Shuffle Master is best known for its land-based gambling equipment ranging from table games to slots and other electronic games. Recently the company decided to venture into online gaming industry ahead of possible changes to American gambling laws and subsequent liberalization.
To support the move into online gaming arena, the company purchased the Ongame online poker network for a nice sum of $28.5 million from Bwin Interactive. The network is one of the biggest in the industry and could be running online poker sites in United States once the legislation allows it.
The company recently revealed its financial results showing 23 percent profit increase despite the hefty purchase. Shuffle Master’s Q2 net income rose to $9.7 million ($7.9 million last year), revenues went up 10 percent from $66.1 million for the same period of 2011. The table game products leased or sold to land-based casinos contributed to over thirteen percent revenue growth.
In reference to the online poker prospects of the company, CEO Gavin Isaacs told United States gambling news that the acquisition provided Shuffle Master with an opportunity for expansion into the legalized and regulated online poker market.
He commented: “…the rollout of our interactive initiatives are key drivers of our future earnings potential and will write the next chapter of our profitable growth story.”
Interestingly enough, David Lopez, Shuffle Master’s Chief Operating Officer and interim CEO until Isaacs arrived, resigned his post to deal with alternative business interests following a twelve year carreer with the company.
Whether Shuffle Master has made the right bet on online poker or not, still remains to be seen and largely depends on how soon or if United States lawmakers liberalize the online gambling market in the country.