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partypoker vs. PokerStars round two: 2018 results

Being the largest online poker room in the world isn't just a status, it's a fight for having the most traffic, the best software, promotions, and of course, the best financial results. partypoker and PokerStars parent companies (GVC Holdings and The Stars Group respectively) almost simultaneously have released the 2018 financial statements and in this article, we evaluate the last year’s results for the top poker rooms on the market in terms of profits.

partypoker vs. PokerStars round two: 2018 results

Financial results of GVC Holdings (partypoker) and The Stars Group (PokerStars) in 2018

The two companies shared with their investors and stakeholders the following numbers:

  Total Income Variation Profit   Variation
  2017 2018   2017 2018  
GVC Holdings £3.247,6M £3.523,6M +8% £666,5M £755,3M +13%
The Stars Group $2,276M $2,541M +12% $869M $920M +6%

The table shows that Stars received a larger share (12%) of the incomes as a profit, compared to the 8% distributed by partypoker. This could be due to the efficient handling of the money and expenses or less amount invested in new projects. But it must be noted that GVC Holdings profits are growing at a faster rate, opposite to the Stars behavior. The annual reports include additional information such as strategic plans for the future and for example reveals a major interest of The Stars Group on the Australian market and basically in every regulated country. 

Also, The Stars Group divulged the real reason why they asked poker affiliates to delete the company from their portfolio: The NJ DGE (New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement) specifically asked for it.

GVC Holdings also includes its future plans on regulated markets such as Russia, UK, USA, and Latin-America.

A detailed review of partypoker and PokerStars results

The Stars Group indicated that in 2018 the poker income was the 38% of the company, is so far the largest contributor to the companies' incomes, compared to sports betting (32%) and casino games (30%). But, in Q4 2018, sports betting surpassed online poker for the first time in the group's history.

GVC Holdings presented the information in a different way, avoiding mentioning the specific numbers of partypoker, we think it's no larger than 20%. But it's increasing, as the poker room is the fastest growing brand in the holding. Q4 2018 was similar to Q3 2018 as the overall growth was 42% and 43% respectively.

PokerStars is going in a completely opposite direction. In Q3 the revenue was $212,8M and in Q4, 210,9M, and this is 10% less compared to 2017. In the end, PokerStars only grew 1% in revenue, and it was only possible due to reactivation at the end of the year when the European pool started.


GVC Holdings and The Stars Group seem to have a different perspective about the market. While partypoker parent company is actively investing funds and positioning hits online poker room as one of the business priorities, Stars continues diversifying its incomes; in fact, PokerStars lives at the expense of the players' database that was created in the past years giving it a tremendous advantage today, remaining today as the largest online poker room in the world.

Our recommendation as affiliates is to play at partypoker, which is actively developing its poker room, the traffic is increasing every day, the software is great and Worldpokerdeals players get an exclusive rakeback deal.

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Vargoso 11.03.19
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