Gamesys acquires Virgin Games to bolster real-money and social gambling games portfolio

Gamesys acquires Virgin Games to bolster real-money and social gambling games portfolio

According to trade publication eGR Magazine (paywalled), game development company Gamesys has acquired Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Games for an undisclosed sum.

In addition, eGR (exclusively) reports that Gamesys has signed a ‘long-term deal’ to develop real money and social gambling properties, globally, under the Virgin brand.

Originally started in late 2003, Virgin Games is wholly owned by Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and offers casino (poker, slots, bingo and other) games for the Web and mobile devices.

Its new owner, UK-based online gambling holding Gamesys, recently made headlines when it launched a new Facebook app called ‘Bingo Friendzy’, the first to hit the social network’s App Center that lets UK users aged 18 and over to play an online game for real cash prizes (rival 888 followed up with a similar offering back in December 2012).

Gamesys operates the UK’s leading bingo and slots website and other brands, such as The Sun Bingo and Caesars Casino, aside from developing its own social gaming properties.

A Gamesys spokesman told eGR that it aims to migrate the Virgin Games site onto its own platform and relaunch it in the UK later this quarter. In a rather canned statement, Richard Branson said:

“We are delighted the Gamesys Group has acquired Virgin Games and formed a partnership to build a global games business.

Simon Burridge and his team built a strong platform and now with the help of the Gamesys Group we can expand further internationally. We believe the Gamesys Group shares our vision and will be great partners in the sector.”

Simon Burridge is the former advertising executive who started and became CEO of Virgin Games in late 2003.

According to eGR, Virgin Games had been exploring outside investments in recent months, in a bid to expand its business across Europe.

Image credit: Joel Saget for AFP / Getty Images

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