That’s what EGaming Review is reporting this morning (paywall). Zynga is apparently the current favorite among a handful of suitors for the Ongame Network.
Exclusive: Zynga leads race to buy Ongame bit.ly/NtkvLv
— Tom Victor (@egamingreview) July 3, 2012
Background: The Ongame Poker network became a “surplus asset” after Party Poker and bWin merged in 2011 and was subsequently made available for sale.
At first it appeared as if US gaming company Shuffle Master would be the new owner after the company agreed to a tentative purchase of the asset. However, that deal fell apart in June of 2012, reportedly over concerns about the dragging pace of poker regulation in the US.
Zynga certainly has the cash on hand to make the purchase – Shuffle Master and bwin.party had settled on a $28.5 million price tag for Ongame, while Zynga reportedly has near 1 billion still in the bank – and desperately needs a win after the disastrous purchase of Draw Something , but can a social gaming company from California optimally leverage a EU-facing poker provider? Should be interesting to find out.