Earlier this week, Canadian authorities executed search warrants at Amaya Gaming headquarters in Quebec. The search was jointly conducted by the Canadian Federal Police and Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), the Canadian financial regulator reported Forbes.
The reason for the search was initially unknown. AMF spokesman Sylvain Théberge first stated that the agency couldn’t provide any details, except that the search was part of an investigation into the company. Commenters on Two Plus Two initially hypothesized that the investigation was centered around Amaya’s decision to accept Canadian poker players on PokerStars, but the company and regulators confirmed that the AMF wouldn’t have been involved in that decision.
Eric Hollreiser, the head of corporate communications for the Rational Group, a subsidiary of Amaya Gaming, initially said that the company was cooperating with the investigation but also declined to provide any specifics. New details were released later this week. Amaya announced that the investigation was surrounding trading activities around Amaya Gaming.
Amaya officials do not believe the company or any of its employees are targets of any criminal investigation. A recent press release states that the company will not be impacted by the investigation and will provide any documents requested by Canadian regulators or law enforcement officials.
There is a strong possibility that authorities are investigating insider trading allegations. The company acquired the Rational Group in June and its stock price nearly doubled afterwards. The AMF may want to prosecute any insider traders that purchased Amaya stock ahead of the announcement to merge with the Rational Group.
Chris Grove of Online Poker Report said there is a chance that the news could further delay Amaya’s efforts to receive an online gambling license in New Jersey. However, the investigation doesn’t appear to have any material evidence that would jeopardize its chances of receiving a license.