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Businesses The Almighty Buck Games

Amaya Gaming Buys PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker For $4.9 Billion 52

Posted by timothy
from the clearing-the-table dept.
Dave Knott (2917251) writes Montreal-based gaming company Amaya Gaming Group Inc. has agreed to purchase privately held Oldford Group, the owner of online poker websites PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, for $4.9 billion. The deal marks the end of a remarkable story that began when Isai Scheinberg, an Israeli-Canadian former IBM computer programmer, founded PYR Software in Toronto and started building PokerStars, which eventually became the largest online poker site in the world. But in 2011, federal prosecutors in Manhattan launched a massive crackdown against online poker in the U.S., indicting Scheinbeg, suing PokerStars and shutting down the U.S. operations of the company for operating an illegal gambling business. In 2012, PokerStars struck a $731 million settlement with federal prosecutors that also saw the company acquire the assets of Full Tilt Poker. However, reentering the vital U.S. market has proved difficult, and in the end, it started to make sense for the Scheinbergs to sell. The Scheinbergs will not remain with PokerStars in any capacity after the current deal closes. In a statement announcing the deal, Amaya said it believes the "transaction will expedite the entry of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker into regulated markets in which Amaya already holds a footprint, particularly the U.S.A."
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Amaya Gaming Buys PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker For $4.9 Billion

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  • by ArcadeMan (2766669) on Friday June 13, 2014 @09:40PM (#47234591)

    The OLF will force them to rename the websites "PousserDuBoutDuDoigtElleÉtoiles" and "PleinInclinéPousserDuBoutDuDoigtElle".

    • by thebes (663586)

      damn, no mod points...+1 Insightful and +5 Funny. You have to know Quebec language laws to get this. Unfortunately, some might mark it Troll/Flamebait

  • by fustakrakich (1673220) on Friday June 13, 2014 @10:01PM (#47234643) Journal

    How is this any different from Turkey or Pakistan blocking twitter? And where is the resistance against this crap?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      There's a ban on porn? No one told me. And as gambling goes, you can debate all day if it should be regulated or not, but please don't turn a lack of opportunities to take money from suckers into free speech issue.

    • by rtb61 (674572) on Friday June 13, 2014 @10:53PM (#47234791) Homepage

      It is never gambling when the odds are biased in one sides favour, then it is fraud and losing. Quite simply gambling laws need to change, equal odds should be enforced and both sides of the gamble should be forced to 'GAMBLE'. It would be truly humorous to see all those gambling houses being forced to actually gamble, here's betting the majority of those fraudsters would shut down long before they would be willing to actually 'GAMBLE' with their money.

      Of course this is likely a share transaction, specifically designed to inflate share prices in order to allow major share holders to dump shares based upon insider bad news. That bad news likely linked to upcoming legislation. Not that it will be say 'Fair Gambling' laws that actually require that both sides share they same gamble when it comes to winning or losing or at least be forced to include substantial warnings that the odds are tilted in the favour and that the punters on average will 'LOSE' and not gamble their money.

      I've got no problem with gambling where the odds are equal, where they are one sided, people should be going to jail for fraud.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Except none of that applies to poker. It's not gambling against the house with the odds in their favor.

        They take a rake of the pot, essentially you're paying for the privilege of using their tables (or software). Like renting a bowling lane or a pool table. Your odds are exactly the same as all of the other players, in the long term the only difference is differences of skill. This is all assuming no cheating or collusion going on of course, and says nothing of the legality of playing poker for money.

      • It is never gambling when the odds are biased in one sides favour, then it is fraud and losing.

        Absolute nonsense. It's might fraud if they tell you the odds are even. They don't.

        Ironically, some of the worst odds you'll find are in state run lotteries.

        • by rtb61 (674572)

          It is fraud when they claim in the advertising that you will win. Failure to disclose the truth is also fraud. So your claim is absolutely nonsense and also fraudulent. My how you buggers whine when it comes to the threat of equal odds, don't like to gamble at all do you, HA HA. Now that is exactly why the laws need to change, want to control gambling and reduce its impact force equal odds, feel the burn, equal odds oh my shock horror, don't like gambling at all do you.

      • If I want to gamble or operate a site, regardless of the odds, that is my right. If you can prove fraud, file charges. Otherwise leave them be.

      • "We will offer gambling, but we will not be gambling ourselves."
        -- Arthur Goldberg, president of Hilton's gaming division
      • by alexo (9335)

        It is never gambling when the odds are biased in one sides favour, then it is fraud and losing.

        Not when the odds are known in advance. If you don't like them, don't play.

        Now if the odds are misrepresented, it is a whole different issue.

    • http://theppa.org/ [theppa.org]

      Unfortunately (if you're a poker player), it's not an issue the general public cares much about, so not much has happened.

      Personally, I think it's stupid that I can go blow $20 on a movie and popcorn, or $more drinking in the bar for a night, but if I want to put $50 on a poker site and play it for months, well, that's just gotta be stopped!

      • by pspahn (1175617)

        Dear Citizen,

        We have received your complaint and have made a note to mention it at the Biannual Intrabureaucratic Government Legislative Institutional Engagement. Your concerns are our concerns. Let's discuss this further.

        Sincerely,

        Your loving Federal Overlord.

      • ^THIS^

        The "Black Friday" that destroyed the US market for online poker was not about legality of online poker, it was about an interpretation of the UIEGA by a US DA in New York. Because of the way the sites handled payment processing they were indicted. The Justice Department later stated that the Wire Act doesn't apply to online poker and that implementation of online poker is up to the states.

        The UIEGA was a bill attached to a "must pass" ports bill. It was vaguely written (perhaps by design) and

    • by Brulath (2765381)

      As far as problem gambling goes...

      The most common argument I read about this and related topics is "let them fail", which does appear to be a good idea on the surface – they'll learn a lesson and be able to move on. The problem is that, at least in this case, the result of allowing them to learn for themselves is financial ruin, and then you are obligated to help them recover through various government-funded programs (as allowing them to starve / etc. would be morally dubious to say the least).

      In cas

      • by tgeek (941867)
        With all due respect, I don't think you've known very many gambling addicts. Gambling can be a very real addiction - very similar to alcohol or other chemical dependencies. It's not simply a matter of financial irresponsibility or needing to "learn a lesson". Financial ruin is no more or less likely to help a problem gambler than a DUI conviction or loss of a job will help an alcoholic. Sure, it *might* provide that moment of clarity needed to realize they need help . . . or it may send them deeper into
        • We don't ban alcohol because there are alcoholics. We ban gambling because some people are using the law to enforce their own dubious moral code.

  • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Friday June 13, 2014 @11:08PM (#47234839)

    Meanwhile the government of the united states runs the largest Gambling rackets in the world via lotteries and scratch offs. I don't gable, I think it't stupid. But the fucking government shouldn't be allowed to tell me when I can and when I cannot decide to be stupid. They're not qualified to make that distinction.

    • by thrich81 (1357561)

      The US Government doesn't run any lotteries or scratch offs -- those would be the respective State governments. Can't stick the feds with hypocracy in this one.

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  • In addition to their 4.9 billion dollars purchase of online poker websites PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, Amaya recently acquired Cryptologic, a pioneer within online casino, Ongame, a leader within online poker, and Cadillac Jack, a successful slot machine manufacturer. By acquiring so many companies, Amaya covers all aspects of the gambling industry while capitalizing on the rapid convergence of technology. With 54 jurisdictional licenses in the US and 90 licenses worldwide, 200 land based customers in

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