Amaya, Victiv 'Working Non-Stop" On StarsDraft
Legal Sports Report

Victiv CEO Says StarsDraft Integration With PokerStars Has Goal Of NFL Week 1

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The StarsDraft daily fantasy sports platform should soon be integrated into the PokerStars client, according to the CEO of the DFS site acquired by Amaya.

‘Working non-stop on integration’

Amaya announced the purchase of Victiv on Thursday, with very few details about the logistics of how the platform would be integrated into the PokerStars family.

StarsDraft.com is still not active, as DFS continues as usual at Victiv. But Victiv CEO Matthew Primeaux told Legal Sports Report that the changeover — and integration into the PokeStars client — should happen by the start of NFL season, which is less than a month away:

“Both the Victiv and Amaya teams have been working non-stop on this integration,” Primeaux told LSR. “The goal is to have the site rebrand and PokerStars client integration ready by NFL Week 1.”

While that may sound like a short timeframe, it’s not as if the two sites just started working yesterday. Amaya CEO David Baazov said the deal to purchase Victiv happened “subsequent to” Q2 of this year, meaning the integration could have weeks of work already complete, making a Week 1 relaunch possible.

International DFS play at StarsDraft?

Despite integration with the PokerStars client, it’s still unclear how far away we are from seeing StarsDraft in markets other than the U.S. and Canada, the two jurisdictions where DFS is thought not to require a gaming license, currently.

Primeaux said “all game play will continue as it previously did on Victiv.com,” meaning players would be accepted from those two countries. StarsDraft would not be available in Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana and Washington, states where DFS is generally considered illegal in all its forms.

“Our initial focus is on the current daily fantasy sports market, continuing to build our product offering, and marketing to Amaya’s extensive customer base,” Primeaux said.

At the same time, Primeaux hinted at PokerStars’ operations around the world, and it would be shocking if we don’t eventually see StarsDraft in other countries, like the U.K.

“Amaya owns the world’s largest online poker site and holds gaming licenses globally, so we’re working to finalize a list of excluded states as part of our technology integration and migration to StarsDraft.com,” Primeaux said.

Why StarsDraft, and not DraftStars?

On another tangent, some have questioned the choice of the name of the new PokerStars DFS product, as “DraftStars” might sound like it fits into the brand better.

But Primeaux said Victiv and Amaya viewed StarsDraft to be the best choice.

“We wanted the Stars name to be front and center,” Primeaux said. “It’s the largest and most trusted name in gaming — it defines our goals here in daily fantasy sports, and thus should be the focal point of our brand.”

As we noted previously, the DraftStars.com domain is owned (and redirects to) another DFS operator, Draft Ops. Whether Amaya made an offer for the domain, or whether Draft Ops was interested in parting with it, is unknown.

Dustin Gouker
- Dustin Gouker has been a sports journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and designer -- including stops at The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner.
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