An inside source speaking to Bloomberg said an official announcement could be made today. US investment firm The BlackStone Group are said to be crediting Amaya over $1bn to help finance the deal.
Montreal-based Amaya Gaming Group Inc are an international gaming software provider, owners of Cryptologic and Ongame. Amaya already holds licenses to offer internet gaming in New Jersey and Nevada, partnering with The Golden Nugget and Ultimate Poker.
Acquiring The Rational Group will make Amaya the world’s largest publicly-traded online gaming company - PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker are are the most profitable online poker brands with over 85 million players.
Despite settling in 2012 for $731m under charges of money laundering, Rational Group founder Isai Scheinberg remains under indictment for violating the UIGEA. As a result PokerStars' applications for a NJ poker license were suspended for two years last December.
Amaya's acquisition of the PokerStars brand and support from multinational American creditors should pave the way for the industry leader to join the ranks of poker rooms open to US players.
While it's too early to speculate what effect this news will have on wider US legislation efforts, PokerStars entering the game can only be positive.
Gamblers gravitate toward sites with more choices of games and wager amounts. This could be massive as it should be the key for the PokerStars brand, technology, client lists and expertise all to gain access to the thus far slow-to-take-off U.S. onshore regulated market.
- Simon Holliday, H2 Gambling Capital
Update - an official press release confirms that Amaya has acquired the PokerStars and Full Tilt brands for a total of $4.9bn. Both sites will be 'unaffected by the transaction' and the same executive management team will remain in place.
The company stated its intention to 'expedite the entry of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker into regulated markets in which Amaya already holds a footprint, particularly the U.S.A.'
By James Spillane, Rakeback.com Staff Writer
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