Amaya Gaming’s stock trading came to a halt today, following a 28.7 percent two-day jump that followed the rumored news of a major buyout of Rational Group’s PokerStars. That move looks set to move forward, based on insider industry information, after Amaya landed some $1 billion in funding, according to sources. Rumors are circulating that Blackstone Group -an international investment firm – is behind the financing for this major deal.
Canadian-based Amaya – primarily a technology outfit – has a prior history with Blackstone’s credit arm, GSO; that company helped Amaya take on slots maker Cadillac Jack previously, to the tune of $167 million.
The stunning news – which we previously reported was on the horizon – is expected to give “bad actor” PokerStars a better shot at re-entry into the US online gaming market; key issues that have stood in the way to date have been surrounding ownership by executives with dubious histories with the Department of Justice, so Amaya’s takeover could possibly put those roadblocks to rest.
An official announcement is expected within 24 hours that Amaya has a solid deal in place with PokerStars parent Rational Group; however, as of this writing, no one from any of these participants has had an official comment.