During the 2010s, the online gaming industry rapidly grew in popularity and became accessible to more people thanks to the Canadian entrepreneur David Baazov, among other people.
David Baazov is the founder and former CEO of Amaya Inc. (now The Stars Group) and played a major role in the rise of online gaming.
With a revenue of $6 million, his company, Amaya Inc., went public on the Toronto Venture Exchange in 2010. Shortly thereafter, the firm began buying small gambling software developers like Chartwell Technology and CryptoLogic.
As Amaya Inc. became more ambitious, the firm acquired larger online gaming companies such as Cadillac Jack and Rational Group in 2014, which was the move that made Amaya Inc. reach unprecedented heights.
Rational Group owned Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars, two of the world’s biggest online poker rooms, so they came into the David Baazov-led firm’s possession and made Amaya Inc. the largest online gambling company in the world. David Baazov was also called the “king of online gambling” by Forbes.
The acquisition, which would prove to change the world of online gaming, was applauded by experts in the industry.
Deutsche Bank’s Gaming and Lodging Analyst at the time, Andrew Zarnett, called the acquisition extraordinary because “a small Canadian company with a market capitalization of around $500 million ended up purchasing a company that was 10 times its size. It is very, very rare for a transaction like that to succeed.”
Amaya Inc. and online gaming regains American players thanks to David Baazov
With David Baazov in charge, PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker reached a wider audience in 2015 as the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement gave Amaya Inc. the green light to run internet gambling services in the state under the PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker brands.
Even though New Jersey “only” generated a bit less than $100 million in online gambling revenue over the first eight months of 2015, the approval was interpreted as a big win for the industry as PokerStars went through a legal battle in 2011 that ended up shutting its US website down.
New Jersey was the biggest American state to regulate online gambling.
“The Division of Gaming Enforcement review of PokerStars was extremely thorough and exhaustive, including a detailed review of Amaya’s operations and technology, sworn interviews with more than 70 individuals and visits to approximately a half dozen international jurisdictions,” David Baazov said.
“This stringent review found PokerStars to be under strong, ethical and trusted ownership and management with Amaya, and worthy of participating in New Jersey’s regulated online gaming market,” he added.
In the days after PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker were allowed back into New Jersey, the shares of Amaya Inc. rose by 14%.
Amaya Inc.’s acquisition of PokerStars – a game-changer
Under David Baazov, Amaya Inc. launched the poker concept Spin & Go, which is a fast-paced type of online poker that quickly became popular among players. The Spin & Go games do not start at specific times but when enough players have bought in.
Since then, several other online poker sites have adopted the concept.
As the “king of online gambling,” David Baazov viewed online gamers less as players and more as consumers with a mutual interest in online gaming.
He has been praised for his innovative approach to the industry and was among the first in it to see the potential in online poker.
Many newcomers in the field of online gaming look up to David Baazov because of his success with Amaya Inc. and the acquisition of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, proving that he can successfully merge multiple companies.
David Baazov’s leadership and Amaya Inc.’s acquisitions helped to fuel the growth of the online gaming market, which has become a multi-billion-dollar industry. This growth has led to increased competition and innovation among gaming companies, which has ultimately benefited players.
David Baazov: “The King of Online Gambling”
David Baazov is a Canadian entrepreneur and businessman who is best known for being the founder and former CEO of Amaya Inc. (now The Stars Group).
He was born on December 31st, 1980, in Israel and grew up in Montreal, Canada.
During his early years, David Baazov founded a computer reselling company, which struggled initially, but showed potential when he secured a contract with the Montreal Public Library to sell computers. Within just five years, the company’s worth had grown to $20 million.
At 25 years old in 2005, David Baazov sold the computer reselling company and began developing electronic poker tables with software developers. These tables were sold to land-based gambling sites and cruise ships.
This venture became the foundation for his online gaming company, Amaya Inc.
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