Chinese Investor Invests Heavily in PokerStarsApril 10, 2017 1:07 pm
Former Amaya CEO David Baazov has been selling off his shares in the Canadian gaming company, and at the end of last month had reduced his holding to 3.8% from 18.6% a year earlier. In the meantime, Hong Kong businessman Tang Hao has taken the opportunity to acquire a significant interest in Amaya, and after buying 9,105,500 common shares in March, to go with the 7,200,000 shares he already owned, now has an 11% stake in the firm.
Tang Hao’s actions have raised a great deal of interest from analysts involved in the industry, as not much is known about the individual, let alone what his business plan may be. As Adam Krejcik from research firm Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, LLC tweeted on April 4th in response to a tweet from Alexandre Dreyfus drawing attention to Tang Hao’s acquisition of 9.1 million common shares:
“@alex_dreyfus @Reuters not much info on this individual or firm, strange?”
Alexandre Dreyfus then sent Krejcik a message back stating that Hao is just a “discreet individual”, before taking the opportunity to highlight his delight at the prospect of his involvement, especially in light of the French entrepreneur’s Global Poker League (GPL) expansion plan into China. As Dreyfus tweeted back:
“Someone is betting $300m on the future of Pokerstars and he is coming from Asia 🙂 Oh wait … #poker #asia #future”
In 2015, Dreyfus helped fund his GPL by using $4.9 million in capital raised from private Chinese investors, while the following year Sina Sports, China’s biggest digital sports media platform, became the GPL’s official digital media partner. Dreyfus clearly believes the future of poker lies in stimulating a high level of interest on the Asian continent, and as he remarked at the time:
“China will likely be the epicenter of the next poker boom [and] .. thanks to our new investors, we’ll be able to reach new strategic partnerships in China to help develop the sport of poker there, creating a domino effect that has globally positive effects.”