Baazov Resigns, Ashkenazi Appointed Permanent Amaya CEO


PokerStars' parent company Amaya reported its second quarter earnings today and they came with a surprise - the resignation of CEO David Baazov.

The embattled Baazov, who spearheaded Amaya's at-the-time shocking purchase of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker for $4.9 billion, had been on a voluntary leave of absence since March after he was charged with insider trading surrounding the purchase.

Despite the charges Baazov insisted he was still planning on acquiring the company himself and was using the time off to prepare his bid.

As of August 11, however, he's now officially resigned from all positions at Amaya effective immediately.

"I am proud of my contributions in building Amaya into the successful company it is today," Baazov said in a press release, "and continue to be supportive of its strategy and management."

Ashkenazi CEO, 'Seasonal Headwinds' Overcome

SCOOP a big deal.

Interim CEO Rafi Ashkenazi, who has replaced Baazov during his leave of absence, has now been named CEO of Amaya "on a permanent basis."

"We continue to execute on our 2016 strategy," Ashkenazi said in a release.

"Through focused expense management and product improvements and diversification, we delivered second quarter results that overcame seasonal headwinds and continued currency challenges, evidencing the strength of our combined core business.

"In addition, the Special Committee continues to focus on the strategic alternatives process with a committed view towards maximizing shareholder value."

Some highlights from Amaya's second quarter earnings:

  • Total revenues and real-money online revenues for the quarter increased 10.2% and 11.2% year-over-year, respectively (excluding drops in foreign exchange rates those numbers would be 14.2% and 15.9%)
  • Real-money online poker revenues dropped to 75% of total revenues compared to 83% last year; casino and sportsbook revenue went up to 21% of total revenue compared to 12% for the prior year
  • Real-money online poker revenues for the quarter were virtually flat year-over-year at $215.6 million
  • The record-breaking Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) generated the largest prize pool in the series' history with approximately $91 million awarded, an increase of 19% over the previous year.
  • Customer Registrations increased by 1.9 million to approximately 103.5 million
  • Approximately 2.3 million unique players played online poker during the quarter
  • PokerStars NJ grew approximately 25% in the second quarter of 2016 year-over-year and accounted for approximately 44% of total New Jersey real-money online poker revenue.

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