Amaya Moving Onward And Upward, Now Called The Stars Group

Posted on June 28, 2017 - Last Updated on December 22, 2020

[toc]Shareholders in Amaya, the parent company of PokerStars, recently approved the rebrand proposed last month. The company will now be called The Stars Group, Inc.

The company, currently based in Montreal, is relocating to Toronto. Once there, it will begin to use the name starting in  August . This will mark the first time in the company’s history that they have not been based in Quebec.

When the rebrand was announced last month alongside Amaya’s first-quarter results, CEO Rafi Ashkenazi said that the group would “look to embrace the future of [the] business while also recognizing the incredible consumer goodwill and loyalty associated with [PokerStars].”

Along with approving the move, the board also decided to re-elect a number of directors to the Amaya board. Divyesh Gadhia was among this number. He will continue to act as chairman.

Amaya’s online gaming operations

Since the company’s then record-breaking $5 billion takeover of The Rational Group in 2014, Amaya has refocused efforts on casino games, and sports betting. The company already thrives thanks to PokerStars’ acclaimed and market-dominating online poker offer. The PokerStars office in the Isle of Man is currently recruiting a number of casino staff.

First quarter results

In the first quarter of 2017, Amaya enjoyed a successful increase of revenues. The company’s revenue jumped 10 percent year-on-year to $317.3 million.

This included $66.75 million in earnings, up over $11 million from the same period in 2016. Over 30 percent of Amaya revenue comes from non-poker verticals.

Amaya trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange, at CA$24 per share at the time of writing.

Does Amaya want distance from David?

Amaya has given no official reason for the rebrand and relocation of the company. However, many speculate that this is an attempt to distance the company from former CEO and chairman David Baazov, who is currently under investigation in Canada.

Ashkenazi became the CEO of Amaya after Baazov resigned the position in 2016 following several charges of insider trading regarding the takeover of The Rational Group.

Baazov founded Amaya in Montreal. He then turned it from a relatively unknown online casino software provider into the biggest public online gaming company in the world.

After the takeover, Baazov announced his intention to purchase Amaya as a private company. However, the company rejected his bid. He then resigned after Canadian security regulators levied several charges of insider trading and fraud against him.

After resigning in August 2016, Baazov sold off over CA$330 million in Amaya stock in April of this year.

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Matt Perry

A veteran of the online gambling industry, Matt Perry has worn a number of hats since he first began working in online poker and iGaming in 2007. He currently writes for a variety of publications focused on legal online gambling, and in the past has served as an editor, copywriter, content manager and reporter.

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