Zumba Fitness dev getting into casino games

Majesco Entertainment creates GMS Entertainment to pursue online casino games; ICQ cofounder purchases 3.3 million shares.

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Zumba Fitness publisher Majesco Entertainment is getting into the casino games sector. The New Jersey-based publisher has announced the formation of GMS Entertainment Limited, a new business unit that will "pursue an online casino games strategy."

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As part of the deal, Majesco will invest a total of $3.5-$4.5 million in GMS Entertainment, depending on how successful the company is, to acquire a 50 percent stake in the outfit.

Majesco CEO Jesse Sutton will serve as chairman of GMS Entertainment.

Under the terms of the deal, GMS Entertainment has acquired real-money gaming companies Orid Media Limited and Pairplay Limited, pending regulatory approvals. The company has also attracted an investor, AppCard CEO Yair Goldfinger, who purchased 3.3 million shares. Goldfinger also cofounded Mirabilis, the company behind instant messaging program ICQ, which was later purchased by America Online.

"During this transition year in console gaming, we have been actively exploring emerging growth opportunities in the social and online casino gaming industry to supplement our existing business," Sutton said in a statement. "Entering the market through this partnership allows us to participate in a rapidly growing market segment and position the company for longer term growth as more jurisdictions move to legalize real-money online gaming. The complementary skills and abilities of all involved are expected to result in a successful venture."

Social game giant Zynga recently announced that it will not pursue a license for real-money gaming in the United States, though it continues to examine options overseas.

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