Canadian online gaming giant The Stars Group says it is expecting record revenue of around US$735 million for the three months to 31 March 2020, up 27% year-on-year thanks to a surge in its casino and poker offerings during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Stars Group, owner of the world’s largest online poker site PokerStars, specifically noted “increased customer activity across its online poker and casino product offerings largely beginning in March,” when international revenue soared by 44% despite minimal sports betting revenue due to the cancellation of most sports.
The company has also “continued to see increased activity in online poker and casino into the second quarter of 2020, with consolidated average daily revenues in the first two weeks of the quarter approximately 33% higher as compared to the first quarter of 2020. On the same basis, International revenues were approximately 75% higher, benefiting from increased activity in online poker and casino.”
Operating income is expected to have grown by 133% to US$140 million, with Adjusted EBITDA up 51% to US$291 million.
The results reflect similar rises in volume reported by a number of online gaming operators as governments around the world have implemented a variety of social distancing measures and lockdowns.
“We are continuing to see strong momentum into April, with strong growth in poker and gaming revenues helping to mitigate the cancellation of sporting events,” said The Stars Group CEO Rafi Ashkenazi.
“With these encouraging trends, a well-diversified and cash-generative business and our strong balance sheet, we believe that we remain well-positioned to navigate further headwinds related to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.”