Up until 2014, hardly anyone had ever heard of Amaya, a relatively unknown Canadian gaming software company. The company itself has been around since 2004, getting its start by offering business to business technological solutions for the gaming industry.
There’s a lot that goes on in the back end of gaming businesses, things that are essential for its operation. For instance there’s much more to offering casino games online then just the website and the casino games, and there’s a host of other software programs and solutions that are needed to have these operations running smoothly and successfully.
The same is true for other gaming providers, such as land based ones and even governments running lotteries. So this is where Amaya started to shine, being well known among companies offering gaming but virtually unknown among the public as this software isn’t end user.
So Amaya would design and lease this software to gaming companies, who then used it to further their gaming businesses. Amaya did carve out a nice niche in this area and over the years the company grew in both reputation and revenue.
In 2006 they brought David Baazov on board as CEO, considered one of the brightest minds in the casino industry, although no one could have anticipated the feats he would pull off in the next few years.
The company went public in 2010, which further fueled Amaya’s growth, and the next year, in 2011, they made their first major acquisition by buying gaming software maker Cryptologic.
Cryptologic was at the time not the most technologically advanced software company, but they were much better known in the industry than Amaya was, and at the time a lot of people were wondering who this small company really was that could go out there and buy an established competitor like this who was in many ways bigger than they were.
Amaya Slot Games
Amaya Really Takes Off
The art of the acquisition was the real talent of Baazov and Amaya though and things were just beginning for them. Owning Cryptologic allowed them to get a much better foothold in the online casino business, now finally producing some end user software, software players could experience.
More acquisitions soon followed, adding to their casino software holdings as well as breaking further into the online poker business by picking up the Ongame Poker Network from online gaming giant bwin.party.
Their buying out bigger software companies certainly raised some eyebrows, and their buying a poker network from a gaming giant raised even more, but this was nothing compared to their next deal.
By 2014, Amaya had built its company value up to $177 million, an impressive number, but still a very modest one, and at this point hardly anyone had ever heard of them. Then they bought the Rational Group, parent company of PokerStars, for $4.9 billion, instantly making them the largest online gaming company in the world.
This was a feat that was even hard to imagine being possible but is testimony to how well this company is able to arrange financing for acquisitions, and this was not only extremely impressive in the gaming industry, it was one of the most amazing deals ever in the history of business.
Cryptologic’s business to consumer division, WagerLogic, ended up being sold around this time to raise more cash, for $70 million, about twice what it paid for the entire company two years earlier, turning a tidy profit as well as retaining a good portion of the original assets of the company.
Amaya Is A Major Player In The Gaming Software Business Now
So Amaya is certainly a company that knows the art of the deal, and they have done some pretty amazing things so far in their relatively short history. In spite of selling WagerLogic, Amaya currently has quite an assortment of consumer gaming software, including many games that are used by online casinos around the world.
The acquisition of PokerStars has certainly catapulted them to the biggest of stages and they are now very well known. Among their software holdings is the company that used to make the PokerStars poker software, which is now part of their subsidiary Amaya Software Services.
Amaya has been carving out a nice niche though in the casino game software arena, and although they aren’t up to competing with the biggest casino software makers yet, they are growing more and more in popularity all the time, and with this company, who knows how far they could go.
Traditionally, it was harder for smaller casino software makers to break into the business because most larger online casinos would have licensing agreements with one of the major software makers to provide exclusive access.
This is changing though and nowadays you see many online casinos use multiple providers, to offer their players a more diverse selection of games, not number of games as much as variety of them.
So this has allowed Amaya and other more modestly sized casino software makers to make some serious inroads and the market is much more wide open now. Amaya has indeed made quite an impact lately and offer many branded games, including superhero branded ones, as well as games from other software makers such as Aristocrat, where they have licensed the software used in their land based casino games and rebranded them as Amaya games for their use online.
Amaya continues to maintain its diversity of offerings though and are still heavily involved in the business to business end of things, as they have been all along, but even more so now that they are so well known and esteemed as a company, and this is a company whose vision or appetite for growth and success knows no bounds, so just because they are the biggest online gaming company in the world now doesn’t mean that they will be slowing down anytime soon.