Amaya Gaming Buys PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker
VANCOUVER, BC/ ACCESSWIRE / June 19, 2014 / On Friday June 13, Amaya Gaming (AYA-TSX) announced that it will pay
$4.9 billion in cash to buy the Oldford Group the parent company of
Rational, the world’s largest online poker company, operator of
PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker – who have a combined 85 million
"We believe the combined company will be a global online gaming
powerhouse in a large and growing global online gaming market," stated
Amaya founder, chairman and CEO David Baazov.
The online gaming market is projected to grow from $29 billion to $42 billion in the next four years.
Isis Lab (LAB-TSX.V) has created a gamblification engine that turns
on-line games into real money, while creating a sticky user social
experience. For clients operating within fully regulated markets the
company offers a turnkey solution including a full commerce application
and back office suite.
Isis Labs’ DNA is embedded in the $4.9 billion acquisition by Amaya.
Dmitry Dain, LAB’s Chief Technology Officer, headed up PYR Software,
the same company that powers Poker Stars, while Isis Labs CMO Lothar
Rentschler is the former Chief Marketing Officer of Full Tilt Poker.
Isis Labs President and CEO, Daniel Kajouie, was interviewed on BNN following the earthquake acquisition.
"The US market is the elephant in the room," stated Kajouie, "There
are three states that have currently regulated online gaming. Regarding
the rest, I am of the view that it’s a question of when, rather than if. And it will be a massive play for whoever’s in the market."
Amaya had 2013 revenues of $145 million, while PokerStars and Full
Tilt Poker had four times this revenue. EBIDTA of the combined
companies is expected to grow from $474 million to $600 million this
The deal follows a year-long negotiation that is expected to
facilitate Amaya’s entry into the US, which has been compromised because
of the legal problems facing executive Isai Scheinberg.
PokerStars agreed in 2012 to pay $731 million to settle Justice Department charges, without admitting wrongdoing.
The global online gambling market
is currently about $35 billion dollars," stated Kajouie, "With the US
entry into the regulated arena, it will significantly increase. There
are land-based operators seeking to acquire licenses and there are
approximately 10 or 12 that are currently licensed in New Jersey."
Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey have legalised internet gambling,
with California, New York, Texas and other states expected to follow
As a seller of slot machines, Amaya already has relationships with
state regulators, which is expected to ease the entry into the large
"Licensing and regulation issues are paramount, especially in the US.
Poker Stars, as a global company, has done a tremendous job," stated
Kajouie, "Having Poker Stars under new ownership could significantly
increase their chance of getting regulatory approvals."
Tennis legend, Boris Becker is a Brand Ambassador for the social
gaming platform ISISFriends. As well as being the current coach to Novak
Djokovic, Becker was early adopter of technology and social media. "Isis Labs has combined two of my favorite passions,’ stated Becker,
‘gaming and social media. This intersection is what sets them apart."
"The key component is the loyalty of the users to the brand," stated
Kajouie, "There’s no doubt that PokerStars has led that field for some
time. Beyond that, it really comes down to your operational processes,
and lowering the cost of acquiring players."
With his technical and marketing team, Kajouie intends to leverage
the growth in regulated, real-money, online gaming through the
application of the social graph and the gamblification of social games.
"We’ve discovered that social community combined with real-money
gaming in a regulated environment, can significantly reduce the cost of
player acquisition," stated Kajouie, "and prolong the lifetime value of a
Since the deal was announced shares of Amaya have surged 30% to $19.10. The company now has a market cap of $1.8 billion.
Isis Labs is currently trading at .40 with a market cap of $22 million.
SOURCE: Resource Reports