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Amaya Finalizes Deal for PokerStars

Amaya’s $4.9 billion acquisition of Rational Group has been finalized, nearly a full two months ahead of the projected completion date of Sept. 30.

A press release was issued by Amaya heralding the done deal, with Amaya chairman and CEO David Baazov expressing his delight at wrapping up the purchase in seemingly record time.

We are extremely pleased to have completed this Acquisition,” Baazov said. “Through PokerStars, Full Tilt and its multiple live poker tours and events, Rational’s brands comprise the world’s largest poker business, generating diversified and recurring revenues across the globe from its extremely loyal customer base.”

That customer base is expected to grow in coming months, with New Jersey the likely first market to be added. Gaming regulators in the Garden State are currently scrutinizing PokerStars’ suitability under Amaya ownership and the rapid finalization of the purchase may allow an online gambling license to be issued sooner rather than later.

Projections bandied about among industry observers and the media lean toward online poker players in New Jersey looking at hole cards on a regulated PokerStars site as early as this fall. Whether that possibility is more wishful thinking than reality remains to be seen.

Amaya’s public affairs office was busy working overtime this past week. The latest press release issued by the Canada-based company was its third in four days. The first of the three announced regulatory approval of the purchase in the jurisdictions where Rational Group is licensed. The next press release trumpeted Amaya shareholder approval of the deal.



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Charles Rettmuller

Charles has been an avid poker player for a number of years, both live and online. He holds a degree in journalism and previously worked as a reporter for a Chicago-based newspaper. Charles joined the PokerUpdate team in early 2012 and writes daily news articles for the site.