Canadian based Amaya Gaming holds the record for being the largest publicly traded gambling company in the world. In 2014, the company acquired PokerStars, the biggest online poker website in the world and Full Tilt Poker, one of the most popular online poker websites in the world turning Amaya Gaming into a gambling powerhouse.
Amaya Inc completed the acquisition for both companies for an estimated $4.9 billion and now has a global customer database of more than 93 million customers.
The mega acquisition along with the fact that Amaya Gaming came out of nowhere to become the biggest gambling company in the world, drew the attention of the authorities who later went on to launch an investigation into Amaya Inc.
The investigation brought up charges of insider trading and the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) also accused Amaya Inc. CEO David Baazov and the company’s chief financial officer Daniel Sebag of insider trading. Amaya Inc has denied all allegations of insider trading and has offered full co-operation to the authorities.
The company started trading on the 8th of June on Nasdaq’s Global Select Market which meant Amaya had successfully managed a dual listing as the company was also listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The insider trading allegations has not affected Amaya Inc and the company’s shareholders expressed their faith in the leadership team with 96% of them voting to re-election the same board of directors.
In a statement, Amaya Inc. CEO David Baazov said
It’s not something to be taken lightly, but it’s not Hollywood either. There has been no effect on the day-to-day operations of Amaya. It’s not taking away from the mental real-estate of the executive team, the staff, the organization, etc. We were looking for more liquidity and more exposure. I think it’s great that a Canadian company that started on the Venture [Exchange] graduated to the TSX and has now gone to the Nasdaq as well
Amaya Gaming is now trying to break into the U.S gambling market scene even though there are currently only three states that have legalized online gambling. PokerStars is campaigning hard to enter into New Jersey’s struggling online gambling market and is also positioning itself to enter California, should the state decide to legalize online gambling. Baazov stated that one of Amaya’s goals is to double its customer base within the next 5 years.