US firm Shuffle Master has made a surprise withdrawl from its planned €19 million acquisition of online poker network operator Ongame.
The land-based supplier to the US casino industry announced its intention to acquire the poker network from its current owners bwin.party earlier this year for €19.5 million.
But it has withdrawn from the deal citing issues with Ongame's potential profitability in Europe and the potential for online poker regulation in the US.
Gavin Isaccs, Shuffle Master CEO, said that when it signed the deal it 'believed that general market conditions and Ongame's sales pipeline supported the purchase being neutral or modestly accretive to the Company's EBITDA.'
But he added that business conditions in Europe had deteriorated since February and the acquisition would require a larger ongoing investment than anticipated.
'Although we believe in its eventuality, there is also uncertainty surrounding the timing of legalization and the rollout of online poker in the U.S. at both the state and federal levels,' he added.
Bwin.party said in a statement it would resume talks with other interested parties and remained committed to the sale of the Ongame subsidiary.
It's unclear where the cancellation of the acquisition leaves the previously announced deal between Bally's and Shuffle Master to work together in the Nevada online poker market.
Shuffle Master's chief strategy officer Lou Castle said the firm would consider other B2B online poker options that were 'consistent with our other online offerings for web, social media and mobile application'.