Shuffle Master, the leading gaming supplier and maker of automated card shufflers, has entered an agreement to purchase the Ongame Network from bwin.party in a deal believed to be worth €29.5 million (approx $39 million). The Ongame Network includes more than 25 of the biggest online poker rooms, such as Betfair Poker and Sportingbet’s Paradise Poker, in addition to regional networks in Europe.
The agreement involves Shuffle Master paying an initial €19.5 million, with a further €10 million possible, according to the future on online poker in the United States. The deal is expected to be tied up inside the next nine months, as it is currently subject to regulatory approvals.
Shuffle Master CEO Gavin Isaacs, said: “Our acquisition of Ongame will allow Shuffle Master to offer a scalable, proven and secure solution for online poker. Immediately upon closing the transaction, we will be able to begin leveraging all of Ongame’s experience and expertise in iGaming.”
Isaacs continued: “I am confident that Ongame will fit seamlessly into our ongoing interactive initiatives of delivering our renowned brands to online gaming operators, partner web sites, social networks and mobile platforms. Poker is a natural fit for our table-centric online offerings and our many jurisdictional licenses present a compelling opportunity for our current and future online customers.”
Louis Castle, Shuffle Master’s Chief Strategy, added: “We are very focused on creating greater value for our current and future customers and, as a result, our objective is to make Ongame the most comprehensive and competitive poker engine in the marketplace. We believe that Ongame’s first-to-market history of execution is perfectly positioned to take advantage of the growing online market in Europe and the potential legalization of online poker in the U.S.”