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Shuffle Master to Acquire Ongame Network

By Austin Munro, Rakeback.com Poker News Staff Writer

Earlier this week, Shuffle Master (NASDAQ: SHFL) finalized an agreement to purchase Ongame Network Ltd from Bwin.Party for close to $26 million with contingencies for up to another $13.15 million.

The Ongame Network has a strong base of players and is currently one of the world’s largest poker providers. Its network reaches across more than 25 countries and has been around for years. Shuffle Master released an enthusiastic statement about the news, saying “Our acquisition of Ongame will allow Shuffle Master to offer a scalable, proven and secure solution for online poker.” 

In an article published last week, Rakeback.com speculated about how such an acquisition could impact the online poker market. Considering Shuffle Master now owns Ongame, it seems more likely than ever that our projections will become a reality:

  • Shuffle Master has applied for a Nevada gaming license to offer intrastate online poker to Nevada residents, and it will likely receive one.
  • Shuffle Master will be in the position of owning a respected online poker brand from the pre-UIGEA days (PokerRoom.com) AND the software to support it.

Shuffle Master has carefully positioned itself to become a leader in the Nevada online gaming market. On top of that, they'll be one of the few American casino companies which won't need to share profits with an external partner - they'll be fully vertically integrated and own each part of the business.

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