Thursday November 1, 2012 : NEW OWNER FOR ONGAME POKER NETWORK (Update)
Amaya Gaming completes buy
Bwin.Party digital entertainment confirmed Thursday that the sale of its Ongame internet poker subsidiary to Amaya Gaming has been completed for Euro 15 million on a cash-free and debt-free basis.
A further Euro 10 million will be paid by Amaya if there is regulated online gaming in the United States within five years of completion of the deal today. The exact amount of this contingent consideration will depend upon the extent of the regulation and, if not federal, is based upon the number of states that regulate and the total population covered.
Agreement on the acquisition by Amaya was announced early in October 2012 after the US company Shuffle Master pulled out of a deal to buy the network for up to Euro 29.5 million ).
Following Bwin’s merger with Party Gaming, which has the stronger Party Poker brand in its stable, Ongame became superfluous to requirements and was put on the market last year. Bwin has announced that it will be moving its players off Ongame to Party Poker.
Ongame runs an open dotcom internet poker network, along with regional networks in France, Italy and Spain, with 19 operators running 25 brands on the platform, including (for now anyway) Betfair, Betsson, Betsafe, and Paf.
According to numbers from the independent online poker monitor Pokerscout, Ongame is currently around the fifth largest network in terms of cash player traffic, but this will inevitably be impacted by the pull-out of Bwin players, analysts have surmised.
In Italy especially, market share could fall significantly if Bwin.it and associated brand Gioco Digitale.it move.
Ongame will also suffer from the departure of Betfair, which recently announced that it would be switching to Playtech's iPoker network in the dedicated Spanish and Italian markets.
For Amaya, the acquisition is the latest in a series of online gambling-related takeover agreements that has seen it snap up software developers Chartwell Technology and Cryptologic.
Back in December 2005, the online poker boom was chasing ever new heights when Bwin bought Ongame for GBP474 million.