The Stars Group
|Traded as||NASDAQ: TSG|
|Rafael 'Rafi' Ashkenazi|
Divyesh 'Dave' Gadhia
|Products||PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, Sky Betting & Gaming, BetStars, PokerStars Casino, PokerStars Championship, PokerStars Festival, PokerStars MEGASTACK|
|Revenue||$1.3 billion (2017)|
Number of employees
The Stars Group Inc. (formerly known as Amaya Inc., Amaya Gaming Group Inc. and Rational Group) is a Canadian gaming and online gambling company traded on Nasdaq and the Toronto Stock Exchange and headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
The company produces and offers online gaming products and services including poker, casino and sportsbook through its online gaming division, Stars Interactive. These online brands are PokerStars, PokerStars Casino, BetStars and Full Tilt Poker.
The Stars Group is also the owner of the PokerStars Championship, PokerStars Festival and MEGASTACK live poker tournament brands, and brands live poker rooms including PokerStars Live at the Hippodrome Casino London, PokerStars Live at the City of Dreams in Macau and PokerStars Live at the City of Dreams in Manila.
Stars Interactive, the online gaming division of The Stars Group, has licences or related approvals to operate from 17 jurisdictions and offers its products and services in Europe, North America and elsewhere. In the jurisdictions where it operates, it either maintains a local licence or approval, or uses multi-jurisdictional licences issued by the Isle of Man or Malta.
In June 2014, the company led by David Baazov agreed to buy the parent company of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, owned by Isai and Mark Scheinberg, for $4.9 billion borrowing $3 billion for the deal. The takeover made The Stars Group, then called Amaya, the world's biggest publicly listed online gambling company. The deal was closed on August 1, 2014, with final payment being made on May 31, 2017.
David Baazov was Amaya's CEO at that time. In March 2016, following charges by Canadian regulators with multiple securities fraud charges, he took an indefinite leave of absence, and resigned in August.
On June 6, 2018, the Court of Quebec ordered a Stay of the Proceedings brought by the Autorite Des Marches Financiers (Canada) against David Baazov. The Supreme Court of Canada states that a stay of proceedings is the "ultimate remedy," which prevents the court from ever adjudicating the matter. A Stay of Proceedings under Canadian law is the equivalent to a dismissal with prejudice under U.S. law.
On December 20, 2016, Baazov dropped a bid to buy the company with a "virtually unknown" group of outside investors, one of whom denied being involved.
In December 2015, a Kentucky court ordered that Amaya pay $870 million in penalties to cover alleged losses by the state's residents who played real-money poker on the PokerStars website between 2006 and 2011.
In December 2018, the Kentucky Court of Appeals overturned this $870 million judgment on the grounds that the state lacked standing to claim damages under the Loss Recovery Act, which "was never intended to be used in this fashion."
Current CEO Rafi Ashkenazi became Interim Chief Executive Officer of The Stars Group, then Amaya, in March 2016 and then permanent Chief Executive Officer in November, 2016.
On August 1, 2017, the company changed its name to The Stars Group Inc.
In May 2019, The Stars Group announced a 25-year partnership with Fox Sports that will see the two parties launch Fox Bet, a real-money sports betting business in U.S. states where betting is legal and a free-play betting product in other states. Fox Bet is currently available in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The deal also calls for Fox Sports to take a 4.99% stake in The Stars Group worth around $236 million with an option to acquire up to a 50% stake in The Stars Group’s U.S. operations within the next 10 years.
- "Annual Report 2017" (PDF). Stars Group. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
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- Amaya Changes Name to The Stars Group
- Bloomberg: Wesley Clark - The Penny-Stock General
- "Stars Group Goes Big On Sports Betting, Acquires Sky Bet For $4.7 Billion". Online Poker Report. 2018-04-21. Retrieved 2018-04-24.
- "Fox Sports, Stars Group to offer sports betting in deal - Las Vegas Sun Newspaper". lasvegassun.com. 8 May 2019. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
- Sherman, Alex (8 May 2019). "Fox Sports becomes the first big media company to put its brand on a sports betting product". CNBC. Retrieved 22 May 2019.