Little known e-gaming company buys Tokwiro's internet poker network
Taking many industry observers off-guard late Thursday was a press release from the largely unknown e-gaming firm Blanca Games revealing that it has acquired the interests of the Cereus poker network formerly owned by Tokwiro Enterprises and including well established if at times controversial sites Absolute Poker.com and UltimateBet.com.
The release did not provide details of the consideration paid or conditions for the sale, although industry sources have since confirmed that a supporting press release from Tokwiro can be expected soon. The network is unlikely to have been a cheap buy, as the deal is understood to cover all network operations, intellectual property, software, and branding rights for the constituent sites.
The Khanawake Gaming Commission, which licensed and regulated the sites, has apparently given its blessing to the deal.
The press material includes quotes from Blanca Games CEO Stuart Gordon, whom it describes as an experienced e-gaming executive, who said: “The acquisition of Cereus is a significant opportunity for us. Cereus is a major platform of well-managed assets. Over the past few years, it has created new brands, like UB.com, that are extremely well-positioned in the most desirable demographic in our market: players in the 20s and 30s age brackets.
“From our perspective, we have acquired a large, sophisticated online gaming operation with state-of-the art capabilities, ranging from compliance to business intelligence to online marketing to customer service. We see a tremendous growth opportunity in this deal and beyond, as Blanca seeks additional acquisitions in the market.
“We are confident that the Cereus Network has found an excellent home in Blanca Games. Over the past several years, Cereus has developed into an outstanding platform, which is poised for significant growth. This transaction will benefit Cereus players and employees alike. We expect no changes in the playing experience on the Cereus sites, except for the improvements that will likely be the long-term result of this transaction.”
According to internet sources, Gordon founded BingoMania.com and Helix Gaming International, and has licensing from both the Kahnawake Gaming Commission and Antigua.
Gordon has intimated that no major changes are presently contemplated in either staffing, policies or technology at Cereus. Clearly with an eye on the historical furores at Absolute Poker and UltimateBet, Gordon said: “We intend to leverage the existing strengths of the Cereus Poker Network, particularly in the areas of security and customer service. Although we are impressed with many of the new security features on the Network today, security is and will remain our top priority.”