Amaya Gaming, or The Stars Group as it’s also known right now, is among the big names of the online gaming industry. They’ve acquired major brands like PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker a couple of years ago, spending billions to do it back in 2014, so they’re one of the big guys in this industry. They offer slot machines and other casino games, but they also have a hand in the land-based market, in mobile gaming, lottery, sportsbooks and poker.
History of Amaya
Amaya Gaming Group has been established in 2004, in Canada. The company has initially started with development of electronic table games, among which you could find horse racing, Mahjong and bingo. They’ve expanded over the coming years, and they even acquired other companies starting from 2011. At the time, they bought Chartwell Technologies, spending $23 million on it.
One year later, the company acquired another major developer from the industry, called Cryptologic. The move, which was done in 2012, had a cost of $35.8 million. Cadillac Jack was another purchase that Amaya did in 2012, spending $167 million for the game studio. Ongame was acquired as well, and with this Amaya finished off a strong year for their expansion plans.
In 2014, Amaya decided to sell WagerLogic, which was one of the subsidiaries acquired along with Cryptologic, and they got $70 million for it. That sale included several gaming sites, such as InterCasino, InterPoker and InterBingo.
The really big news came in June, 2014. In a deal worth $4.9 billion, Amaya announced that they’re buying Oldford Group. This was the biggest poker company at the time, owner of Rational Group, under which you could find PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker. They had 85 million poker players. This made Amaya the largest gambling company which was publicly traded in 2014.
These days, the company is known as The Stars Group, having had its name changed back in August, 2017. Another big move made by the company was in April 2018, when they spent $4.7 billion (stock and cash) to acquire Sky Betting & Gaming, a UK company.
While I haven’t seen a lot of new slot machines being released under the Amaya name, the developer does have a fairly large collection of such games which originates from the companies they’ve acquired over the years. Their latest slot machines were released in the first half of 2017, with titles like Dragon Sword, Vampires vs Werewolves and Dragon Parade.
The game collection offered by Amaya is big enough that they are able to cover a lot of different themes, so they range from Chinese, to Medieval, Las Vegas, jungle and adventure. Some of the games which stood out for me were the likes of Dam Rich (beavers) and Siberian Siren, just because they’re different and unique.
Whether it’s expanding wilds, re-spins, bonus games, wild symbols, free spins, scatters, multipliers and a lot of other features, I think there is a pretty good mix of options available in their games. Naturally, some will do better than others, but overall it’s a decent collection of slot machines.
Certain games from Amaya appear to be a lot more popular right now. So Hot is heavily promoted at casinos, but slots like Wonder Woman, Aladdin’s Legacy, Bars and Bells or White Buffalo are also played a fair bit.
Highest RTP Games
I’ve noticed several exciting releases from Amaya, RTP wise. One of those titles is Vampires vs Werewolves, which has an RTP of 98%, one of the best that you can find online right now. The same RTP I’ve also found quoted for Aladdin’s Lamp. The next best paying releases from them are Thundering Zeus, Frogs and Flies, Lost Temple and Taxi, both coming in at 97%. I’ve also noticed decent games like Noughty Crosses (96.63%) and Just Vegas (96.4%).
Make sure you check the RTP before you jump in though. I’ve seen a long list of slot machines at 93% or 94%, so it’s not all milk and honey.