PokerStars Readies Daily Fantasy Sports Launch

Online giant PokerStars is preparing to enter the quickly growing daily fantasy sports industry. The company appears to be shooting for a September launch, in time for the NFL season.

PokerStars appears about to launch a daily fantasy sports product in time for the NFL season.

The company contacted many of its former customers in the US through e-mail and is gauging opinions on its DFS product. Reports say the e-mails were sent to players in the U.S. who had accounts with PokerStars before it was shut down in 2011 by the U.S. Department of Justice over illegal online gambling.

Though not entirely settled, DFS is not seen as gambling in the U.S. and several DFS sites are operating.

Recipients were asked about what kind of fantasy sports they had played, whether they had ever played for real-money, and if so how often. The survey also asked respondents which kind of DFS bonuses and promotions they felt were most attractive.

David Baazov, CEO of PokerStars’ parent Amaya, first said the company was considering adding daily fantasy sports in March.

“We have also taken the strategic decision to enter the daily fantasy sports category and are pursuing parallel tracks of internal development and strategic acquisition,” he said. “We expect to provide more details on this strategy in the second half of 2015 but see a clear crossover from poker and daily fantasy sports. The goal is to be up before the NFL season starts. We clearly see a strong demand for it. The U.S. players that were formerly PokerStars players would like to see us launch fantasy sports.”