In recent years, the igambling industry has undergone enormous changes and challenges, and it's not unusual to read about mergers and on a monthly basis. The online gambling industry is a highly competitive one and it is almost inevitable that smaller companies become cannibalized by larger, more established companies. However, that's not to say that the smaller companies' products disappear due to these takeovers.
In many instances, fledgling – and even more established - companies are targeted by the bigger groups because they have something very good to offer. Whether it is a range of superb casino games thanks to a lucrative licensing deal (as in the case of Amaya Gaming's acquisition of Cryptologic), or whether it is because a smaller group has an established clientele in a niche market, there are many reasons why a company will want to merge with or acquire another group.
Over the past few years, we have seen the Canadian based Amaya Gaming practically grow wings and fly as it celebrates a number of extremely lucrative acquisitions. In 2011, Amaya purchased Chartwell Technology, the top gaming software developer which employed over 130 people in Canada, the UK and Malta.
In February 2012, Amaya Gaming announced that it had finalized the negotiations to purchase the Irish based Cryptologic Limited to the tune of $35.8 million – 55% over the closing price of the group's shares a few months earlier. Cryptologic was seen as a pioneer of the online gambling industry, having launched their first licensee, InterCasino as early as 1996. The group listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange in 2007 and its purchase by Amaya Gaming was seen as a coup for the latter. In October 2012, Amaya Gaming added another feather to its cap of top notch acquisitions by paying up to €25 million for Ongame, a leading B2B online poker network. Ongame was sold to Amaya by Bwin.Party Gaming Digital, for an initial consideration of €15 million in cash, followed by additional payments of up to €10 million based on the regulation of online gaming in the United States within the next five years.
Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment
Is another group which resulted as a merger between two existing icons in the industry – Bwin and Party Gaming. The merged entity was formed in March 2011, incorporating all the popular brands owned by the two, including PartyGaming.com, Bwin Casino and more. The new company is considered the world's largest publicly trading online gambling group and is listed on the London Stock Exchange.
As competition heats up in the industry, we are sure to see new mergers, acquisitions and takeovers between groups, with the main objective being to offer players top notch entertainment and rewards.