January 7, 2013 : VIRGIN GAMES SOLD TO GAMESYS
Jackpotjoy parent to develop real money and social gaming under the Virgin brand
The consideration has not been disclosed, but in a statement Monday Virgin Games and Gamesys confirmed that the former has been acquired by the Gamesys group.
The two online gambling companies revealed that Gamesys intends to leverage the powerful Virgin brand to internationally develop social and real money gaming options. Gamesys already has a partnership with Facebook in the Bingo Freindzy and Slots Friendzy online gambling project in the UK.
The deal marks the end of the Virgin Group's sole ownership of Virgin Games, which was spectacularly launched in 2004 in London. The site went on to clinch a variety of gaming content deals with top industry suppliers, offering its players a wide choice of internet gambling options through a diversity of delivery channels.
Whether Gamesys will retain all or some of the Virgin Games experienced staff is not yet clear; Gamesys itself has a large and highly experienced workforce and management.
The position should be clarified within the next few weeks as the companies engage in a consultative process, but Gamesys has already made it known that there will be changes to the underlying platform to better integrate with Gamesys' own proprietary technical structures, followed by a site re-launch before the end of Q1-2013.
Gamesys has become a respected group in the industry, growing from a start-up in 2001, when it was founded by current chief Noel Mayden, Robin Tombs and Andrew Dixon, along with four software developers.
The hugely popular Jackpotjoy.com gaming proposition was launched the following year, and was an immediate success, enabling the group to franchise 250 white label versions to many major companies.
The group now includes Gamesys Limited, Mice and Dice Limited, Profitable Play Limited and Leisure Spin Limited undertaking software development, its own group marketing, and UK and non-UK online gambling site operations, the latter two based in Gibraltar.
In 2011 Gamesys gross revenues rose 27 percent to GBP 125 million, and this year there have been persistent rumours that the company, which has long been regarded as one of Britain's top online gambling firms, could be the target for a big-money acquisition by unnamed suitors.
Instead, Gamesys has itself done the acquiring in the Virgin Games deal.
In 2012 Jackpotjoy went international with sites in Belgium and Sweden joining its Spanish version Botemania, which was launched five years earlier and has been doing well in the newly liberated Spanish market. The Bingo and Slot Friendzy deal with Facebook gave the company added gravitas in the market, enhancing its already strong reputation for professionalism and integrity-driven conduct.