Amaya Gaming trims “dozens” of staff to ensure company hits growth targets

amaya-pokerstars-betstars-redundanciesOnline gambling operator Amaya Gaming is trimming its payroll in a bid to improve its organizational structure and its bottom line.

On Friday, sources told eGaming Review that Amaya was eliminating “dozens” of jobs at its London office while shifting some of these jobs to more cost-effective locales such as the Isle of Man. The cuts are a continuation of an attrition process that gathered speed following the closure in May of Amaya’s ‘B’ poker brand Full Tilt.

Amaya’s corporate spokesman Eric Hollreiser confirmed the cuts, saying the company was eliminating “a few dozen existing roles in several offices, while simultaneously creating a few dozen new roles in several offices.” Hollreiser said all efforts were being made to place the affected Amaya staffers in new roles based on their qualifications.

Hollreiser said the manpower trimming was a necessary extension of the company’s evolution from a single-product poker company to one also offering casino, sports betting and daily fantasy sports. The new verticals helped produce a 6% rise in Amaya’s Q1 revenue but they also contributed to an 11% decline in poker revenue.

Interim CEO Rafi Ashkenazi, who has taken the wheel while David Baazov fights insider trading charges, said the company wasn’t bothered by this cannibalization trend. But Amaya is publicly traded, and investors demand perpetual quarterly improvement, underscoring Hollreiser’s statement that the cuts were required if Amaya was to “deliver on our growth plans.”

Also leaving the fold is Heath Cram, director of sports biz-dev and operations for Amaya’s BetStars sportsbook. Cram, a 10-year veteran of the Rational Group – the parent company of PokerStars that Amaya acquired in 2014 – announced via his LinkedIn page that he’d be stepping down in August to work for a B2B firm that doesn’t directly compete with PokerStars. His departure was planned and was unrelated to the redundancies. (An earlier version of this article incorrectly linked Cram’s exit with the larger staff cuts.)