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Dubai investor accuses ex-Amaya CEO David Baazov of fraud

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Dubai investor accuses former Amaya CEO of fraud
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Former Amaya Gaming CEO David Baazov is being sued by a Dubai investor who claims Baazov fraudulently used the investor’s name to build support for an Amaya takeover bid.

On Friday, La Presse reported that KBC Aldini Capital president Kalani Lal had filed a lawsuit in Dubai in January accusing Baazov and his longtime financial services partner Canaccord Genuity of fraudulently using Lal’s name and signature to boost Baazov’s late-2016 bid to acquire Amaya.

Last November, Amaya announced that Baazov, who had parted ways with the company several months earlier to defend himself against criminal charges of insider trading, had made a C$24 per share offer to buy a controlling stake in Amaya and take the company private.

To support his bid, Baazov filed papers with the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) stating that he’d lined up $3.65b in financial commitments from four investment firms, including the Dubai-based KBC Aldini Capital.

However, within a week of Amaya’s announcement, Lal informed CalvinAyre.com that “neither KBC Aldini nor any of its related entities are involved in this transaction.” The following day, Baazov retracted his claim regarding KBC Aldini’s involvement, and Baazov’s proposed Amaya acquisition quickly fell apart.

Knowledge of the KBC Aldini lawsuit came via Quebec securities regulator Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), which brought the insider trading charges against Baazov and two other Amaya-connected individuals in March 2016.

Last December, an AMF investigator contacted KBC’s Lal, who repeated his claim to have never heard of Baazov or Amaya prior to the SEC filings. Lal apparently asked Cannacord to provide him with a copy of the letter allegedly sent by KBC pledging its financial support, but Lal never received a copy.

The AMF report indicates that “KBC’s clientele is predominantly Muslim, meaning that KBC will never invest in a gaming business, otherwise it will lose all its customers.” Lal reportedly received many calls from KBC clients who’d heard about the alleged Amaya connection, and this had caused Lal “a lot of worries.”

Earlier this week, La Presse reported that the AMF’s raids on individuals connected with their Baazov investigation had uncovered a document in which Baazov allegedly agreed to hold the majority of his Amaya shares on behalf of his brother Ofer aka ‘Josh’ Baazov and Ofer’s longtime online gambling business partner Craig Levett. The AMF also claims to have email communications in which Ofer is referred to as Amaya’s real owner.

Baazov’s criminal trial is expected to get underway in November, but if this week is any barometer, we can expect a steady drip of damning information to leak out of the AMF offices in the weeks to follow.

Amaya, the parent company of online gambling giant PokerStars, rebranded as The Stars Group earlier this year, in what was widely viewed as a means of distancing the company from the increasingly negative media narrative surrounding its former CEO.

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Yggdrasil and Peter & Sons hit the high notes in operatic new release Valkyries

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Yggdrasil and Peter & Sons hit the high notes in operatic new release Valkyries
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Yggdrasil and Peter & Sons have come together to create an unforgettable Norse themed slot that re-tells the dramatic story of Wagner’s most famous opera, The Valkyrie.

Valkyries follows the epic tale of the legendary Valkyries welcoming fallen heroes into Valhalla and boasts a bumper selection of bonus features and mechanics including Dropping and Locking Wilds with random multipliers up to 10x, Wild Overlaps and a powerful free spins bonus game awarding 10 free spins with two additional spins awarded every time a Locking Wild appears.

The pièce de résistance of this musical masterpiece is the Power Reel, a horizontal reel that sits below the main reels. This spins and stops once during the feature and causes different reel modifiers to jump onto the main vertical reels.

Released as part of the YG Masters program, Valkyries is the latest game developed by one of iGaming’s most talented rising stars, Peter & Sons.

The title is powered by GATI, with Yggdrasil’s state-of-the-art technology enabling partners to employ the preconfigured, regulation-ready, standardised development toolkit to produce consistently cutting-edge content followed by rapid distribution.

Stuart McCarthy, Head of Product and Programs at Yggdrasil, said: “Despite being a relatively new studio Peter & Sons have already carved out a solid reputation for themselves, creating some of the most memorable online slots we’ve ever seen.

“Their enthusiasm for developing beautifully-designed games with truly engaging features really shines through, and there’s no better example of this than Valkyries.”

Yann Bautista, Business Development Manager at Peter & Sons, said: “We constantly strive to create superior and unique gaming experiences for players, and we genuinely believe we’ve hit the high notes with Valkyries.

“With a unique theme, wonderful visuals and some really exciting features, which can see players win more than 20,000x their bet, what’s not to love?”

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Wizard Games appoints Deane Hendricks as Chief Operations Officer

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Wizard Games appoints Deane Hendricks as Chief Operations Officer
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Experienced industry figure to develop strategy for Pariplay’s in-house studio team

Aspire Global’s Pariplay Ltd, the leading aggregator and content provider, has boosted its Wizard Games studio team with the appointment of experienced industry professional Deane Hendricks as Chief Operations Officer.

Hendricks’ role will be to develop growth strategies for the newly branded in-house games team, liaising with operator partners to ensure that Wizard Games products deliver the most value-driven igaming experiences within regulated markets around the world.

With over a decade of experience in the industry, Hendricks was most recently Chief Operations Officer for GameART. He also held the roles of Game Product Owner Lead Malta and Senior Game Product Owner at NetEnt, and Casino Games Producer at Play’n GO.

Wizard Games operates as a distinctive business unit within Pariplay and holds high ambitions for 2022, with 28 titles expected to be added to the 120+ that are currently within the studio’s portfolio.

Pariplay’s in-house capabilities, added to its Fusion™ aggregation platform, represent a leading solution for operators in more than 15 regulated jurisdictions in Europe, North America and Latin America.

Deane Hendricks, Chief Operations Officer at Wizard Games, said: “This is an exciting time for everyone at Pariplay and in particular, the newly launched Wizard Games studio brand that has created waves in the industry already following the announcement of its launch.

“We are blessed with a highly skilled creative team and it is important that we can continue to demonstrate to operator partners products that can really deliver. The product roadmap for 2022 is exciting and I am determined to build on our current momentum to deliver strong growth.”

Joey Hurtado, Managing Director of Wizard Games, said: “Deane’s impeccable credentials in the industry as a leader and innovator will serve us well as we embark on our journey. His appointment is in itself an illustration of just how serious and determined we are to make a lasting impact by delivering the best possible products for our operator partners around the world.”

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INSPIRED LAUNCHES THREE XMAS GAMES TO GET PLAYERS IN THE FESTIVE SPIRIT: BIG CHRISTMAS PRESENT, MERRY CHRISTMAS MEGAWAYS & CHRISTMAS CASH SPINS

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INSPIRED LAUNCHES THREE XMAS GAMES TO GET PLAYERS IN THE FESTIVE SPIRIT: BIG CHRISTMAS PRESENT, MERRY CHRISTMAS MEGAWAYS & CHRISTMAS CASH SPINS
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Inspired Entertainment, Inc is pleased to announce the launch of its latest Christmas-themed online and mobile slot games: Big Christmas Present™, Merry Christmas Megaways™ and Christmas Cash Spins™.

Santa Claus is coming to town with Big Christmas Present, a 6×4 reel, 50-win line slot game. Combining the elements of a classic slot with an innovative bonus mechanic, Big Christmas Present will have players on the edge of their seats to win big! Offering players, a fun and engaging iGaming experience, Big Christmas Present is a Christmas-themed version of Inspired’s successful hit, Big Spin Bonus™.

The Big Christmas Present Bonus round awards the player between one and five Big Spins, which are spins of 20x or more, via the game’s Pick Me feature, ensuring guaranteed wins during the bonus round, for all players. During the Bonus, sticky wilds build up increasing the chance of a Big Win. The player’s goal is to accumulate as many sticky wilds and wins as possible before using up all their Big Spins.

Merry Christmas Megaways brings the joy of the festive season together with the popular Megaways game mechanic for an iGaming treat! Brimming with thrilling cascading wins and vivid mystery symbols, Merry Christmas Megaways is set to be a mega hit with fans of festive slot games.

Players can enjoy the Free Spins bonus round upon activating four or more scatters. The game’s Free Spins features unlimited multipliers that increase each time a winning cascade occurs.

Combining the thrill of iGaming with the joyful spirit of the festive season is Christmas Cash Spins, a 5×3 reel, 25-win line slot game. Featuring a Lock and Spin mechanic, this Christmas-themed slot game is enhanced with wheels that combine for big prize potential.

Six or more wheel symbols in view, during the base game, will trigger the Christmas Cash Spins Bonus, which grants the player three lives to add more wheels. If the wheels form into a 2×2 or 3×3, the symbols will morph into bigger wheels with better values. ​Should the player fill all reels, a Mega wheel will award them a big cash prize!

Claire Osborne, Vice President of Interactive at Inspired, said: “We’re delighted to be kick-starting the festive period with a strong line-up of Christmas titles. All three games incorporate a festive theme into our best math models, with diverse mechanics in each game to engage a variety of different players. As always, we pride ourselves on being ‘the home of the seasonal game’.”

Big Christmas Present is the perfect game for the regular bonus hit player. With its unique bonus mechanic, used previously on Big Spin Bonus, this game packs a punch.  The homely Christmas backdrop of Merry Christmas Megaways displays all the colours of yuletide warmth, set to a festive soundtrack to put fans of Megaways titles in the holiday spirit. Combining colourful gingerbread symbols, a white wintery backdrop, festive jingles and sparkles aplenty, Christmas Cash Spins will delight fans of classic slot games. It offers an exciting lock and spin mechanic plus vibrant wheels to offer big cash pay-outs.

“We now have a total of six festive slots wrapped up for our operator partners, including: Christmas Cash Pots™, Santa Stacked Free Spins™ and Santa King Megaways™. Providing all-round festive entertainment, players are set for a fun-filled holiday this year and beyond.”

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