Montreal’s Amaya Gaming has apparently closed the deal to purchase the Ongame Poker Network from bwin.party. The network has been considered a surplus asset of the company since the merger between the two gaming giants Bwin and Party Gaming a couple of years back.
The purchase price is said to be in the neighbourhood of $6 to $8 million. In January of this year, the Ongame Network was slated to be purchased by Shuffle Master for a much more substantial 29.5 million euros, but the deal fell through. Later, Zynga showed interest in making the acquisition but pulled out.
Ongame is the 5th largest network globally but that statistic may soon change. Prior to the sale, bwin will transition their players from Ongame onto the Party Poker platform, which will bring fresh players to the Party network. On the flipside, it is believed that sportsbook giant bwin represents some 40%-50% of the Ongame poker traffic and a sudden exodus would be a big hit to the network. In fact, it’s surprising that it has not already happened. Another Ongame giant, Betfair, has also announced they will be offering the iPoker software to their players as an option possibly to slowly transition off the Ongame network eventually.
With Amaya Gaming at the helm, Canadian poker players can most likely expect to eventually be shut off the network, like we saw with Gtech after they signed a deal to offer gaming services to the Provincial lotteries. Amaya, being Canadian-based also has deals to provide gaming services with local lotteries and such deals could by a catalyst to force them to stop offering internet gaming on Canadian soil. At this time though, nothing is confirmed.