Shuffle Master Suspends Interest in OnGame
bwin.party’s deal to sell the OnGame Network to Vegas-based gaming group Shuffle Master has collapsed four months after the two sides agreed to a €29.5 million buyout.
In March, Shuffle Master had agreed to pay €19.5 million to acquire OnGame, the second-largest online poker network and home to sites like Betfair and others. The deal would have sent another €10 million to bwin.party over the next five years contingent upon real-money online poker arriving in the U.S.
bwin.party said in a statement that the two sides had “mutually agreed not to proceed with the proposed transaction.”
Shuffle Master CEO 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.”
Shortly following the merger of Bwin Entertainment and Party Gaming a year ago, the newly formed company announced their intention to sell the OnGame Network saying they view it as a “surplus asset”.
bwin’s poker room continues to operate on the OnGame Network. It has been speculated that when the company sells the network, bwin poker players will be merged into the player base at Party Poker.
bwin.party stated they will reengage with parties interested in the OnGame Network and will make further announcements when appropriate.
Shuffle Master recently entered into an agreement with Bally Technologies who have been granted an online gaming license in Nevada. The agreement provided for OnGame’s poker software to be offered to Nevada residents through Bally’s gaming license. Bally Technologies has so far not responded to the news.
Shares of bwin.party (BPTY.L) dipped on news of the company’s deal with Shuffle Master falling through to close down 2.76% for the day. Shuffle Master (SHFL) is down more than 5% during trading hours today. Bally Technology’s share price (BYI) is flat on the day.