Baazov Addresses AMF Probe and New Jersey Question at Amaya AGM
David Baazov, reelected as Chairman of Amaya Inc. On the AMF investigation: ‘It’s not something to be taken lightly, but it is not Hollywood either.’
The scrutiny that is ongoing Amaya Inc by the Quebec financial regulator is perhaps not a cause for concern, reiterated its CEO and Chairman, David Baazov, at the organization’s first annual general meeting in Montreal this week.
‘It’s not a thing to be taken lightly, but it is not Hollywood either,’ Baazov told the assembled investors. ‘There happens to be no effect on the day-to-day operations of Amaya. It’s perhaps not using far from the psychological real-estate associated with the executive team, the employees, the organization, etc.’
The shareholders displayed their faith in these words by promptly reelecting Baazov as business chairman with a majority of 96 percent, although some may have wondered what the heck he meant by ‘mental real-estate.’
Amaya’s Montreal offices were raided by authorities and provincial economic market regulators AMF in very early December as an ingredient of a investigation into alleged securities fraud.
Amaya’s share prices skyrocketed in the lead up to the business’s acquisition of PokerStars summer that is last and some as a type of insider trading was suspected.
There were no accusations of wrongdoing by AMF, but the investigation drags on, and its existence remains an embarrassment for Baazov, Amaya and their global aspirations.
‘If people have the information carefully, go through the timeline, anybody that is sophisticated and rational will come to a fairly conclusion that is rational the activities that happened to get us where we’re,’ said Baazov.
The research didn’t hinder Amaya’s recent ascension to the NASDQ worldwide Select marketplace, which Baazov saw as integral to furthering Amaya’s place as ‘a leading global, online consumer technology business.’ The company has traded on the Toronto Stock exchange since 2013 and will continue to do so under a dual listing.
‘We were looking for more liquidity and more publicity,’ Baazov said, of the company’s new listing. ‘I think it’s great that the Canadian company that started on the Venture [Exchange] graduated to the TSX and contains now visited the NASDAQ as well.’
New Jersey Update
Finally, Baazov offered their thoughts on the delayed entry of PokerStars into the New Jersey market.
Early predictions had suggested the poker that is online would be provided the go-ahead the year, but unseen regulatory issues seem to be hindering its progress.
‘We’re offering plenty of information showing statistical data, showing gaming that is responsible, showing what technologies have been innovated and applied at PokerStars,’ said Baazov. ‘We’re sharing it with others showing that you can have this in a regulated fashion and now have that income tax efficiency while you might be protecting customers as well.’
On PokerStars’ efforts in lobbying for regulation in other key areas, such as for instance Pennsylvania and Ca, he said: ‘ We don’t have a crystal ball, and in terms of politics I do not like attempting to make predictions. All we can state is that we’re very comfortable with a few of the movement we’ve seen. If anything, it’s inching towards more and more (workable) regulation.’
NBA Withdraws Opposition to Canadian Sports Betting Reforms
NBA chief Adam Silver is proven to likely be operational to the idea of legalizing activities betting. (Image: slate.com).
The NBA has said it will no longer oppose a bill that proposes to revolutionize the Canadian activities betting landscape by allowing Canadians to bet on single sports games.
The league has become the first to officially reverse its stance on Bill C-290, the Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) said this week.
The Criminal Code in Canada has long forbidden its citizens from wagering on single games; instead, they content themselves with putting their cash, at much longer odds, on parlay bets via the provincial lottery operators.
These, of course, involve wagering regarding the outcomes of two or even more games.
The reasoning is that betting on single games might encourage gambling addiction and match-fixing.
Proponents regarding the bill think that reforms would channel billions in funds to the hands of the lottery that is provincial, instead than the huge unlicensed overseas market, which currently caters for Canada’s kinkier betting requirements.
Multi-billion-dollar Gray Market
Presently, single-event activities handle that is betting predicted to be over $10 billion per year. According to UK betting data firm Sportradar, over 220 organizations take bets on National Hockey League games, and around 120 cover Canadian Football League games.
Even the Canadian Soccer League, that may hardly be said to have a ‘global reach,’ is covered by at minimum 130 foreign bookmakers.
The NBA initially stated its opposition if the bill ended up being introduced in 2012, claiming that C-290 threatened to ‘injure’ the league enjoyed along with its fans.
Future fans would ‘never manage to benefit from the game,’ it fretted, because, rather than help a team that is favorite they would alternatively be drawn to ‘the competing interest of this betting line and the money that will be made from it.’
The statement becomes most of the more hyperbolic when you consider that Canada has only one NBA team, which shows the choice of loyalties for the average Canadian may be rather cut and dried.
Nevertheless, based on the CGA, which is desperately trying to push the bill before Parliament breaks for the summer a few weeks, the NBA has changed its tune.
‘Consistent with the NBA’s current position regarding legalized sports betting in the us, the NBA is not opposed to legalized sports betting in Canada as long as it has an appropriate framework that is legislative protects the integrity associated with the game under strict regulatory requirements and technological safeguards,’ stated the NBA, as quoted by the CGA in a hearing regarding the Senate of Canada’s Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee this week.
The statement echoes the shift that is recent position of NBA mind Adam Silver, whom, in an op-ed for the New York instances toward the conclusion of final year, recommended the laws on activities betting in the US should be changed.
‘Congress should adopt a framework that is federal allows states to authorize wagering on professional sports, topic to strict regulatory requirements and technological safeguards,’ he said.
All other major North American sports leagues, however, stay intransigent on the subject, and meanwhile, C-290, which happens to be languishing in the Senate for the best part of 3 years, remains a long shot. Currently, however, long shots are all that Canadians are permitted to bet on.
RAWA Hits Senate Floor as GOP 2016 Presidential Hopeful Lindsey Graham Gets Lambasted by PPA
Senator Lindsey Graham’s introduction of RAWA to the Senate this week came under fire from John Pappas of the Poker Players Alliance, who questioned its timing up to a House that is near-empty that adjourned. (Image: motherjones.com)
RAWA, the brainchild of Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has now been introduced to the Senate.
The legislation, formally called the Restoration of America’s Wire Act, seeks to restore what opponents of online gambling believe become the initial and proper interpretation of the 1961 Federal Wire Act, before it had been reinterpreted by the Department of Justice (DoJ) in 2011.
The Wire Act, in its wording that is original prohibited ‘betting or wagering’ using ‘a wire communication facility for the transmission.’
The DoJ’s legal viewpoint of 2011 asserted this merely relevant to activities gambling over the Internet, rather than poker or casino gaming, which paved the way for individual states to legalize and regulate online gambling within their borders within the last couple of years.
Graham’s bill, if passed, would effectively ban all types of online gambling at the federal degree, apart from horse battle betting and fantasy sports. No exemptions would be made for the three states (Nevada, brand New Jersey, and Delaware) that have already opted to control gaming that is online or, indeed, for the dozen or so that have actually chosen to offer online lottery solution sales.
Timing Is Suspect
It is long been expected that Graham, who sponsored the bill year that is last would present RAWA to the Senate at some point in 2015, but, according to online poker lobby group the Poker Players Alliance, the timing is deeply suspect.
‘Due to the fact eyes of the nation are dedicated to South Carolina after the present tragic event, I think I speak for most Americans whenever I express profound frustration in Senator Graham for choosing this time around to advance a bill for the sole benefit of the billionaire political donor,’ said John Pappas, executive manager of the PPA.
‘The Congress made the choice to adjourn early so they could attend services on Friday in Senator Graham’s home-state. Unfortunately, Senator Graham has not reset his priorities and picked a really unfortunate time to participate in the Internet gaming debate.’
Pappas also accuses Graham of cronyism. The Senator recently announced his decision to run for president, and several commentators believe RAWA is essential for Graham as being a means of securing the sponsorship, and campaign contributions of LVS Chairman Sheldon Adelson, that is known for their virulent hatred of most things related to online gaming.
California Online Poker Hearings
‘In 2014, following personal meetings between billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and Senator Lindsey Graham and several Adelson-sponsored fundraising events, Senator Graham introduced legislation that is similar ban states’ from authorizing Internet gambling within their very own borders,’ said the PPA within an formal statement this week.
‘Though Senator Graham has traditionally been a staunch states’ legal rights advocate, this legislation would overturn whole-cloth the decisions regarding the states to authorize and license online video gaming within their borders.
‘Sheldon Adelson’s power over politicians, especially those operating for president, is significant, but Congress must show it really is stronger,’ warned Pappas.
While Graham was presenting their legislation to an empty Senate, Pappas had been in Sacramento, addressing a hearing of California’s General Assembly Committee on political Organization on the feasibility legalizing online poker in the state.
‘There is no public policy justification for the status quo,’ he told the committee. ‘Doing there’s nothing just not an option. Now’s the right time for the legislature to regulate Internet poker.’