Bwin.party announced that it has completed the sale of the Ongame Network to Canada-based Amaya Gaming, receiving an initial payment of €15 million and up to €10 million more dependent on the extent of legalized gambling in the U.S. within the next five years.
Currently the U.S. is set to forge ahead with regulated internet gambling on a state-by-state basis, but a recent federal bill to legalize online poker authored by Senators Harry Reid and Jon Kyl may be proposed in the lame-duck session of Congress following the Nov. 6 elections. The agreement between Amaya and bwin.party includes provisions for state or federal regulation.
“The exact amount of the contingent consideration will depend upon the extent of the regulation and, if not federal, is based upon the number of states that regulate and the total population covered,” a statement from bwin.party declared.
Nevada is thus far the only state to have already issued interactive gaming licenses and expects to be up and running with the country’s first legal online poker site by early next year. Delaware has also approved online gambling regulations and several other state legislatures have considered proposals.
Bwin.party had been trying to sell Ongame since June of last year, considering the poker network a “surplus asset” following the merger of Bwin and PartyGaming in March 2011. A deal to purchase Ongame was agreed upon with Shuffle Master (recently rebranded to SHFL entertainment) in March of this year, but the company backed out three months later citing a poor business climate in Europe.
Ongame ranks fifth in worldwide player traffic according to PokerScout, but its numbers will likely diminish when Ongame poker skin Bwin migrates to the PartyPoker platform in 2013.
Amaya has been busy with acquisitions in the past 18 months, purchasing CryptoLogic and Chartwell in 2011, in addition to Cadillac Jack and Ongame this year.