Card Player – Bloomberg reported on Thursday that PokerStars, the world’s largest poker website in terms of traffic, is near a deal to be acquired by Amaya Gaming Group Inc. Amaya is a maker of gambling equipment and systems.
The Canada-based Amaya owns the Ongame Network, which it acquired from bwin.party in 2012. It also has partnered with the Golden Nugget for online gaming in Nevada and New Jersey. In addition, Amaya Gaming has a deal with Ultimate Gaming for online gambling in New Jersey.
According to the report, PokerStars being under new ownership might give the firm a better chance at re-entry into the United States. In April 2011, PokerStars, along with gambling sites Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker, fell into hot water with the federal government for allegedly violating federal statutes involving bank fraud, money laundering and illegal gambling. PokerStars eventually settled without admitting to any wrongdoing with its former U.S.-facing business.
PokerStars had to pay $731 million in the settlement. The firm’s founder, Isai Scheinberg, remains under indictment. PokerStars has tried to get a foothold in the regulated markets of Nevada and New Jersey, but it hasn’t been able to do so. PokerStars has a partnership with a California tribe in anticipation of online poker eventually being legalized in the Golden State.
More than a dozen tribes in California have come to a consensus on language that would be unfavorable to PokerStars’ chances of offering online poker to Californians.
It’s unclear what price PokerStars would fetch if sold to Amaya Gaming.