FINRA Investigation Into Amaya, PokerStars Acquisition Could Scare Off US Suitors

Written by:
Ace King
Published on:
Feb/11/2015
FINRA Investigation Into Amaya, PokerStars Acquisition Could Scare Off US Suitor

PokerStars had hoped to potentially enter the U.S. regulated online poker market through an acquisition by Canadian gaming firm Amaya.  Those hopes could soon be dashed with fears over an ongoing investigation into last year’s blockbuster acquisition being conducted by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

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As OnlinePokerReport.com points out in their riveting expose, FINRA is a private self-regulatory body established by the U.S. financial industry.

As OnlinePokerReport.com also notes, the matter is hardly so cut and dry as to implicate either PokerStars or Amaya:

While the run up of Amaya’s stock price in the weeks preceding the acquisition was significant, it didn’t take place in a complete absence of publicly-available information:

That steady stream of public information may complicate any attempt to draw a clear causal line between improper behavior and profiting from the stock’s surge.

PokerStars had previously operated in the U.S. market for years following the passage of legislation that prohibited online poker rooms from accepting customers stateside.  As a result, the world’s largest real money online poker venture had been mostly shunned by state regulators in both Nevada and New Jersey, two of only three states to have legalized Web poker to date.  Delaware is the other.

Stars and Amaya are currently looking to crack the big prize California by forming a coalition with one of the Tribal casino entities there.

There is also a reported investigation by Quebec’s AMF, although both are broadly centered around the acquisition of PokerStars, OPR notes.

- Ace King, Gambling911.com

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