Amaya clarifies reports of investigation into PokerStars acquisition

Amaya clarifies reports of investigation into PokerStars acquisition

Friday, December 12, 2014 Totally Gaming

Canadian gaming group Amaya Gaming has responded to reports that authorities in the country have launched an investigation in relation to its acquisition of the PokerStars online poker brand by stating that, to its knowledge, the probe does not involve any allegations of wrongdoing.

According to a report by the Forbes news service, the federal Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Financial Markets Authority raided Amaya’s Montreal headquarters on Wednesday.

The report also said that the police operation is part of a wider investigation into a number of other companies including financial services firms Canaccord Genuinity and Manulife Financial.

Amaya has confirmed that the raid related to trading activities in securities surrounding its acquisition of Oldford Group for $4.9bn (€4bn) in August of this year. Oldford Group is the parent company of Rational Group, which controls online gaming heavyweights PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker.

In response to the report, Amaya stated that it will cooperate with authorities and the investigation has not impacted the business.

“To the corporation’s knowledge, this does not involve any allegations of wrongdoing by the corporation,” Amaya said in a statement.

"Amaya will continue to cooperate, if and as requested, consistent with our practice to always cooperate with regulatory authorities. The investigation has had no impact on Amaya's business operations, employees or companies.”

The acquisition of Oldford Group was first announced in June of this year but was not concluded until August. The agreement saw Amaya take control of major online poker brand PokerStars as well as its sister site Full Tilt. Amaya has since stated that it aims to utilise these brands to strengthen its presence in the online gaming sector.

After having opted to withdraw both brands from a number of national markets in October following a review of commercial opportunity and business risks, Amaya has gone on to announce a number of major launches within the PokerStars brand in particular.

PokerStars in October expanded its services in Spain with the launch of online casino games before it launched a new platform in the UK the following month.

In addition, PokerStars in November confirmed it is set to launch a new sports betting and table games offering on a global basis. The move will see PokerStars expand beyond its traditional online poker offering and challenge operators that are already established in the internet sports betting and casino game sector.

TotallyGaming.com contacted Amaya for a comment on the story, but did not respond by the time of publication.

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