Shuffle Master Gaming Increasing Brand With Ongame Acquisition
Shuffle Master Gaming has become one of the leading providers of casino equipment in the US, and now the company is preparing to make their move into a more global company. This week, Shuffle Master agreed to acquire European-based Ongame Newtork Ltd. for $28.5 million.
Ongame was born out of the bwin.party Services of Austria, and also provides online poker technology, an area where Shuffle Master is attempting to break into. Online poker has become one of the most popular hobbies in the world, and land-based casino companies have started to make their move into the industry. Shuffle Master had a natural progression to get into the game.
"Poker is a natural fit for our table-centric online offerings and our many jurisdictional licenses present a compelling opportunity for our current and future online customers," said Shuffle Master CEO Gavin Isaacs. "Our acquisition of Ongame will allow Shuffle Master to offer a scalable, proven and secure solution for online poker."
The move to Europe for Shuffle Master comes at a time when the European online poker scene is exploding. A handful of countries have regulated online gambling over the past two years, and several more are considering doing so. Ironically, in the US, where Shuffle Master is based, online poker regulations exist in only two states.
International Game Technologies and Bally Technologies have preceded Shuffle Master into the world of online poker. The companies are all competing to develop software and provide online solutions for online poker sites. Online casinos are also powered by the technology provided by these gaming companies.
All of the acquisitions that have occurred in recent months have been a result of the widespread opinion that the US is going to change their federal prohibition laws of online gambling. That process began last December, when the Department of Justice issued an opinion that asserted only sports betting was illegal under the 1961 Wire Act.