Amaya said Wednesday that the allegations against chairman and CEO David Baazov are “without merit” and expects him to be fully exonerated from the charges brought by Quebec’s Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF).
The Toronto-listed company confirmed that Baazov had been hit with five trading charges by the AMF, but noted that no allegation of wrongdoing by Amaya or any of its subsidiaries or other directors or officers had been made.
Amaya said that the charges related to communicating privileged information involve allegations relating to a former financial advisor to Amaya, while the charges relating to influencing or attempting to influence the market price of Amaya securities involve allegations relating to that same advisor and an employee.
“Amaya does not anticipate the charges will have any impact on the management or day-to-day affairs of the operating business,” said Amaya, owner of the PokerStars and Full Tilt brands. “Operations continue as usual and there will be no change to the PokerStars or Full Tilt product offerings, either in customer experience, player fund security or game integrity.”
The company said that it will continue to communicate with its regulators and does not currently anticipate any material negative impact on its current or potential licenses, approvals or partnerships as a result of the allegations against Baazov.
"David Baazov has the full support of the independent members of the board," said Dave Gadhia, Amaya's lead director and independent board member, and the former executive vice chairman and CEO of Gateway Casinos & Entertainment.
"As noted previously, Amaya conducted an external internal review, supervised by its independent board members with the assistance of external legal counsel from Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP in Canada and Greenberg Traurig LLP in the US, which thoroughly reviewed the relevant internal activities surrounding the Oldford Group acquisition.
“This review found no evidence of any violations of Canadian securities laws or regulations,” continued Gadhia. “The independent members of the board received and reviewed the information and concluded that no action should be taken. We have not been provided with any new information upon which the AMF's allegations of infractions are based."