Published On: Mon, Oct 19th, 2015

Amaya Limits Operation of Daily Fantasy Sports Brand StarsDraft Pending Further State Regulation

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Amaya Inc. (Nasdaq: AYA, TSX: AYA) has announced that it is limiting its daily fantasy sports (DFS) brand StarsDraft from operating real money games and tournaments in most U.S. states following a review of recent developments in a number of jurisdictions.

“The decision is not anticipated to have a negative financial impact on Amaya, ” the company said in an e-mailed statement Monday, “StarsDraft players in all jurisdictions will continue to have access to the funds in their online accounts, which are available for withdrawal at any time.”

Amya which paid $4.9 billion for the PokerStars online business last year, acquired the fantasy sports in August.

“We have previously called for state regulation and licensing of DFS to ensure consumer protection and strict government oversight of operators.”, Amya added, “Prior to the launch of StarsDraft and based on a thorough review of the regulatory environment at the time, Amaya decided not to launch StarsDraft in jurisdictions where many of our competitors continue to operate today, including Michigan.”

Amaya, based in Pointe-Claire, Quebec, also said StarsDraft recently withdrew from Michigan, Florida and Canada, where last week the respected Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) determined that DFS operators in that State are required to obtain a gaming license from the NGCB.

Amya said it will work with all states interested in implementing clear guidelines for the operation of daily fantasy sports in their jurisdiction.

In the meantime, StarsDraft intends to focus operations in states with favorable existing daily fantasy sports guidance, including New Jersey, Massachusetts, Kansas and Maryland.

Amaya entered the daily fantasy sports industry a little over a month ago when it acquired Victiv and re-launched it as StarsDraft, bringing its global experience in gaming regulation and best practices with respect to compliance, security, responsible gaming and player fund protection.

Daily fantasy sports, in which customers pay entry fees and pick rosters of real life athletes in the hopes of winning millions of dollar in prizes, is growing fast in the U.S. DraftKings and FanDuel have raised hundreds of millions of dollars from investors including KKR & Co., Time Warner Inc. and Major League Baseball.

 

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