Amaya Receives Regulatory Approval for PokerStars Purchase

PokerStarsAn all important step in the sale of PokerStars to Amaya Gaming was completed on Monday when Amaya announced it has “received all required approvals from the gaming regulatory authorities that currently license Rational Group Ltd.” according to a press release issued by the company.

Amaya also announced they have received “conditional approval” to issue the common shares (stock) associated with the purchase to help finance the purchase of PokerStars.

These announcement come as no surprise, and are just two of several formalities that needs to be completed before the sale can become official. Of course there is also the not so small matter of finishing the $4.9 billion transaction.

Amaya addressed the remaining hurdles in the press release, stating:

“Completion of the Transaction remains subject to, among other customary conditions, the approval of certain aspects of the planned financing for the Proposed Transaction by Amaya’s shareholders, which are scheduled to consider the matter at the annual and special meeting of the Corporation’s shareholders (the “Shareholder Meeting”) on July 30, 2014. Assuming a favourable outcome at the Shareholder’s Meeting, Amaya and Oldford Group Ltd., the parent company of Rational Group, intend to move expeditiously towards completion of the Transaction.”

In the meantime, Amaya Gaming stock has been climbing, and while some are pointing to Monday’s announcement as a reason why, Chris Grove thinks something else might be behind the uptick in stock price. In his daily E-Mail Newsletter “OPR Quick Takes” [sign up for OPR Quick Takes here] Grove speculated that the stock increase could be a harbinger for PokerStars licensure in New Jersey.

“… given that the approvals were considered something of a formality. Is NJ approval somehow not baked into the price as well?”

Talk of a New Jersey license began immediately after the sale was announced, and Amaya and the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement have already begun talks regarding PokerStars suspended license application in the state.

PokerStars saw their license application suspended by the NJ DGE back in December of 2013, with the regulatory body citing concerns over key individuals still in place at the company. But with the sale to Amaya those individuals will no longer be in the picture and many feel PokerStars will be approved by the DGE soon after the finalization of the sale.

How soon?

On a recent episode of Rich Muny’s Poker Advocacy Podcast, investigative poker journalist Diamond Flush felt it would be a matter of weeks from the finalization of the sale to PokerStars launching in New Jersey, as her sources in the state have stated that the application process for PokerStars was already about 85% completed when it was suspended in December.

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