Amaya Gaming to Rebrand, Move Corporate Headquarters
Given the recent trials and tribulations within upper management, industry insiders are not surprised by the move. It was not so long ago that then CEO David Baazov stepped down from Amaya’s stewardship following allegations of insider trading.
Amaya Gaming has announced its intention to move from its current location in Montreal to a new location in Toronto. The company – which made headlines several years ago when it acquired PokerStars, the world’s largest online poker site – is making the move in conjunction with a larger effort to overhaul the image of the company globally and rebrand as “The Stars Group, INC.”
Allegations of Insider Trading Made an Impact
Given the recent trials and tribulations within upper management, industry insiders are not surprised by the move. It was not so long ago that then CEO David Baazov stepped down from Amaya’s stewardship following allegations of insider trading. That case, which has yet to be resolved, is reported to be the largest such case in the history of Canada. But regardless of the ultimate outcome, it clearly had a very large impact on the image of Amaya throughout the gaming industry and public. Although currently being downplayed by executives, this would appear to be the strongest impetus behind the decision to remove the company from the headquarters it had occupied since 2004 when Baazov founded the company.
Company Will Continue to Diversify, Seek New Revenue Streams
Currently, Amaya is being headed by Rafi Ashkenazi. His tenure has seen a major shift in the company’s priorities, de-emphasizing its flagship poker product – which accounted for 69% of revenues, down 6% year over year – as it pursues the online casino and sports betting verticals more aggressively. On that score, Ashkenazi has been wildly successful, as Amaya has realized a 6% increase in revenues year over year. During a recent conference call discussing the move, Ashkenazi stated he is confident the company can continue to leverage the popularity enjoyed by the PokerStars brand to grow its non-poker business.