Deal-Maker Rafi Ashkenazi To Exit Flutter

August 28, 2020

- Grant Whittington

Former The Stars Group (TSG) group chief executive Rafi Ashkenazi has given notice of his intention to terminate his term serving as non-executive director of casino group Flutter Entertainment, the latter has confirmed.

The announcement regarding Ashkenazi’s imminent exit followed hot on the heels of Flutter Entertainment’s recently published interim financial statement of affairs. The statement provides details regarding the casino giant’s intention of speeding up the integration of its own technology and regulations with that of The Stars Group’s own assets. This, confirmed the gaming giant, in an attempt to help the company steer those headwinds created by the ongoing global health crisis.

Going Above & Beyond

Ashkenazi was initially offered the position of Group Chief Operations Officer (of the combined business) but had opted instead to serve the enterprise in the capacity and role of non-executive director.

Ashkenazi has been part of the PokerStars family ever since former Amaya Inc. CEO David Baazov left the group now known as The Stars Group under an overshadowing cloud of accusations related to insider trading. The charges against Baazov all related to insider trading at the time of Amaya’s acquisition of the PokerStars brand.

Ashkenazi, having been long branded a trustworthy hand of guidance fully able to level the then-yaw-motion of the PokerStars ship, was ultimately appointed as the new chief executive of Amaya Inc. in Baazov’s stead.

But the new CEO did a great deal more than simply do damage-control to the firm’s smeared reputation following Baazov’s departure. Instead of merely focusing on leveraging the brand back to its former position of respectability, Ashkenazi would go on to do a great deal more in terms of what had initially been expected of him in his newly assumed role. Not only did he greatly diversify the company, but he nearly immediately rebranded Amaya Inc. to The Stars Group (TSG). In addition to the major and rapid rebrand, which he completed with phenomenal speed and success, the new CEO would also go on to launch TSG’s then-new BetStars sports book and online casino platforms.

Preceded By His Reputation

Having so successfully led the rebrand and overall transformation of the popular casino games group, Ashkenazi would in 2018 go on to do even greater things for the benefit of the business when he facilitated back-to-back acquisitions of CrownBet Australia, and Sky Betting & Gaming. TSG was fully intent on becoming the world’s leading sportsbook operator, said a determined Rafi Ashkenazi at the time of the mentioned acquisition and buy-over.

By having led the group to a full recovery, and even beyond to greater levels of success, Ashkenazi had effectively earned his new title of being a deal-making company CEO.

Ashkenazi The Game-Changer

Initially a set of acquisition and buy-over deals prompted by the 2018 legalisation of sports betting in the United States, Ashkenazi in 2019, following his having gotten wind of a string of market-warnings over increased regulatory scrutiny at the time imposed all over the European continent, the dynamic chief executive immediately started looking for alternative roads toward diversification in business.

He found exactly what he had been looking for in a $12 billion merger-deal that would ultimately combine The Stars Group Inc. with Flutter Entertainment. Not only would the deal ensure diversification in terms of online casino gambling being added in a massive way to the combined endeavour’s portfolio, but it would furthermore outright create the number one leader in online gambling. In the world.

And his is a series of contributions Flutter Plc chairman Gary McGann at the time of Ashkenazi’s exit announcement described as major, transformative, and the combined driving force behind the coming into existence of an industry giant today positioned at the helm of several big betting and gambling subsidiaries.

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