bwin purchased the Ongame Network back in 2005 for €473 million ($620m) then 7 years later they sold the Ongame network to Shuffle Master for an initial €19.5 million ($25m) that could rise up to €29.5 ($38m). On the face of it bwin have suffered an amazing loss of €443.5 million ($582m)!
But is it one of the biggest poker disaster investments ever or longer term a master plan. Is it a Shuffle Master disaster?
bwin have lost a lot of money in the actual sale of the network but have gained at least €19.5 million in cash. And what have Shuffle Master actually bought?
bwin have an entire poker network play database which they may have had access to. While being able to frustrate, delay, miss deadlines and sometimes destroy enemy poker sites promotions – the other Ongame skins.
How Ongame can run and send reports correct for a month then constantly on the last day of the promotion of sending the same report it goes wrong, with either wrong data suddenly sent or not sent at all for days.
bwin have now merged with PartyPoker to become one of the largest online poker sites on earth – bwinparty.
What have Shuffle Master bought? A network that appears to have minimum investment in it for a long time. Also with the news of Ongame2 and the fact that bwin will pull out their players from the network, it is a network that could be in real long term trouble.
Which of the other large poker skins, especially the Bookmakers, are going to stay with Ongame as it loses its vital player liquidity? Which is what being on a network is all about.
Initially people would have laughed at the sale price and it does seem very low. But when you realise what bwin have gained from the Ongame network it could have been a good long term poker investment.