What Does Amaya’s Takeover of PokerStars Really Mean?


It’s perhaps the biggest takeover in the history of online poker.

Yesterday Amaya announced it was acquiring PokerStars in a record $4.9 billion deal that will see the world’s biggest online poker site owned by a publicly traded company for the first time ever.

It will take years to fully understand what the takeover will mean for the poker industry but for now we’ve compiled a list of notes regarding the historic deal below.

The information is drawn straight from a conference call that Amaya CEO David Baazov had with investors yesterday.

Check below for 12 things you might not know about the landmark deal:

davida mayagaming
Amaya CEO David Baazov

  • For now it appears the takeover will affect players on PokerStars/Full Tilt Poker very little as they’ve basically said it's business as usual. Other than the Scheinbergs leaving, the current management structure will stay the same.

  • PokerStars headquarters will remain in the Isle of Man with no layoffs planned.

  • According to Baazov the deal will make Amaya Gaming the largest online gambling company in the world with over 85 million registered players on PokerStars/Full Tilt Poker alone.

  • Amaya Gaming acquired all the Rational Group’s assets, which includes PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, European Poker Tour, Latin America Poker Tour, Asia Pacific Poker Tour and a variety of media outlets as well as any branded live poker rooms.

  • Interestingly Amaya already owns the Ongame Poker Network, which it purchased from Bwin.party for $32m in 2012.

  • Amaya believes that the deal will expedite the process of getting PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker into the regulated US market where Amaya already does business.

  • There is speculation that PokerStars will leave the Canadian market because it will be owned by a Canadian company. Canada has a regulated government-run poker site.

  • There is also talk that Caesars, one of PokerStars' rivals over the years, may be open to future partnerships thanks to Amaya being involved. Amaya Gaming is currently a content supplier to Caesars’ New Jersey casinos.

  • While there is a good chance the deal will get PokerStars into the New Jersey online market faster there may be some problems in other upcoming markets such as California and New York, which are considering language in their respective bills that would penalize not just “bad actor” owners but the IP as well. That could potentially include the PokerStars software platform.

  • There are rumors that Isai Scheinberg, still currently under indictment from Black Friday allegations, will settle with the US DOJ. He could use some of the $4.9 billion from the sale of the Rational Group to make it happen.

  • It’s likely that staff from PokerStars/Full Tilt Poker will help develop a new, entirely casino-based, software platform for Amaya.
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