Korea's Netmarble buys SpinX casino game company for $2.1 billion

Yonhap News Agency, Pulse News

Photo by: Netmarble/Facebook

Netmarble Corp., South Korea’s largest mobile gaming company, revealed its plan to buy SpinX Games, a Hong Kong-based casino game firm. It was shared that the acquisition deal will cost the game developer some $2.1 billion.

According to Yonhap News Agency, under the agreement, Netmarble Corp. will acquire a 100% stake in Leonardo Interactive Holdings Ltd. that owns SpinX Games. The buyout is part of the Korean company’s plan to expand its portfolio by adding a diverse list of ventures.

Prior to the acquisition of the social casino gaming company, Netmarble purchased the US-based game company Kabam Inc. in 2016 for $868 million or around ₩1 trillion. This year, SpinX Games is the next in line.

The firm is said to be the third-largest social casino game in the world. It was established in 2014 and runs different kinds of mobile casino content, such as the most popular slot machine games. Netmarble and Leonardo Interactive’s deal is expected to be completed this coming September.

“On top of the mainstay role-playing game content, the company has diversified its portfolio by adding other casual gaming content,” Netmarble co-chief executive officer, Lee Seung Won, said in a statement. “The move will bolster the company's global competitiveness.”

Pulse News reported that after the news of Netmarble’s move to acquire SpinX hit the headlines, the company’s shares rose four percent to ₩142,500 on the morning of Tuesday, Aug. 3.

In any case, social casino gaming is a casual game activity that is enjoyed by people around the world. Aside from slot machines, players can also opt to play other popular casino games, including bingo and poker.

Apparently, the game is played online or via mobile, and cyber money is used. SpinX is said to be one of the fastest-growing firms in this field, as proven by its earnings last year valued at ₩497 billion. This year, the sales in Q1 were already ₩ 162.2 billion and ₩328.9 billion in total for the first half of this year.

Meanwhile, gambling is strictly prohibited in S. Korea, so Netmarble can’t operate it in the country. Instead, the company is looking for potential for growth in North America and Europe.

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