Amaya Gaming Buys PokerStars
With the recent legislation of the past few years looking like the floodgates for online poker are about to open - at least, if recent happenings in Canada are any indication. The Montreal-based company Amaya Gaming has just completed a game-changing purchase, buying out the Oldford Group and their entire suite of online poker imprints with it.
The Oldford Group cost Amaya Gaming nearly $5 billion ($4.9 bilion to be exact); it's important to consider that this huge sum of money bought the largest online poker operation on Earth - so it's clearly worth it. Especially considering how online poker has been growing in recent years, with numbers indicating that the only things holding it back are finer points of legislation. Before the buyout by Amaya Gaming, the Oldford Group and its array of sources had compiled more than 85 million registered players and hundreds-of-billions of poker hands in the decade-and-a-half of operation to date. This incredible amount of success came through desktop apps, mobile poker and more.
In response to the Canadian purchase, stock shares of Amaya Gaming skyrocketed up by more than 40 percent in just a day, and stayed there at the close of the Toronto Stock Exchange. Experts estimate that the online casino gaming platform will quadruple within the next four years, with a record $42 billion expected to exchange hands by 2018. Amaya CEO David Baazov has every reason to be optimistic about the purchase:
"We believe that the combined company [Amaya and the Oldford Group] will be a global online gaming powerhouse in a large and growing online gaming market."
Although this deal might have come as a surprise to the casino gaming world, the truth is that Amaya has been after the Oldford Group for most of the year. This purchase will allow Amaya to ramp up its suite of offerings, which were limited to online slots and online betting software. The acquisition of both PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker brands brings the most popular gambling game of poker under their umbrella now, and revenue projections detail the expected windfall.
As for the terms of the purchase, most of the money will be funded by debt, although a sizable portion of it will be purchased with equity. The gaming additions not only push Amaya to the top as the world's largest online public gaming company, but will likely also make them the only gaming stop necessary for the eager hordes of players to get everything they need - although the competition from other companies, such as Bwin, will keep prices competitive.