12/05/2012 : BALLY TECH INTERESTED IN 3G?
 
Bally execs reportedly pay recce visit to social gaming company's Reno offices
 
Rumours of a Bally Technologies interest in the Reno-based social gaming software developer 3G  appeared to be confirmed by an exclusive Reuters news agency report Tuesday that Bally execs were scheduled to visit 3G offices that day.
 
Neither company would comment on the reports, although it is rumoured that 3G has been talking with several companies about a potential acquisition or partnership agreement.
 
Among the companies said to be interested in 3G are Activision Blizzard, slot-machine maker International Game Technology and video game giant Electronic Arts, with acquisition pricing anywhere between $60 million to $100 million being bruited about.
 
IGT acquired social gaming company Double Down Interactive for $500 million in January 2012, with the acquisition delivering $35.8 million in fourth-quarter revenues, a 20 percent hike from the third quarter.
 
Both IGT and Bally have been granted online gaming licenses in Nevada, which allows them to partner with Nevada's casinos to provide online poker and other games through their machines.
 
None of the aforementioned companies were prepared to comment when approached by Reuters.
 
In August, 3G Studios applied to the Nevada Gaming Control Board for an online gaming licence, and it is scheduled to start an online poker site called SlotALot with casino operator Eldorado Hotels in the spring. It also makes a free game available on tablets and smart phones that is played for virtual currency.
 
Carlo Santarelli, analyst with Deutsche Bank, told Reuters: "The social gaming business is up for grabs. I think we're in a space where we'll see deal activity, largely on the technology side. For casinos, social gaming content is king right now."
 
According to the American Gaming Association, about 85 countries have legalised online gambling and an estimated $35 billion is being bet worldwide online each year.