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Former Amaya CEO Pleads Not Guilty To Insider Trading Charges

David Baazov Formally Denies Allegations Against Him


Former Amaya Gaming CEO David Baazov has pleaded not guilty to insider trading charges levied against him by Quebec’s securities regulator, according to the Financial Post.

Two associates and three companies—Diocles Capital Inc., Sababa Consulting Inc. and 2374879 Ontario Inc.—have also pleaded not guilty.

The charges stem from the alleged use of privileged information when trading company shares between December 2013 and the June 2014 deal to acquire PokerStars, the world’s largest poker site, for $4.9 billion. The acquisition made Amaya one of the largest gaming technology companies in the world.

Baazov took a voluntary leave of absence from his positions as CEO and board chairman following the charges that were made public in March. The charges came two days after PokerStars made its return to the U.S. via the state of New Jersey.

Baazov is facing five charges, with each carrying a maximum fine of $5 million. He could also face up to five years in prison if convicted. Baazov has denied all the allegations, and Amaya said the case will have no impact on PokerStars, a poker site with roughly 70 percent of the worldwide market.

In a California online poker hearing late last month, the charges against Baazov were mentioned by a tribal group that opposes PokerStars being involved with the Golden State market.

Some California tribes have long opposed PokerStars vying for a license because of its presence in American cyberspace between 2006 and 2011. PokerStars settled its case with the federal government in 2012 without admitting to any wrongdoing.

Tags: Amaya,   PokerStars,   David Baazov