Amaya Gaming Investigation Report Published by New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement

Amaya-Gaming-Group-2Just days after announcing that PokerStars and Full Tilt were approved for online gaming operations in the state of New Jersey, the Division of Gaming Enforcement has now released a report that details the findings of the Amaya Gaming investigation. The investigation was based on the acquisition of Full Tilt and PokerStars by Amaya Gaming, and included information on the Transactional Waiver Order, which would have given the company a license on a probationary period. We know now that the Transactional Waiver Order was approved and the report gives us an inside look as to what New Jersey found during their investigation of the online poker brands.

The reports gives details of the history between the poker rooms and the issues that surfaced with the United States after the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was created as well as Black Friday. The report also discusses the Amaya Gaming purchase and how this information relates to the gaming application for online operations in New Jersey.

The report has a summary which discusses the go ahead for approval by the DGE of New Jersey for the online gaming sites. The report states that the investigation leads the Division to conclude that Amaya has been able to demonstrate suitability for the Transactional Waiver Order. While PokerStars entities did operate in violation of the law from 2006 to 2011, a number of considerations have led to finding suitability including:

  • Severe criminal and civil sanctions imposed by the federal government
  • The separation of the previous owners and most former executives
  • Acquisition of the assets by Amaya Gaming
  • Incorporation by Amaya into a robust compliance and control environment
  • Significant changes to the online gaming market since 2011

Several requirements had to be completed during the investigation for Amaya to gain approval for PokerStars and Full Tilt. More than 60 individuals were reviewed, of which four were terminated based on the DGE requirements. Amaya had to give any funds that were still in accounts at PokerStars for former customers of New Jersey to the state. Several individuals were also banned from being involved with Amaya Gaming including:

  • Isai Scheinberg, the founder of PokerStars, and son Mark
  • Chris Ferguson
  • Rafe Furst
  • Ray Bitar (all former heads of Full Til)


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