Evolution Gaming Makes Bid to Acquire Online Slots Developer
Based in Sweden, Evolution Gaming is a major player in the casino games development industry. The company was founded in 2006 and made famous for its advances in creating a live dealer platform for playing online casino table games. Betsson is another company that is originally based in this country.
Evolution was also instrumental in the development of mobile casino games that could be played on any handheld device with internet access. In 2014, it opened a production studio in Malta to stream live-dealer table games such as Blackjack and Roulette.
The company went public the following year and it is listed under the symbol EVVTY on Nasdaq’s Stockholm AB. More recently, Evolution closed on the purchase of NetEnt, which is also a major player in gaming development.
The latest news out of Stockholm is the planned acquisition of Big Time Gaming as another high-profile online casino games developer. Evolution will pay close to $535 million in a combination of cash and shares of the company.
While Big Time Gaming is known for creating hit slot games such as Bonanza and Extra Chilli, popular on casinos across the pond such as ComeOn Casino, its biggest claim to fame in recent years has been the development of the game mechanic Megaways. This is used to increase a slot game’s ways to win and it has been incorporated in more than 200 different slot titles from multiple gaming software developers.
Evolution Chairman Jens von Bahr was quoted as follows in a recent company press release:
“With the addition of Big Time Gaming to our portfolio of slot brands, we strengthen our strategic position as the leading provider of digital casino games in the world. Big Time’s focus on innovation and creating unique playing experiences is a great fit with our culture and mind-set at Evolution. We look forward to continuing our journey together.”
Pending regulatory approval, the deal is expected to close before the end of the second quarter this year.
Part of the company’s motivation in acquiring another gaming development firm is its continued expansion into the wide-open US online casino industry. Evolution has already formed strategic partnerships with online casino operators in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.
At the end of March, Evolution announced a new partnership with the Cordish Gaming Group to bring its Live Casino games to Pennsylvania players via the PlayLive! mobile app.
Back in late February, BetMGM’s Borgata mobile casino gambling app made its debut in Pennsylvania. This was part of a partnership with Rivers Casino Philadelphia. This followed the rollout of the BetMGM mobile app in that same state in December of last year.
Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa is New Jersey’s premier land-based casino in Atlantic City. After rolling out online casino gambling in the Garden State, Pennsylvania marked the first expansion of the BetMGM mobile casino app as well as the Borgata Casino brand.
Evolution’s core market remains in the UK and Europe. However, the company’s expansive gaming portfolio and leading position in the Live Casino gaming vertical creates some tremendous upside in the expanding US mobile casino market.