SBD/June 16, 2014/Finance

PokerStars Owner Set To Sell Company For $4.9B With Eye On U.S. Re-Entry

PokerStars parent company Oldford Group Ltd. has agreed to sell the company for $4.9B in a bid to "re-enter the U.S. after being forced out by the Justice Department several years ago," according to Kate O'Keeffe of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. Online gambling proponents hope that the deal "will radically reshape the industry in the U.S., which has thus far fallen short of even the most pessimistic revenue estimates and now faces increasing opposition from powerful opponents" like Las Vegas Sands Corp. CEO Sheldon Adelson. Shareholders of Oldford Group "will sell their holdings to a unit of a small Canadian gambling equipment maker, Amaya Gaming Group Inc." PokerStars "is by far the largest online poker operator in the world and was once a dominant force in U.S. online poker, backing poker pros and sponsoring poker shows on major television networks." It "remains the biggest brand name in poker in the U.S. despite being out of the market for three years" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 6/14).
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