Shuffle Master to Buy Online Poker Company Ongame Network
Shuffle Master is well known as one of the top casino equipment manufacturers in the world. However, the company has recently decided to dive even further into the wonderful world of online gaming with its purchase of the Ongame Network from bwin.party.
Why would Shuffle Master make this purchase when online gambling it is still illegal in the United States? Like many, this appears to be a move by a company that is looking to position itself for the future legalization of online poker in the US.
Despite the fact that the Ongame Network was on the market for more than a year, Shuffle Master just now purchased it. Despite the fact that bwin purchased the network for more than $100 million, Shuffle Master was able to complete the acquisition for roughly $20 million – a fraction of its previous selling price.
At this time, the Ongame Network is the sixth largest online poker room in the world as measured by the number of cash game players.
Is this Deal a Good One for Shuffle Master?
On the surface, based on the price, this appears to be a great deal for Shuffle Master. However, there is one main issue that the company will face. The most well known poker room within the network is bwin.com. This arm of the network is not being sold. Subsequently, there is a train of thought that most players will stick with bwin.party after the sale is finalized.
This leads to one very important question: what will Shuffle Master be able to do with the remaining properties, in particular Betfair (the most popular)?
In addition to manufacturing automated card shufflers, the company previously opened Shuffle Interactive, which is a service that offers a variety of casino games spanning multiple platforms. The games offered by Shuffle Interactive are licensed by online casino operators.
Will Affiliates be Affected?
Are you currently an iGaming affiliate? If so, it appears that things are staying the same for the time being. That being said, you have to consider which service you are going to promote. Will you stick with bwin.party after its split from Shuffle Master and the Ongame Network? Or will you continue to push services such as Betfair, which will be owned and operated by Shuffle Master?
Share your thoughts on this acquisition in our casino affiliate forum.