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Shuffle Master to Buy Ongame Network

Online poker supplier to speed the company's entry into online

Las Vegas-based table game supplier Shuffle Master Inc. announced it will acquire bwin.party Services, an Austrian online poker engine operator, for around .7 million.

Gibraltar-based Ongame is one of the largest business-to-business suppliers in the online gaming industry, laying claim to more than 20 million customers in 25 markets. According to company officials, Ongame’s international network is licensed in Gibraltar and in regional markets including Italy and France.

With the Ongame purchase, Shuffle Master will gain access to online and mobile poker applications that are currently used by online gaming operators including Betfair, Unibet, bwin, Sportingbet, Betsson, Betsafe, EurosportBet, Paf, Bet24 and Gioco Digitale. Shuffle Master plans to expand into a business-to-business online gaming supplier in regulated markets.

According to Shuffle Master officials, the purchase agreement calls for an extra $13.2 million for the business should online poker be legalized in the U.S. within the next five years.

“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,” Shuffle Master CEO Gavin Isaacs said in a statement. “Our acquisition of Ongame will allow Shuffle Master to offer a scalable, proven and secure solution for online poker.

“We are very focused on creating greater value for our current and future customers and, as a result, our objective is to make Ongame the most comprehensive and competitive poker engine in the marketplace,” added Louis Castle, chief strategy officer.

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