PokerStars Founder Mark Scheinberg Invests in Spain’s Real Estate Market

PokerStars founder Mark Scheinberg plans to increase his investment in Madrid’s real estate market, according to reports from local media.

The Israeli-Canadian businessman purchased in February a 50% stake in Centro Canalejas Madrid, paying €225 million to owners OHL Desarrollos and Grupo Villar Mir. Currently under construction, Centro Canalejas is a multi-million project aimed at converting several historical buildings located in the heart of the Spanish capital into a multi-purpose complex.

Mr. Scheinberg has become the latest of many wealthy businessmen to have been eyeing Spain’s real estate market at a time when the country is recovering from the 2008 property bubble burst. Between 1990 and 2006, the local market experienced a huge rise in property prices that suddenly collapsed in 2008 and thus shuttered the country’s economy like a severe earthquake.

With estimated net worth of $4.5 billion (Forbes), Mr. Scheinberg is apparently comfortable with investing in Spain or any other place of interest. In 2001, the businessman along with his father, Isai Scheinberg, founded PokerStars, a brand that is recognized among gambling insiders as the world’s largest poker room.

PokerStars was originally operated from Costa Rica, but operations were later on relocated to the Isle of Man, due to the British Crown dependency’s gambling companies-friendly tax regime and the removal of the rules that prohibited those same companies from accepting US players. Within a relatively short period of time, the Scheinbergs turned their venture into the gambling world into an enterprise worth billions of dollars.

In April 2011, the two PokerStars founders found their names involved in a massive legal case, resulting from an investigation by the US Department of Justice. As many as 11 people, Isai Scheinberg included, were indicted after it had been found out that online poker brands PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker had accepted US players after the implementation of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006.

In 2012, the DOJ and the PokerStars founders reached an agreement, under which the online poker room forfeited around $500 million and acquired the Full Tilt Poker assets in return. Isai Scheinberg still has criminal charges against him, but it is not likely that he will ever appear in US courtroom.

In August 2014, Canadian businessman David Baazov purchased PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker’s parent company, the Rational Group, from the Scheinbergs. They received the amount of $4.9 billion for giving up all the company’s assets. The transaction was dubbed back then as the most expensive one in the history of online gambling.

Related News

CasinoNewsDaily is a media focused on providing daily news from the casino industry as well as in-depth gaming guides. Our guides cover roulette, blackjack, slots and video poker.
Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on Reddit