Shuffle Master Pulls Out of Ongame Deal

29 Jun 2012 | 11:32 Author: Seth Shafer

In a surprise development US-based casino equipment maker Shuffle Master has pulled out of its deal to acquire Ongame, a provider of online poker software primarily used by online gaming operators in Europe.

In a surprise development US-based casino equipment maker Shuffle Master has pulled out of its deal to acquire Ongame, a provider of online poker software primarily used by online gaming operators in Europe.

Shuffle Master agreed to buy Ongame in March for 19.5 million euros and had seemed happy enough with the pending deal, announcing just a week ago that it had agreed to a partnership with Bally Technologies and Artistocrat to include Ongame's tehnology in various offerings and platforms.

A press release put out at that time stated the following: "The deal will see Ongame’s poker offering… available through Bally's online platform, while Aristocrat will offer the Swedish provider's poker content to its land-based casino customers as part of its suite of online games."

That partnership would appear to be dead in the water, however, with Shuffle Master's abrupt scuttling of the Ongame deal. Shuffle Master released the following as far as an explanation of why it was abandoning the Ongame acquisition:

"Business conditions in Europe have deteriorated since February and as a result, it has become evident to us that Ongame's operations post-acquisition will not achieve the near-term results we initially expected and will require a larger ongoing investment than anticipated."

That means that it's back to the negotiating table for Ongame owner bwin.party, which has been trying to sell Ongame for over a year after classifying it as a surplus asset after the 2011 merger of bwin and Party Gaming.

bwin.party put out a press release of its own in the wake of the deal falling through, stating that it remained committed to finding a buyer for Ongame: ""The sale of surplus assets, including Ongame, remains a core part of bwin.party's strategy. bwin.party is re-engaging with other third parties that have expressed an interest in acquiring Ongame."

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