Online Gambling Giant Amaya Investigated in USA

Published Sunday, March 08, 2015 -
Online Gambling Giant Amaya Investigated in USA

One of the largest online gambling stories in 2014 was the purchase of PokerStars and Full Tilt’s parent firm Rational Group for an estimated $4.9 billion dollars by Amaya.  In December news broke that brought speculation that the company was under investigation by Quebec’s financial market regulators Autorité des Marches Financiers (AMF). The firm downplayed the news saying it was possible that they would be investigated with the understanding that the run up the stock experienced before the acquisition would cause some concern.

David Baazov CEO for Amaya told OnlinePokerReport recently, “I would say that the investigation for us is something that we anticipated given that there was a historical stock run-up in advance. I think the AMF is looking into something that they should be looking into and looking into what has led to that stock run-up.” Adding, “We have no evidence to believe that there’s any wrongdoing by any officer, director, or employees and we’re cooperating with the investigation.”

Now however it has been revealed that the company is being probed by the US-based Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) regarding the stock inflation situation. The Congressionally authorized, non-profit organization FINRA focuses on protecting investors from the USA by keeping watch over the securities industry, and it has stated it is looking at 300 early Amaya stock investors who were able to make substantial profits by buying stock prior  to the acquisition of Rational Group.

Canada’s Globe and Mail news paper wrote that the investigation includes “many prominent Canadian brokers, money managers, hedge funds and business executives,” Amaya has been trying to enter the US online gambling market but efforts have been slowed by this sort of probe. While nothing has been proven to date the investigation continues with the only real evidence being the fact that Amaya’s stock value almost doubled prior to rumours being published about the purchase.

The investigation is broad and far reaching and could very well be just a tempest in a tea pot or it may turn out to be a full blown storm of controversy.





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