Amaya Gaming moved closer to completing the $4.9 billion acquisition of Rational Group following a shareholders’ meeting Wednesday that saw all proposed resolutions approved.
The greenlight from shareholders was expected and allows Amaya to continue on the road to transfer of ownership that will likely be finalized in September. The announcement came via press release that was issued just days after an earlier release heralded the fact that gaming regulators in all jurisdictions where PokerStars operates also found favor with the new ownership.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I wish to extend my appreciation to Shareholders for their overwhelming support of the acquisition of Rational Group,” Amaya CEO and Chairman David Baazov said.
Also approved was a change to “Amaya Inc,” as the company elected to drop “Gaming” from its name. The name change was effectuated “for reasons of simplicity and to reflect the actual name by which the Corporation is routinely identified by the greater public.”
What has not dropped are the company’s stock prices that have been shooting through the roof since word of the acquisition of PokerStars and Full Tilt began making the rounds. Amaya shares are currently trading at a value more than 300% higher than one year ago. Analysts are predicting company stock to increase even further following the “aye” votes tabulated at yesterday’s meeting.
Another factor that will undoubtedly cause Amaya’s value to rise would be approval of PokerStars’ online gaming license application in New Jersey. Division of Gaming Enforcement regulators are currently analyzing the company’s suitability, with rubber-stamped approval anticipated in due course.
While online poker in the U.S. has experienced some hard times in recent years that began with the shutdowns of the major sites operating in the country on Black Friday, things have taken a turn for the better in recent months. The reimbursement of U.S. Full Tilt players continues, as does the legislative efforts of individual states to enact online poker regulation.
Amaya’s purchase of Rational Group assets can also be listed on the positive side of the ledger. PokerStars eventual entry into the U.S. online gambling marketplace is expected to strengthen the industry and will perhaps one day lead to an online poker environment in America where players in a majority of states are safeguarded from the unknowns of playing at unregulated sites.