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Shuffle Master's Ongame Poker Network Deal Collapses

Nevada Gaming Group “Mutually Agreed” Not To Continue With Purchase of Poker Network from bwin.party

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Shuffle Master, the Las Vegas headquartered gaming group, has pulled out of a deal to buy bwin.party’s European-facing Ongame Network.

In a statement bwin.party said the two companies had “mutually agreed not to proceed with the proposed transaction” which was first announced on March 6. Shuffle Master was to have paid up to €29.5 million for the network in the wake of International Game Technology buying Sweden’s Entraction network.

Update Shuffle Master chief executive officer Gavin Issacs said in a statement, “It has become evident to us that Ongame’s operations post-acquisition will not achieve the near-term results we initially expected and will require a larger ongoing investment than anticipated.”

Bwin.party went on to say it was now in talks with other parties interested in buying the network which recently lost two high-profile poker rooms Gala Coral and Bet24. “The sale of surplus assets, including Ongame, remains a core part of bwin.party’s strategy.

“bwin.party is re-engaging with other third parties that have expressed an interest in acquiring Ongame. bwin.party will make a further announcement as and when appropriate.

Shuffle Master and Ongame recently announced a partnership with Bally Technologies.

Bally Technologies was recently granted the first online gaming license in the US and plans to offer online poker in Nevada.

No mention of this deal was made in today’s statement.

Analysts Daniel Stewart & Co believes Ongame is still an attractive buy estimating it to be worth around €20 million and saying in a morning note, “…Although we view the asset as non-core (legacy) in our view the poker asset should remain an attractive purchase for an operator looking to expand into online poker, more specifically US land based operators with an eye to moving online.