Ongame and Amaya Hire Former Absolute Poker Exec

May 10, 2013

Amaya, Canadian international online gambling brand, has hired Paul Legget, former Absolute Poker front man, to replace Paul Bartilsson as head of online gaming. Legget will not only serve as head Amaya’s online gaming, but will also be a consultant to the company as well.

Legget’s new role includes overseeing Ongame Network, a new acquisition by Amaya. Previously, Bertilsson managed Ongame Services, and Legget is expected to head the online division of Amaya. He is also in charge of all the online activities of Amaya. Legget comes in with broad experience in the same position and industry.

The future duties of Ongame and Legget could raise eyebrows within some states like Nevada, in which recently enacted poker legislation entails a five-year provision for post-UIGEA, the US friendly sites.

Absolute Poker, which initially owned, stopped operations after the Black Friday in April 2011. This was due to the US crackdown that left huge amounts of money unpaid to players, especially those from America. At the passing on of the Black Friday’s indictments, many cited Legget as’s COO.

The Ongame Network is among the oldest poker networks that operated in the US before the  UIGEA was passed. It was the previous home to sites such as, Hollywood Poker, and bwin. Initially, BetAndWin operated the network but they merged to form in 2011.

With an excess of gaming assets after merging, started searching for the Ongame buyer. First, they sold the network to Shuffle Master, but he got out of the deal later. Amaya then bought Ongame at a reduced cost. Afterwards, Shuffle Master (SHFL) negotiated with Amaya for use of the Ongame platform.

Amaya also struck a deal with Bally Technologies, which is already licensed for the new poker regime in Nevada. Whether the hiring of Legget offers any superseding concerns for the Nevada regulators or not remains to be seen.


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