BUSINESS

Has PokerStars discovered a new revenue model to combat the global poker slump?

TAGs: cybersquatting, PokerStars

PokerStars-Revenue-ModelOf late, there’s been a lot of hand-wringing in the online poker business. Traffic at most sites has stalled, and in some cases, declined precipitously. After enjoying years of rampant growth, many in the sector are neither prepared for, nor willing to tolerate, any interruption in this cash cow’s milk production. But no one seems to have identified a quick and easy way to pull on those teats and get that sweet, sweet liquid flowing again. At least, not until now.

A popular theory making the rounds is that a prime contributor to online poker’s decline is the glut of operators battling over the same stagnant pool of customers. So… the number of operators is increasing, but the number of customers is holding steady or declining. What if one could apply something like a judo technique to this problem, flip the situation on its head, and turn those operators into customers? That seems to be the thinking emanating from the murky bowels of the offices of PokerStars.

The idea sprang from the fertile (as in, liberally covered with shit) mind of one Ali Ahmed, a drone at Halfords Media, a marketing division of PokerStars, who specializes in the online domain name game. Entrepreneurial Ali has discovered that if you register domains that can be linked to existing companies – like, say, Bodog or Full Tilt — you can then offer to sell the domain names back to these companies for the low low price of £1,500 apiece.

The mathematical brilliance behind this strategy is obvious. Take all the poker operators out there, multiply that by the almost unlimited variety of domains derived from these operators’ names, then multiply that number by 1,500… and you’ve pretty much reversed your own company’s declining revenues. Seriously, you could pretty much forget the fucking poker side of it entirely and just concentrate on the cyber-squatting. Requires a lot less maintenance under the hood, plus the revenue flows entirely in one direction. Yours.

We’d like to offer a hearty shout-out to PokerStars for utilizing such ingenious employees. We encourage any other gaming industry entrepreneurs who might have trademark infringing domains just lying around collecting dust — and you think you’re pretty good at bluffing — to contact PokerStars’ new “Trademark Extortion Division”, c/o Ali Ahmed at support@pokerstars.com.

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