Former Amaya CEO On TrialDavid Burgundy | 18 Dec 2017
Amaya, now known as The Stars Group, is one of the largest and more prolific online gaming companies in the world. Since 2014, Amaya has been in and out of the casino news headlines when they agreed to buy the parent company of Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars for a tidy sum of $4.9 billion. The deal was officially closed on the 1st of August 2014 with the final payment only being made in May 2017.
The takeover was one of the largest in history and made the Stars Group officially the world’s largest publicly listed online gambling company. While the deal itself was enough to keep Amaya/The Stars Group the talk of the industry, it was Amaya’s former CEO, David Bazzov who made headlines. In March of 2016, Canadian regulators officially charged Baazov with insider trading and securities fraud. As soon as the charges were laid, Baazov took a leave of absence and eventually resigned from his position in August.
Purchase Bid Dropped
The former CEO also had plans to buy the company and was initially supported by an unknown group of investors. By December 2016, Baazov dropped the bid to purchase the company with almost all of his investors pulling out and denying being involved.
Almost a year later, Baazov is in court as the start of the insider trading trial begins. According to Quebec securities regulator Autorité des marchés financiers, Baazov along with five other co-accused parties used secure and privileged information to publicly trade Amaya shares while talks of the acquisition were still taking place.
Co-Accused to File a Stall Motion
According to the reports, the insider trading took place from the first time Baazov met with the owners of the Rational Group, up until the time the deal was officially announced in 2014. During this time, the Amaya shares reportedly increased by 50%, giving Baazov a massive profit from his trading activities. All in all, Baazov faces five charges with the most sever being trading while in the possession of privileged information. He was also charged with attempting to influence the market price of shares as well communicating the privileged information to outside parties.
While the trial has just got underway, it has been reported that one of Baazov’s co-accused will file a motion to stall the trial yet again. According to the accused defence lawyers, AMF instituted a case before the investigation had sufficient evidence. They have also said that the disclosure of the evidence is extremely unorganised.