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Canada – Amaya buys into daily fantasy sports sector

By - 17 August 2015

Amaya has bought Victiv (http://www.victiv.com), an Austin, Texas based daily fantasy sports site that offers players the opportunity to build a roster of their favourite sports stars and compete for the chance to win real money.

The current Victiv team will manage the DFS business, which will be rebranded Starsdraft and will be initially launched at StarsDraft.com in select U.S. markets and later through the PokerStars platform. Victiv has received considerable attention among daily fantasy players for its user-friendly and innovative software for fantasy sports enthusiasts.

“StarsDraft (http://www.StarsDraft.com ) will combine Victiv’s innovative platform and experienced DFS team with Amaya’s expansive consumer base and operational excellence as the world’s preeminent online gaming brand,” said Matthew Primeaux, CEO of Victiv. “We intend to capitalize on what we believe is strong crossover between online poker players and daily fantasy sports. PokerStars is the most-trusted brand in online gaming and brings unmatched security, customer support and technical infrastructure that we believe all players can rely on.”

StarsDraft.com will feature the innovative Victiv software that Amaya believes has made the site increasingly popular since its launch last September, particularly among players who are new to the game. In particular, the Bankroll Builder feature allows new players the chance to learn the game in a risk-free environment. Joining free-to-enter contests new players have a chance to display their sports knowledge and win cash without having to deposit.

The purchase follows the news that Amaya grew its revenues by 10 per cent to approximately $320m as compared to pro-forma1 revenues for Q2 2014.

Revenues grew approximately 24 per cent on a constant currency basis3 and normalizing4 the impact of approximately $6m in value added taxes (“VAT”) charged in 2015 (but not in 2014) in certain European Union jurisdictions, including Germany and France. On the same basis, poker grew approximately 11 per cent, partially attributable to an increase in real-money unique players and depositors on PokerStars.

“This was another exciting quarter for Amaya,” said David Baazov, Amaya’s Chairman and CEO. “Our core poker business remains strong and our customers have embraced our expansion into non-poker offerings.
“We’ve completed our transition to a pure B2C technology company having finalized the divestiture of our B2B businesses. We substantially reduced our leverage and improved our financial condition. Since the acquisition of our B2C business, we’ve repaid approximately US$529mof our long-term debt, thereby eliminating an estimated US$62 million of related interest expense.”

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