Posts Tagged ‘Amaya PokerStars’

William Hill, PokerStars Parent Company Talk £4.6bn Merger

Monday, October 10th, 2016

william-hill-amayaCanada’s Amaya Gaming and the UK’s William Hill are discussing one of the biggest mergers in online gaming history – a £4.6 billion ($5.7bn) deal that would bring companies with different strengths together.

According to The Telegraph, William Hill and PokerStars’ parent company quietly began their merger talks back in July. But whatever talks took place were quickly overshadowed by a failed takeover bid by the Rank Group (Grosvenor casinos) and 888 Holdings.

Both companies combined to offer £3.4 billion for William Hill, which the company said was “highly opportunistic.”

New William Hill CEO Philip Bowcock, who assumed this role in the summer, had his eye on Amaya the whole time.

The merger has yet to be completed, but it seems more of a possibility now. According to the Financial Times, it would be a reverse takeover, where William Hill, the smaller company, would assume control of Amaya.

Not everybody is convinced that the merger is a great idea. A senior executive at a competitor told the Financial Times, “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”

Another industry insider said, “As a dish, it probably needs a lot of sauce to make it palatable for shareholders.”

Skeptics are quick to point to the struggles that William Hill and Amaya have dealt with over the last year, namely losing their CEOs, having their stock prices fall, and being subjected to takeover bids.

Nevertheless, it seems that Amaya and William Hill are serious about the merger, given that competitors like Betfair and Paddy Power merged in February, while Gala Coral and Ladbrokes are close to doing the same.

The deal makes sense on some levels, given that William Hill is a sports betting giant, while Amaya is a major player in the online gaming sector.

Amaya has had great success with PokerStars and its casino offerings, but they’re still struggling to draw sports bettors. William Hill, meanwhile, has the world’s biggest bookmaking operation, but they haven’t fared well against online competitors.

“The potential merger would be consistent with the strategic objectives of both William Hill and Amaya and would create a clear international leader across online sports betting, poker and casino,” read the companies’ joint statement.

Will Amaya Gaming finally get PokerStars in the US?

Friday, June 13th, 2014

The big poker news today – and it’s colossal – is that Amaya Gaming has made a deal with the Rational Group to buy PokerStars, Full Tilt and live tournament tour assets for $4.9 billion. For years people have speculated about the worth of PokerStars and now they know.

One of the key points of this deal is that Isai Scheinberg and his son, Mark, relinquish their shares in the company and ride off into the sunset with billions. The reason why this part of the deal is so big is because it means that PokerStars might finally be able to enter the elusive United States market.

The legal US online poker market is fully underway, with Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada all featuring regulated gaming sites. And so far, PokerStars’ attempts to enter these states have went like this:

Delaware – Stars was denied because Delaware is mainly looking for companies that offer both casino and poker games.

New Jersey – Review of PokerStars’ application has been suspended for two years in the Garden State.

Nevada – Nevada evoked the “bad actor” clause to prevent Stars from entering their market for at least 10 years.

The key point behind PokerStars’ bad actor status in Nevada is that they violated the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). Moreover, the Scheinberg’s retained ownership of the Rational Group after they’d violated the UIGEA.

But now we have Amaya running the show at PokerStars. The Canadian supplier of gambling equipment has no ties to Black Friday, meaning it’s hard to use the bad actor excuse to keep them out.

Of course, despite what state gaming regulatory bodies may say, this is all about anti-competitiveness and helping in-state casinos get off to a strong start. So no matter how illogical it seems, certain US states may still try to call upon PokerStars’ past to keep them out, even though an entirely different company is now in charge.

As for Amaya, it’s likely that they were willing to spend $4.9 billion on Rational’s assets because they know there’s even more potential for Stars IF they can get into the US.