientific Games
GIA Marketing Services Provider of the Year: Optimove
GIA Poker Supplier of the Year: Relax Gaming
GIA Social Casino Supplier of the Year: Greentube
GIA Sports Betting Supplier of the Year: SBTech
GIA Innovation Award: Digital Sports Tech, Player Prop Bets
GI HOT 50 2017 – Founders & Pioneers
GI HOT 50 2017 – Big-Shot CEOs
GI HOT 50 2017 – The Next Generation of CEOs
GI HOT 50 2017 – Backstage Heroes
GI HOT 50 2017 – Superstar Suppliers