Amaya Buys PokerStars for $4.9 Billion
In one of the largest buyouts you’re ever likely to see in online gaming, the Canadian company Amaya has made a deal to purchase PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker for a mind blowing $4.9 Billion. Amaya’s share price rose earlier this week among rumours of a deal being done, and shortly after they halted trading on those shares on Thursday, the announcement was made. In the press release regarding the deal it was highlighted that this makes Amaya the largest publicly traded online gaming company, and CEO David Baazov stated that, “This is a transformative acquisition for Amaya, strengthening our core B2B operations with a consumer online powerhouse that creates a scalable global platform for growth.” Rational Group CEO Mark Scheinberg added that, “I am incredibly proud of the business Isai and I have built over the last 14 years, creating the world’s biggest poker company and a leader in the iGaming space. Our achievements and this transaction are an affirmation of the hard work, expertise and dedication of our staff, which I am confident will continue to drive the company’s success.”
The deal also means that Amaya not only take over PokerStars online, but also the stars offline tournaments and events too, and it also means that the Rational Group (PokerStars owners) board will be resigned. This deal could now pave the way for PokerStars entry into the US regulated online poker market, a market in which Amaya is already involved in, by providing casino games to the New Jersey market. There will however be a few creases to iron out, as clients of Amaya, most notably Caesar’s Interactive, have been long standing opponents of allowing Stars into the US online poker arena. The fact that Stars is now no longer owned by the Scheinberg brothers means that the indictments received on Black Friday are no longer an issue and maybe now they move forward in the US.