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OpenBet, one of the largest providers of online gambling technology to all major UK based gambling companies, has just been at the receiving end of an acquisition attempt by NYX, another giant in the gambling industry. OpenBet is a major player in the industry with offices located in different parts of the world including Singapore, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States. Started in 1996, the software tech company has enabled at least 11 billion wagers in 2014 alone via its integrated partners numbering more than 200. NYX, which is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange even though it is based in Las Vegas, has been given support by British gambling behemoth William Hill in its aggressive acquisition attempt.

OpenBet is owned by well known private equity company Vitruvian Partners which expects to earn at least £300 million for the company. Incidentally, Vitruvian had aquired OpenBet in 2011 for the relatively low price of £208 million in a management buy out. Morgan Stanley has been given the responsibility of handling the sale which has generated a great deal of interest in the world of gambling for a number of reasons.

NYX isn’t the only suitor for OpenBet. Its main competitor Playtech is also a likely contender to buy it. In fact, this is very likely the reason for William Hill supporting the NYX acquisition attempt since the former company wants to avoid becoming overly dependent on Playtech software. Incidentally, William Hill Online has just bought out Playtech’s 29% stake in its company. Playtech does not have a particularly good reputation because of the way in which it bullies its customers around.

NYX cannot as yet compare with OpenBet when it comes to size. Its market capitalization is only £65 million at present but the company is expanding at a very fast pace indeed. It acquired two important software businesses from Amaya Gaming in 2015, namely Cryptologic Business 2 Business and Chartwell. Prior to that, NYX had also picked up Ongame poker network from Amaya. Not too long ago the company also purchased Serbian company eGaming Consulting as well as Canadian gaming software developer Side City Studios. NYX has supplied around 600 highly popular games to its 170 operators located in different parts of the world.

There have been many huge mergers in the gambling industry of late with many UK based companies taking the lead here. Betfair’s merger with Paddy Power was one of the earlier mergers. Other significant ones were Coral’s with Ladbrokes and GVC Holding’s with Bwin.party. William Hill hasn’t had too much success as of now since its offer to buy 888 Holdings for £744 million was not accepted. Coral’s merger with Ladbrokes has resulted in an entity that is so large that it has to get rid of a certain number of betting shops. Its unclear how many shops have to be sold in order to conform to the demand of the Competition and Markets Authority.

It is estimated that the combined entity will have to sell off a minimum of 400 betting shops in order to conform to the expectations of the Competition and Markets Authority.