Zynga to Buy the Ongame Poker Network?

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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.

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.

As for Zynga, the company has been absolutely bloodied in the markets over the last few months and still faces serious questions about whether it can ever evolve into a real-money gambling company.

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.

- Chris is the publisher of OnlinePokerReport.com. Grove also serves as a consultant to various stakeholders in the regulated market for online gambling in the United States.
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