Microgaming is to provide an online casino on behalf of London’s iconic new gaming venue, the Hippodrome.
The former circus, theatre and nightclub in London’s Leicester Square re-opened in July following a £40m investment by former bingo hall owners Jimmy and Simon Thomas in transforming the Grade II-listed West End landmark into one of the UK’s largest casinos.
Microgaming yesterday confirmed it had won the contract to provide HippodromeCasino.com with a full suite of online and mobile gaming products. Operator Betway will supply back office support, including CRM.
CEO Roger Raatgever said the company was “proud” to have been selected as The Hippodrome’s exclusive supplier, adding that: “The convergence of offline and online gaming is a trend that Microgaming has been at the forefront of for some time now.”
The new Microgaming-powered casino will be the second launched by the Hippodrome on its website. In May last year, an online casino on GTECH G2/Boss Media software went live, following a JV with MediaCorp subsidiary Purple Lounge, which closed after Purple Lounge went out of business earlier this year. The Hippodrome’s owners also signed an earlier deal for an online casino and poker room in April 2010 with the InTouch Gaming B2B arm of Gaming Media Group, owners of the Poker Channel and PokerHeaven brand.
Land-based casino brands have historically not competed well against pure online operators when it comes to translating their bricks n’ mortar dominance online, with London’s Ritz Club among high-profile past casualties. US casino giant MGM also closed its Isle of Man-licensed online casino PlayMGMMirage.com in June 2003 after less than two years of operations, but cited the legal and political climate in its home US market as the reason for the closure.
London’s Times also reported on Sunday that the Hippodrome’s owners have sold a minority equity stake in the new venue to online poker giant PokerStars. Neither Stars’ investment or the size of its stake have been disclosed, but the deal is understood to value the revamped Hippodrome at £100m. The operator’s head of comms Eric Hollreiser subsequently told Pokerfuse that the Hippodrome’s poker room would be PokerStars-branded and used to host special tournaments, and that his company would eventually provide an online poker product for the Hippodrome.
Article written by Stephen Carter