BUSINESS

Majesco embrace online gambling; Amber embrace Hooters; Zynga kills OMGPOP

TAGs: amber gaming, gms entertainment, hooters poker online, majesco entertainment, omgpop, orid media ltd, Pariplay, Zynga

majesco-zynga-omgpop-hooters-poker-onlineStruggling console video game publisher Majesco Entertainment has launched a new social casino and real-money online gambling division in a bid to revive its sagging fortunes. Majesco CEO Jesse Sutton, who will serve as chairman of the new GMS Entertainment, said Majesco had been “actively exploring emerging growth opportunities in the social and online casino gaming industry to supplement our existing business.”

GMS Entertainment has set itself on its real-money gambling path by acquiring two existing companies – game developer Orid Media Limited and Isle of Man-licensed online gambling operator Pariplay Limited – whose founder will hold a 50% stake in GMS. Depending on GMS’ future performance, Majesco will pay between $3.5m and $4.5m for the other 50%. Yair Goldfinger, the ICQ founder, AppCard CEO and all-time greatest Bond villain, has given the new entity his blessing by purchasing 3.3m shares in GMS at a price of 60¢ apiece.

US league-based social gaming network Amber Gaming, the outfit behind the popular HogWild Poker league, has launched HootersPokerOnline.com, a free-to-play site offering daily poker tournaments with the chance to win prizes courtesy of Hooters, Bluff Magazine, Pro Poker Gear and others. Illinois residents can also win free satellite and main event buy-ins to the Heartland Poker Tour stop at the Majestic Star Casino starting Aug. 9.

As one site launches, another shuts. Floundering social gamers (and former real-money gambling hopefuls) Zynga have confirmed that they’re shutting down their OMGPOP.com site. Zynga made the ill-fated decision to acquire OMGPOP last year for around $200m, just as OMGPOP’s one hit title (Draw Something) was peaking. Fast forward a year and Zynga shut OMGPOP’s offices and laid off most OMGPOP staff. While the diminished ranks of Draw Something players will still be able to play their game, other OMGPOP titles are going the way of the dodo and OMGPOP.com itself will go offline effective Sept. 30.

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