Insider Trading Probe of Amaya Largest Ever in Canada

3 years ago
Frenzied trading of stock prior to PokerStars acquisition remains suspicious
17 Jun

The gaming industry was shocked last summer when Canada-based Amaya Gaming bought PokerStars and Full Tilt for $4.9 billion.

But a number of investors were apparently not taken by surprise, especially those who managed to purchase shares of the company prior to the announced acquisition. Early last year, Amaya stock was trading at $8.99 (Canadian currency) before falling to $5.81 in the middle of April, reported the Globe and Mail.

Just a couple weeks later, trading started to get heavy and saw the share price rise to a bit over $14 by the time the takeover was announced on June 12. During that time prior to the purchase, the volume of Amaya shares traded was more than twice as high as the average for the first four months of 2015.

That has led to a massive investigation of Amaya and two other companies, the largest such probe into possible insider trading in the history of Canada. The investigation has gone international, with British and U.S. regulators also involved.

Leading the ongoing investigation is the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), the securities regulator in Quebec. The Globe abd Mail points out that the AMF has had "limited experience" investigating insider trading irregularities, which may result in the matter remaining unresolved for an extended period of time.

It's important to point out that Amaya has not been accused of wrongdoing. Also noteworthy is the fact that Amaya recently passed the scrutiny of U.S. authorities and began trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market on June 8.

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Charles is a Chicago native and long time poker player who dusted off his journalism degree and began writing about poker following the events of Black Friday in 2011. He has written for a number of leading poker websites, offering his insights and expertise on subjects ranging from online poker leg...Read more


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