Shuffle Masterâ€™s purchase of Ongame has been cancelled due to the supplierâ€™s concerns regarding the economic climate in Europe.
It was announced in early March that the firm had entered into a â€śdefinitive agreementâ€ť to purchase the poker network from operators BwinParty for a total consideration of up to â‚¬20.5m, of which â‚¬10m was dependant on the future legalisation of real-money online poker in the US, but the agreement has now been terminated.
Shuffle Master chief executive Gavin Isaacs says that business conditions in Europe have â€śdeterioratedâ€ť since the deal was first announced, meaning that Ongameâ€™s operations post-acquisition â€świll not achieve the near-term results we initially expected and will require a larger ongoing investment than anticipatedâ€ť.
He added that uncertainly surrounding the timing of the legalisation and rollout of legal online poker in the US was also a factor in the decision.
The cancellation of the deal threatens the recently-announced online gaming partnerships between Shuffle Master, Ongame and Bally Technologies, and Shuffle Master, Ongame and Aristocrat.
Describing the termination of discussions as mutual, a BwinParty statement said that the sale of surplus assets such as Ongame remained a â€ścore partâ€ť of their strategy, and that they will be â€śre-engaging with other third partiesâ€ť that have expressed an interest in acquiring Ongame, with a further announcement set to be made when appropriate.
BwinParty director of corporate communications John Shepherd told Gambling Insider that the termination of the discussions gave his company â€śno cause for concernâ€ť, despite the â€śnaturally disappointingâ€ť outcome.
â€śWe recognise that Ongame is still a world-leading poker network and that gives us confidence that re-engaging with our interested parties will bring about a satisfactory conclusion,â€ť he added.
Shepherd also stated that there had been no regulatory problems relating to the breakdown of the deal, and that the two companies remained â€śgood friendsâ€ť.
â€śThe mutual agreement in amicable,â€ť he said. â€śThis situation has been recognised from both sides as two highly professional companies dealing with this in a highly professional manner.â€ť