reportedly looking to unload poker network

14 February 2012
LONDON, England -- Britain-based online poker giant, the operators of Party Poker, is reportedly looking to unload a duplicate Internet poker network that it acquired following a recent merger. Roth Capital Markets gaming analyst Todd Eilers told investors recently that Shuffle Master might be a suitable buyer.
Eilers said he wouldn't be surprised if Shuffle Master jumps into the bidding for Ongame Poker Network, which is the fifth-largest in Europe according to
Shuffle Master unveiled a two-pronged effort in the interactive gaming area last year, targeting regulated Internet gaming in Europe, and the free casual-social gaming markets in the United States.
"We view the interactive gaming opportunity as the most underappreciated aspect of Shuffle's growth story," Eilers wrote after visiting with Shuffle Master executives. "Both opportunities could begin generating meaningful revenue this summer."
He said a deal to acquire Ongame makes sense after the U.S. Department of Justice reversed its opinion on portions of the federal Wire Act in December, which could help legalize Internet poker in America.
Eilers expected other suppliers to jump into the bidding for Ongame.
Last year, International Game Technology blazed the trail when the slot machine maker acquired the Swedish Entraction online poker network for $115 million.

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