Amaya Gaming Group Inc. is purchasing The Oldford Group Ltd., the parent company of mega pokersites Pokerstars and Full Tilt Poker, for $4.9 Billion dollars. The deal will result in Amaya becoming the largest publicly traded online gaming operator in the world.
Shares of Amaya Gaming Group soared over 40% in one day to a record high of $19.95.
Clearly, the greatest reason for such a deal to happen is to find a way to bring the massive Pokerstars online poker brand to US regulated markets. Reports state that CEO Mark Scheinberg will resign from his position as part of the deal. Several executives of Pokerstars were indicted by the US Department of Justice in 2011, preventing Pokerstars entry into US markets such as New Jersey. This particular roadblock seems to have been removed.
“Growth opportunities are not only in new verticals”, Amaya CEO David Baazov explained. “Rational does not currently operate in the United States, and we anticipate that Amaya’s track record in the United States has the potential to facilitate a speedier entry of the Rational’s brands into the US, an entrance that would certainly be welcomed by players.”
Baazov also mentioned that Amaya’s current position in New Jersey will allow Rational’s poker brands to join the newly regulated market in expedited fashion.
“This transaction has the potential to excite US players and bring to the [US] market the world’s number one [poker] brand.”
“[Rational’s] companies do not only have the ability to attract new players, but they are also able to offer popular tables and slot games to their millions of players using their poker platforms,” Baazov continued, referring to the current casino games on Full Tilt Poker.
Baazov went on to explain that this will not affect non-US players on Pokerstars or Full Tilt Poker. Operations will continue uninterrupted — business as usual.
Stay tuned for more information as this story develops.