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Forbes Article on Amaya Chief

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  1. #1

    Default Forbes Article on Amaya Chief

    This is an interesting article, which I'm still digesting. Most interesting part to me is the amount of profit Stars was making as a % of revenue and the huge database of customers they have access to for growth potential. That and I'm slightly jealous that this guy isn't much older than me.

    Thoughts?

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/nathanva...ambling-is-34/
  2. #2
    Eric's Avatar
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    This was a great article about how Amaya Bought PokerStars.

    Nathan Vardi of Forbes did a nice job explaining the accomplishments of 34-year-old David Baazov.

    Here are some parts of the story that stand out:

    PokerStars had developed a virtual stranglehold on the online poker market, with 89 million registered users, some 5 million of whom are active monthly. And since its servers seamlessly made money, raking a small cut of each digitally dealt pot, it was a literal cash machine, making $417 million annually on $1.13 billion in revenues. “ Everybody walked away so impressed,” says Baazov. “We knocked off a lot of the misconceptions–it was a phenomenally well-run company.”

    By the start of 2014 Amaya and Rational had signed a letter of intent that outlined the $4.9 billion price tag. But even though he had a deal, he had no money.
    Blackstone was also swayed by other data it found in the due diligence process, like the stickiness of the customer base–60% of the revenue was being generated by players who registered at PokerStars between 2001 and 2010. An audit conducted by Blackstone’s cyber security chief, which PokerStars passed with flying colors, helped, too. Little by little, Baazov won Blackstone over–agreeing, for instance, to give it warrants that let it buy 11 million common shares of Amaya at just a penny each (he did not, however, give Blackstone a board seat).
    The Amaya deal even puts PokerStars in a tricky situation in Canada, which has laws that technically ban such sites–something that it has never enforced for offshore sites. But it also never faced an industry giant whose parent company is based in Montreal. Baazov says he kept the Canadian provinces and regulators closely informed about the deal. “Obviously, we had to get a level of comfort before we signed,” Baazov says without offering details. “We got comfort.”
    The global online gambling industry will reach $38.7 billion this year, according to H2 Gambling Capital–with poker making up only about 10% of the total. PokerStars recently launched casino games in Spain and within weeks grabbed double-digit market share. Full Tilt has now launched casino games in much of the world, and 30% of its eligible poker players have already given those games a try. Sports betting is next, and Baazov expects it to launch in certain markets by March 2015. His securities filings suggest he wants to eventually offer social gaming, while fantasy sports seems like a natural extension.
    Baazov just needs to make sure he doesn’t alienate his core customers. Some online players are already grumbling about recent changes at PokerStars, like higher rake fees of as much as 5% that PokerStars gets for hosting games and currency exchange fees of 2.5%.
  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by The Bean Counter View Post
    This is an interesting article, which I'm still digesting. Most interesting part to me is the amount of profit Stars was making as a % of revenue and the huge database of customers they have access to for growth potential. That and I'm slightly jealous that this guy isn't much older than me.

    Thoughts?

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/nathanva...ambling-is-34/
    It's never about how old you are, it's how you've lived those years...
  4. #4
    Amaya didn't buy Pokerstars, it's the story sold to us, the secret services and american gov are behind this transaction . Owners would have never sold , it was just their get get away from jail card.

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