Amaya Fired 4 Top Pokerstars Employees and Blocked Scheinbergs to Gain New Jersey License


Amaya Inc. got through the months of investigation by the Division of Gaming Enforcement, New Jersey last week to secure the license to operate online poker on its two websites – PokerStars and Full Tilt. But, it came at a cost of sacking 4 senior executives of PokerStars. In the 89-page report of DGE’s investigation, it was revealed that the company was asked to distance itself from 4 employees in order to assure fair practices in future.

Michael Hazel, former CFO of PokerStars, Charles Fabian, former Head of Games Systems Development at Pocket Kings Consulting, the parent of Full Tilt Poker, Serge Bourenkov, Software Manager at PYR, which handles Rational Group’s software database and Israel Rosenthal, Director of operations for Rational Group were sacked as per DGE’s suggestion in order to get the state license. The report read:

Separate from employment on or before January 30, 2016, four individuals identified by the Division as having failed to establish the requisite good character, honesty and integrity required by the [New Jersey Casino Control] Act due to their involvement in the business activities of the PokerStars Entities between the enactment of UIGEA and Black Friday.

DGE approved the partnership of PokerStars and Resort Casino last week which cleared their way to enter New Jersey after a long investigation on negotiations made in past between Rational Group and Amaya Inc. 71 individual interviews were conducted with 64 current or former PokerStars employees and 45,000 documents were scrutinized to verify the fair deal made between two companies.

Amaya Inc. was made to promise that these 4 persons will never “influence, suggest, or communicate with any employee of Amaya”. Furthermore, an agreement was signed by the company which assures that “irrevocably and totally extinguishing the ownership interest of Isai and Mark Scheinberg.” In the same passage of the report, Amaya Gaming’s leadership agreed that the Scheinbergs or other “tainted executives” would “have no further involvement in the operation or management of their former companies“.

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