Originally conceived in Toronto and best known for its PokerStars brand, the huge gambling conglomerate has taken another big hit, due to regulatory backlashes over the course of this year. With its head office based in the Isle of Man, several hundreds of employees have had to bear the unfortunate brunt of serious downturns that have hit the entire brand. While still in its estimations, it has been reported that approximately 400 members of staff have been let go from the Isle of Man head office. The Stars Group is a major casino and betting platform and counted as one of the key players within the gambling industry, yet this blow has certainly hit the organisation hard.
The loss comes as a result of regulatory issues causing a complete redeployment of strategy when it comes to the group’s operations and the optimisations that it can make thereof. Something that many an online casino has had to come to terms with year on year.
While it’s the Isle of Man office that’s been hit by this monumental blow, Stars have confirmed that the office will remain the heart of operations for their future endeavours. This reported loss of 400 employees constitutes approximately a fifth of Stars’ entire accumulated manpower, however their response has been that business will continue as usual, once the necessary adjustments have been made. This statement has of course come with a coat of empathy to those directly affected by this regrettable course of events. Some may have predicted this disappointing situation though, as Stars Group saw a severe declines, during the end of the second financial quarter, of almost 12% in their Poker associated revenues with the addition of a drop-rate of approximately 5% in their active users. This being their biggest product, most definitely would have had severe negative impact on the company’s vision of the future.
As with the nature of all things online; information, technology and legislative changes are moving thick and fast, especially when considering that each region has their own priorities set. It seems the Stars Group have been most heavily affected by Norwegian and Russian payment institutions instigating systems to block funds that are being used for gambling related purposes by their customers attempting to deposit at online casinos.
Further legislative adjustments meant that Stars also had to back out of the Swizz and Slovakian markets, which would certainly have caused even exacerbated the tough situation they have already been under this year. Predictions are that The Netherlands are the next market to be withdrawn by the group, which makes it seems that Stars is facing nothing but an uphill struggle to reclaim their past glory days. Something almost worth even betting on.
Well maybe let’s not get too dramatic too soon. The Stars Group is after all a massive conglomerate and has a huge network of brands and partners to rely on. We are by no way claiming this is the beginning of the end for Stars, but many a casino and casino groups have been feeling the brunt of changes in legislation, as regional legalities are becoming more nuanced, contrasting and in some cases obscure.