GameStop Frenzy: Roaring Kitty’s Stake Nears Billion-Dollar Mark Amid Regulatory Scrutiny

Keith Gill, the online persona “Roaring Kitty” renowned for fueling the GameStop trading mania in 2021, finds himself at the center of another market frenzy. His recent disclosure of a substantial position in the video game retailer has propelled GameStop’s shares skyward, with his holdings potentially reaching a staggering $1 billion valuation.

On June 2, Gill unveiled a $180 million investment in GameStop, comprising $115.7 million in shares and $65.7 million in call options, igniting a fresh surge in the stock’s price. Within minutes of his Reddit post, GameStop’s shares soared 19% on Robinhood’s overnight markets, culminating in a 38.8% year-to-date gain.

As GameStop’s stock catapulted to $67.50 in after-hours trading, analysts at The Kobeissi Letter predicted that Gill’s position could be worth approximately $1 billion if the company opens at these elevated levels. The surge added a remarkable $9.5 billion to GameStop’s market capitalization within 12 hours, propelling the company into the ranks of the 400 largest public firms in the United States.

However, Gill’s actions have drawn scrutiny from regulators and short-sellers alike. Citron Research, a prominent GameStop short-seller, accused Gill of market manipulation, alleging he was colluding with others. The firm stated, “We believe someone is backing Gill — there’s no way he made this size trade alone. His reported finances don’t support this trade. Investors will see through this roaring Icarus.”

On June 4, the Massachusetts securities regulator launched an investigation into Gill’s moves. Lisa Braganca, a former Chicago Securities and Exchange Commission official, revealed in a CNBC interview that regulators would likely examine whether Gill was “moving the market” and potentially working with others or engaging in illegal conduct. Braganca noted that the probe could scrutinize Gill’s communications, including texts, emails, and social media activity on platforms like Reddit and X.

“They are concerned that this is an effort to manipulate the market and for him to make money for himself through illegal disclosures,” Braganca added, underscoring the regulatory scrutiny surrounding Gill’s actions.

As the GameStop saga continues to unfold, Gill’s meteoric rise and the ensuing regulatory scrutiny have once again thrust the meme stock phenomenon into the spotlight, reigniting debates about market integrity and the influence of social media on financial markets.