PokerStars and Amaya Up for Possible Stock Exchange Listings

July 8th, 2014 | by Kaycee James
London Stock Exchange, New York Stock Exchange, PokerStars, Amaya Gaming

PokerStars could float soon on the London Stock Exchange. (Image: REUTERS/Toby Melville)

PokerStars could experience another round of financial growth in the coming months if the poker site’s parent company, Amaya Gaming, goes ahead with plans to obtain a dual stock market listing. At present, Amaya is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, but according to the company’s chief executive, David Baazov, this may increase in the near future, as he is considering the prospect of floating shares on an additional exchange.

Talking to the Sunday Times, Baazov stated that “there will be a dual listing,” but at present he’s unsure which financial region to settle in. He went on to tell the British newspaper that the frontrunners are the London Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange, but as yet he hasn’t made a firm decision on which direction to take.

London Calling

At present, the London Stock Exchange boasts a number of online gaming companies under its FTSE gambling sub-section, including bet365, bwin.party and 888.com, so it would appear to offer a natural home for Amaya and PokerStars. However, with growing speculation that PokerStars (and potentially its sister poker site, Full Tilt) is set for a return to the US, it could push Baazov to list his company on New York’s financial hub instead.

Regardless of which side of the Atlantic Baazov decides to float a part of Amaya, the return for PokerStars will likely be huge. Indeed, before purchasing PokerStars and Full Tilt from the Oldford Group, Amaya had been listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange with a market cap value of C$2 billion.

After purchasing the two poker sites for $4.9 billion last month, Amaya became the largest online gambling company in the world, and when it finally secures a dual stock exchange listing, it’s expected that its overall value will increase significantly. In turn, this will bode well for both PokerStars and Full Tilt, which will see their values and potential global reach increase dramatically.

Deal or No Deal

However, before all of this happens and Baazov can make his next pioneering move, the $4.9 billion deal needs to be finalized by Amaya’s shareholders. Once this final step has been completed, the next strategic move for Amaya and PokerStars appears to be a move into the US. While there are undoubtedly a slew of hurdles for Amaya to clear before that happens, a successful re-entry into the market would see PokerStars move even further ahead of its rivals in the online poker universe.

Currently, excluding the US, PokerStars and Full Tilt now boast 85 million users. This accounts for around 66 percent of the world’s online poker economy and if Amaya can find a way back into the States, as well as onto another stock exchange, that number could increase considerably within the next few years.

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