PokerStars, the biggest online poker company in the world and Full Tilt Poker, one of the most popular poker websites will soon be acquired by Amaya Gaming. The deal was kept under wraps but there were rumors of a merger happening between Amaya Gaming and Pokerstars and comes as a surprise to many in the poker community.
PokerStars has a firmly established footprint all across Asia and Europe and is slowly trying to establish itself in the United States once again. The company posted revenues in excess of $1 billion in 2013 and net revenue of $420 million after interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.
The company was founded by Isai Scheinberg, an Israeli-Canadian national who grew the company along with his son Mark Scheinberg and made PokerStars the biggest online poker company in the world. While PokerStars has faced its fair share of troubles in the United States, the company has successfully managed to settle all of the legal issues it faced and is looking to once again establish itself in U.S markets.
Amaya Gaming, a relatively small and unknown Canadian supplier of gaming equipment has put together a record breaking deal and will pay $4.9 billion to acquire the Oldford Group ltd which also the parent company of the Rational Group ltd. Once the acquisition is complete, Amaya will then officially be the world’s biggest online gaming company and have a registered player pool of over 85 million users.
Once the acquisition is completed, the Scheinberg’s will no longer be affiliated with the operations of PokerStars. PokerStars has tried hard to get back into the U.S market but has faced stiff opposition from various groups and lobbyists. However, Amaya Gaming is confident that once it takes over PokerStars it will be able to re-enter the U.S market and establish itself as a formidable presence. Amaya released a statement which said that this
transaction will expedite the entry of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker into regulated markets in which Amaya already holds a footprint, particularly the U.S.A.
Amaya is expected to complete the acquisition within the next few weeks, provided everything goes according to plan. The CEO of Amaya, David Baazov went on record to say that
This is a transformative acquisition for Amaya, strengthening our core B2B operations with a consumer on-line powerhouse that creates a scalable global platform for growth. Working with the experienced executive team at Rational Group, Amaya will continue that tradition of excellence and accelerate growth into new markets and verticals.