Amaya Acquires Online Gambling Firm Rational Group

Published Friday, June 13, 2014 -
Amaya Acquires Online Gambling Firm Rational Group

It comes as a big surprise to hear that Amaya Gaming from Montreal Canada has acquired the largest online poker room in the world, Poker Stars. The Isle of Man-based business, operating as the Rational Group Ltd., agreed recently to be acquired by Canada’s Amaya Gaming Group Inc. for an estimated $4.9 billion dollars. Mark Scheinberg, whose father is under indictment in the U.S. for illegal gambling activity owns a reported seventy five percent of the company.

With approximately 85 million registered users the company has no debt and has been growing steadily even after the issues revealed in the USA in April of 2011. Rational Group produced $420 million in adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization on revenue of $1.1 billion last year, according to a press release.

Scheinberg commented on the deal in a statement, “I am incredibly proud of the business Isai and I have built over the last 14 years, creating the world’s biggest poker company and a leader in the iGaming space,” Scheinberg continued to add, “Our achievements and this transaction are an affirmation of the hard work, expertise and dedication of our staff, which I am confident will continue to drive the company’s success.”

The event created by the Department of Justice known as Black Friday in 2011saw Isai Scheinberg and 10 other principals at three online gambling companies charged with bank fraud, money laundering and illegal gambling. Rational Group agreed in 2012 to pay $731 million to settle the charges with the Department of Justice, without admitting any wrongdoing. Isai Scheinberg remains under indictment in the U.S. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Amaya, David Baazov based in Pointe-Claire, said that he is confident U.S. regulators will consider PokerStars differently under new ownership. “Amaya is licensed in many jurisdictions, over 80 worldwide,” Baazov commented, “This will be worked out on a state-by- state basis.”





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