Canada’s Amaya Gaming has gone on an online domain buying binge in apparent preparation for the launch of a standalone sports betting brand.
Amaya’s PokerStars brand took its first sports bet this spring following Amaya’s 2014 purchase of the Rational Group, the parent company of Stars and Full Tilt. Both brands had begun a process of diversifying their offering beyond poker but this process has accelerated under Amaya’s leadership.
On Friday, GamblingInvest.com reported that the Rational Group’s domain portfolio management company Rational Intellectual Holdings had acquired several domains connected with the word ‘betstars,’ including betstars.com, betstars.net and betstars.co.uk.
The betstars.com domain was reportedly acquired late last month. BetStars.com was a sportsbook run by UK-licensed WilsonBet (and not to be confused with the Melbourne-based BetStar bookmaker acquired by Ladbrokes Australia last year). On June 30, WilsonBet shut down its BetStars site in order to focus on its telephone betting operation, although it promised at the time to “establish a new and improved website in the near future.”
Rational acquired the betstars.net domain from a private investor for $10k this week. The deal was handled by IP Twins, a French domain registrar, which acquired the betstars.co.uk domain on Rational’s behalf in June. That same month, IP Twins also handled Rational’s purchase of betstars.eu and betstars.de via the Sedo domain marketplace. None of the Betstars domains have been activated so far.
Amaya appears to have had an easier time acquiring its betting domains than it did with its daily fantasy sports site. Amaya acquired DFS operator Victiv in August, rebranding it as StarsDraft the following month. Calling the site DraftStars would have been more in keeping with the mothership’s brand identity, but another DFS operator (Draft Ops) had dibs on the DraftStars.com domain and apparently wasn’t interested in selling.