Baazov bid for Amaya won’t include Scheinbergs; BetStars loses Stephen Fisk

amaya-scheinberg-betsarsPokerStars’ former owners Isai and Mark Scheinberg won’t be part of David Baazov’s bid to acquire Canadian gaming operator Amaya Gaming and take it private.

On Monday, Amaya CEO Baazov announced he was planning a C$2.8b bid for Amaya, which owns PokerStars and Full Tilt, properties formerly controlled by the Scheinberg-owned Rational Group before Amaya acquired the company in 2014.

On Wednesday, Eilers & Krejcik Gaming issued a note to clients quoting an Amaya spokesperson saying the Scheinbergs “will not be involved in David Baazov’s going private offer.” The analysts had previously suggested that this was a “very remote possibility” but have since scrubbed that language from its original report.

Shedding all connection to the Scheinbergs – especially Isai, who has had an unresolved federal indictment hanging over his head since Black Friday – was deemed a prerequisite for PokerStars receiving a New Jersey license. In granting that license, the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) required Amaya to purge four unnamed Rational execs the DGE deemed problematic from a ‘clean hands’ regulatory point of view.

Speaking of exiting Rational execs, Amaya just lost the head of its fledgling BetStars sports betting operation. On Tuesday, Amaya spokesman Eric Hollreiser told eGaming Review that Stephen Fisk, a Rational veteran since 2007, had left the company. Hollreiser declined to elaborate on the reason behind Fisk’s exit and offered no info on possible replacements.

BetStars launched mere months ago, so Fisk’s timing is odd. But the sportsbook’s full rollout, both in variety of products and number of markets in which it was available, was unexpectedly delayed in November. And the DGE had put a Jan. 30, 2016 deadline for Amaya to rid itself of its aforementioned problematic legacy staffers.

Fisk was appointed managing director of PokerStars’ sportsbook in November 2013 but had variously served as director of security, operations and payments for Rational properties, so it’s possible the DGE identified some involvement in Rational’s infamous sales of billions of golf balls to its US customers in the years leading up to Black Friday.