Thursday, October 27, 2011 : Fertitta International tries again with Cyberarts deal
Fertitta Interactive, a division of a US land gambling group that developed the well-known Station and Golden Nugget casinos, has announced its acquisition for an undisclosed consideration of the assets of Cyberarts, a veteran online poker and social bingo software provider based in California and Alderney.
The Cyberarts team will be absorbed into Fertitta in a deal that industry observers believe positions the company strongly for any US legalization of online poker or gambling. Although based in the United States, CyberArts has never accepted wagers from US customers.
Our readers will recall that Black Friday short-circuited a partnership deal between Fertitta Interactive and Full Tilt Poker in April this year.
A press statement from Fertitta says that the by joining Fertitta Interactive, the CyberArts team will "continue to advance its industry-leading online products, including poker, while benefitting from FI's principals' casino expertise, extensive media platform, and proven success at reaching the coveted 21-40 year old male demographic."
Cyberarts co-founder Chris Derossi said this week: "This is the right deal for CyberArts and a tremendous opportunity to continue to provide the best online gaming software in the United States. Fertitta Interactive's strong vision, commitment to seek federal regulation for online poker, and long history of gaming industry leadership make it the perfect new home for the CyberArts products and personnel."
Fertitta Intractive exec Lorenzo Fertitta said that his company fully supports the federal regulation of online poker in the United States, and that it will be working on new products with the goal of ultimately providing consumers with a superior online gaming experience in a safe and secure environment.
Founded by Frank Fertitta III, Lorenzo Fertitta, Tom Breitling and Tim Poster, all successful entrepreneurs in related industries, FI acquired CyberArts' assets in order to participate in the online "real money" poker and virtual gaming space, the company's press statement explains.
FI's principals have a unique history of nurturing and developing businesses in the casino (Station Casinos and the Golden Nugget), Internet travel (Travelscape/Expedia) and sports/entertainment (Ultimate Fighting Championship) industries.
"Online poker is a convergence of traditional casino gambling, Internet marketing, technology and entertainment," said Tom Breitling, principal at FI. "The combined management team, at Fertitta Interactive/CyberArts, is uniquely positioned to meet the challenges of the online gaming industry."
Earlier this week Intralot Interactive announced the disposal of its 35 percent shareholding in Cyberarts, passing up the opportunity to increase its interest up to 51 percent. The company confirmed that the move was a result of its strategic decision to focus its key resources on its own suite of technology and services "to address the new challenges of the combined land based and interactive industries."