BUSINESS

NYX acquires Zen Ent.; iSoftBet ink Vera&John; Digital Chocolate go real money; Sports Bet channels WOW

TAGs: Betable, digital chocolate, hitpost, isoftbet, nyx gaming group, vera&john, Zen Entertainment

nyx-zen-isoftbet-vera&john-betable-digital-chocolateZen Entertainment Inc., the subscription- and social-poker site developer that filed for bankruptcy in January after misjudging just how long the interminable wait would be until US online poker real-money play became a reality, has been acquired by Swedish online gambling software provider NYX Gaming Group. Zen’s staff will be integrated with that of NYX’s Nevada-based social gaming subsidiary NextGen Gaming USA. NYX CEO Matt Davey said the Zen addition “supports the expansion of the group business into the emerging online gaming markets within North America.”

Malta-licensed Scandinavian online casino operator Vera&John.com has decided to add a free-play social gaming option courtesy of games developer iSoftBet. Vera&John will offer iSoftBet’s customizable Facebook platform, which includes over 400 casino games. iSoftBet commercial director Nir Elbaz said his company was “delighted to be pioneering this avant-garde opportunity.”

Social game developers Digital Chocolate are the latest to trade in their virtual credits for a real-money gambling operation in the UK. The California-based Digital Chocolate’s Slots! Pocket UK app became available on Tuesday, offering UK residents seven themed slots on which to wager real money via their iPhone and iPad. A blackjack game is queuing up in the pipeline for imminent release. The real-money release comes courtesy of a deal Digital Chocolate signed in October with Betable, the San Francisco outfit that provides social gaming companies with a quick and easy bolt-on back-end that handles compliance, identity checks and fraud prevention.

Social gamers Hitpost have not only hired a new CEO in former Crowdstar lead producer Courtland Alves, they’ve morphed their popular OnSports app into Sports Bet, a new iOS and Android app. Sports Bet differentiates itself from the plethora of social sports betting apps currently making the rounds by incorporating role-playing game mechanics – like being tasked with missions such as ‘bet on a hockey game’ – into the betting and trash-talking. Hitpost founder (and former CEO) Aaron Krane told TechCrunch that this fusion will help stave off the stagnation most social games eventually face, perhaps even becoming “a very sustainable platform like World of Warcraft.”

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