Many hawk-eyed players in the iGaming industry will have been more than aware of one of the most controversial acquisitions in the business recently, when Amaya Gaming acquired PokerStars in a $4 billion purchase. Amaya Gaming, a relatively ‘little fish’ in the iGaming industry, allegedly required bank loans to acquire one of the biggest online poker brands in the world.
Of course, this is something which took place in summer 2014, and since then, many things have changed on the iGaming scene – notably, the recent movements over at Intertain. In February 2015, the group acquired some of Gamesys’ biggest assets in a takeover worth £425.8 million.
William Moore, Finance Director at Gamesys Gibraltar, said: “The Gamesys Operating Board are delighted to be partnering with Intertain to continue to provide our unique offering to players. We are confident that this exciting partnership will deliver long-term growth and together we’ll lead the markets in which we operate.”
The inspiration behind the company’s acquisition could come from a variety of sources. For one, watching the aforementioned ‘little fish’ make such a big move may have pushed them in the right direction, but it’s more than likely that the potential lucrative opportunities available sweetened the deal.
Take for example, the company’s prominence in Europe. While the aforementioned PokerStars is now changing direction to focus on Asian markets, it appears that the Central London-based firm’s prominence in Europe was even more appealing. As a regulated market, Europe can offer a number of money-making opportunities.
Intertain CEO John Fitzgerald said: “Online gambling for us is all about being in regulated markets. We believe the business generally is a great market with a very loyal customer base.” It’s a stark contrast from trying to gain followers in regions such as North America, where legislation proves to be a huge obstacle, with online gambling currently only legal in three states.
But while the European appeal may have been the cherry on top, Gamesys’ varied range of brands would doubtless have been an added bonus for the Canadian gaming company. In particular, its prominence in the ever-growing bingo market is reason enough to purchase the assets. One of the biggest assets that Intertain acquired was Jackpotjoy, currently the UK’s largest online bingo brand.
With established brands fronted by familiar faces like Barbara Windsor, it’s easy to see why Gamesys was the company of choice for the acquisition. The deal was summed up by Gamesys CEO Noel Hayden, who said: “[They] are a perfect match. From our earliest discussions we shared their vision, which we know is critical to a successful long-term partnership. This is a great deal for Intertain and Gamesys, our shareholders, our employees and our players.”