Amaya Inc based out of Canada, was a relatively unknown company until it surprised everyone in the poker industry in June 2014, when it confirmed that it had successfully acquired PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker.
PokerStars is the biggest online poker website in the world and has upheld that status after being acquired by Amaya Gaming for $4.9 billion. Since then the company has continued to stay in the news as it rolled out a number of strategic and operational changes.
The billion dollar acquisition drew a lot of attention from the authorities who wanted to know if the proper legal processed was followed during the negotiation and acquisition process. The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) recently announced that they had launched an investigation that would focus on Amaya Inc’s CEO and CFO. The gambling authority recently confirmed that both CEO David Baazov and CFO Daniel Sebag were under investigation not for personal trading or pilfering funds but for violating Canadian gaming law in completing the acquisition process.
The investigation will not do anything to enhance PokerStars reputation in the United States as the company was forced to exit the US market during the infamous Black Friday scandal. PokerStars is currently campaigning hard to get an online poker license in New Jersey but due to its past history has faced an uphill task of gaining approval.
Amaya Gaming confirmed that their CEO and CFO was under investigation by Quebec authorities but stated that the company had done everything as per procedure and the authorities would soon confirm the same once they complete their investigation.
In a statement, David Baazov said “I believe that any concerns that I or other Amaya officers or directors violated any Canadian securities laws are unfounded and we are confident that at the end of its investigation, the AMF will come to the same conclusion”. Back in 2014, Quebec authorities targeted Amaya Gaming and investigated the period before Amaya Gaming acquired PokerStars to see if the company used inside information to manipulate the stock market.
In December 2014, the AMF used search warrants to visit a number of Amaya Gaming’s offices including the Canaccord Genuity and Manulife Financial and the company’s headquarters in Montreal, Canada but did not find anything conclusive.