Bally Technologies Chooses Ongame as “Preferred” Poker Provider
By Michael Gentile
FEBRUARY 11, 2013
Amaya Gaming Group, owner of the Ongame online poker network, announced Monday an agreement with Bally Technologies to integrate Ongame and a suite of casino games into its iGaming platform.
“Ongame is a world leader in the online poker space and we are excited to incorporate their best-in-class offering into the Bally iGaming platform,“ stated Bally Technologies’ Vice President of Business Development John Connelly.
According to the memorandum of understanding signed by the two companies, Ongame will become “Bally’s preferred poker provider in the emerging U.S. online gaming market,” and be distributed to Bally’s casino operating partners such as American Casino and Entertainment Properties, LLC (ACEP), parent company of Las Vegas’ Stratosphere casino.
Bally received the very first Nevada interactive gaming license issued in June 2012, but until now has not had a poker software package to offer its casino partners. Today’s deal allows Bally’s partners to move forward, and a source close to the matter told pokerfuse that at least part of the testing required to bring Ongame to market have already begun.
Bally also has a partnership with Golden Nugget stemming from its technology acquisition of Chili Gaming’s B2B platform in February 2012.
The status as “preferred” partner would not preclude the addition of other poker networks to the options Bally offers to its casino partners.
Amaya also has a ten year deal in place with Las Vegas-based SHFL entertainment, Inc., the parent company of the “Shuffle Master” brand. SHFL had previously agreed to buy Ongame from former owner bwin.party in a €29.5 million deal announced early in 2012. That deal fell apart, in part because of the lack of legislative progress for online gaming in the US.
Since then, Nevada has made strides towards the launch of its internet poker program, Delaware has legalized online gaming (including poker) and New Jersey legislators are expected to make some final minor changes to a bill that was conditionally vetoed by Governor Christie last week.
In addition, several other states including California, Hawaii and Iowa, have bills pending that would open up internet gaming in those markets.
Ongame Communications Manager Carl Zide remarked, “Ongame is already one of the leading providers on regulated markets, so we can go live as soon as our partners are ready.”
I'm kind of tired of reading about all these big companies striking alliances with somebody *other* than Zynga. Bwin in the UK is great, but when does Zynga strike a deal in the US? They can't go it alone.