Amaya Now Trading On NASDAQ Under AYA Symbol

PokerStars Stock Now Trading In US As Amaya’s NASDAQ Listing Goes Live

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A significant milestone for PokerStars’ parent company Amaya – public listing on a major U.S. exchange – was achieved this morning when Amaya began trading on the NASDAQ.

Inside Amaya’s NASDAQ listing

Amaya now trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol AYA. The company’s shares trade in USD on the NASDAQ.

The company continues to trade on the TSX under the same ticker, but in CAD.

The listing does not represent the issuance of any new shares. Existing common shares of the company will trade in parallel on the two exchanges.

Investors who own AMYGF via the OTC listing will see their shares move to NASDAQ, according to an FAQ published by Amaya.

Amaya enters the NASDAQ following an extended period characterized by frequent and severe volatility for shares in the company (click for larger image):

Amaya / PokerStars stock chart

A year of whirlwind transformation for Amaya and PokerStars

Both PokerStars and Amaya are fundamentally different companies today than they were a year ago.

There’s the major, obvious difference triggered by the acquisition of PokerStars by Amaya in August of 2014. But the changes go deeper.

After over a decade as a poker-only company, PokerStars dramatically expanded its product range during the last 12 months, offering not only casino games but also sports betting alongside poker (with DFS possibly to enter the mix before year’s end).

As for Amaya, the company successfully executed a swift divestiture of the nearly dozen separate pieces – including Cryptologic, Diamond Game and Cadillac Jack – of the B2B portfolio portfolio CEO David Baazov spent much of the decade assembling.

Through a series of sales and spinoffs, Baazov pivoted his company from a full-service B2B online gambling supplier to what is arguably the largest B2C online gambling platform in the world, slimming Amaya to one primary function: housing the PokerStars and Full Tilt brands.

Listing comes amid uncertainty in regulated U.S. market

As Howard Stutz noted at the Las Vegas Review Journal, there’s a certain irony in Amaya’s NASDAQ listing: while American players can trade in PokerStars as a company, they are unable to access PokerStars the product in any of the states (New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware) where regulated online poker is available:

On the topic of states yet to regulate:

AMF inquiry unresolved

An inquiry by Quebec securities regulators AMF into trading in Amaya around the acquisition of PokerStars has yet to be resolved.

No formal complaints have been brought against Amaya or any of its executives by the AMF.

Amaya confirmed that the investigation involves CEO Baazov and CFO Daniel Sebag.

Baazov asserted in June that “[w]e have been cooperating with the AMF since the announcement of our acquisition of Oldford Group. I believe that any concerns that I or other Amaya officers or directors violated any Canadian securities laws are unfounded and we are confident that at the end of its investigation, the AMF will come to the same conclusion.”

Adam Krejcik of Eilers Research sees the NASDAQ listing as a sign that the company’s confidence isn’t misplaced.

“Gaining a listing on a major exchange like the Nasdaq sends a message to investors. On a level, it signals that things are OK on the regulatory front,” Krejcik told the LVRJ.

Image credit: gary yim /

- Chris is the publisher of Grove also serves as a consultant to various stakeholders in the regulated market for online gambling in the United States.
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