David Baazov, former CEO and founder of Amaya Inc. inspired one of online gaming’s most significant evolutions. He built Amaya Inc. from the ground up, partnering with industry-wide favorites. Baazov enhanced gaming technology by listening to the needs of gamers worldwide.
David Baazov aims for the Stars
Amaya Inc. is now known as The Stars Group. In 2010, it went public on the Toronto Venture Exchange. At this time, it already saw $6 million in revenue. With its initial success, the company bought out other gaming software developers, such as Chartwell Technology and CryptoLogic.
Eventually, Amaya Inc. became so popular that, in 2014, it bought companies like Cadillac Jack and Rational Group. Rational Group owned Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars. These are two of the most loved online poker rooms in the world. The acquisition incited an evolution in online gaming – one that nobody has seen the likes of before.
Baazov took risks to improve online gaming. Moreover, building intelligent and capable teams, fulfilling deep market needs, and understanding how to improve software constantly takes skill, patience, and grit. Because Baazov has these qualities, Forbes called him the “king of online gambling.”
This article will dive into the life of David Baazov and how his success with Amaya Inc. inspired a new evolution of online gaming. Holding some of the most impressive gaming partnership and acquisition histories, Baazov is globally famed.
The famous PokerStars acquisition
Deutsche Bank’s previous Managing Director, Andrew Zarnett, said Amaya Inc.’s acquisition of Rational Group in 2014 was extraordinary. In his words, “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.”
This is a testament to Baazov’s strategic partnerships and passion for leveling up the online gaming space. With relatively limited revenue at the time, it was a savvy play for Baazov to acquire such a well-performing company. Players and professionals globally applauded the efforts of Baazov. They understood that these partnerships were the key to continuing the gaming industry’s success.
Baazov’s empire makes waves in New Jersey state
In 2015, PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker experienced an even higher audience interest and acquisition increase. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) reviewed Amaya Inc. thoroughly based on best practices and legal regulations. Due to the PokerStars site shutting down in 2011 in a legal battle, the DGE’s ultimately positive review allowed for market expansion at a more rapid pace.
The DGE gave Amaya Inc. the green light to run internet gambling services in New Jersey under PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker. This would make New Jersey the biggest American state to regulate online gambling. In fact, just days after, Amaya Inc. shares rose by a groundbreaking 14 percent.
David Baazov’s Statement
Baazov commented, saying that “The DGE’s 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.”
He added, “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.”
The launch of casino games on PokerStars alone, Baazov estimated, had “one of the largest active user bases of any online casino.” Combined, PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker have held most of the global online poker market. At the time of the acquisition and review, more than 95 million customers were registered.
Early life and initial success in business
Baazov’s worldwide success sprouted from hard work and persistence. He worked since his teenage years to build the ultimate online empire. His hand in the evolution of the industry satiated market needs. He accomplished this by sharpening his skills in business and practicing the art of partnerships and acquisitions to see skyrocketing growth later with Amaya Inc.
The Canadian businessman and entrepreneur was born on December 31st, 1980. Born in Israel, he moved to Montreal, Canada, where he was raised and built his businesses. One of his first endeavors was building a computer-reselling firm out of Canada. Here, he equipped himself with the tools to build solid teams and implement next-level technological solutions.
Baazov secured a contract with the Montreal Public Library, re-selling computers as visitor resources. The company was worth $20 million within five years of its start. He eventually sold the company in 2005, making space for Amaya Inc. to come to life.
Shortly after this time, Baazov built a team of software developers to refurbish gaming systems in land-based and cruise ship sites. Amaya Inc. was officially launched at full-scale, and a new evolution of gaming came to fruition.