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Asian deals for GigaMedia

Discussion in 'Casino Industry Discussion' started by jetset, Jan 5, 2007.

    Jan 5, 2007
  1. jetset

    jetset RIP Brian CAG

    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service

    Mahjong features in series of agreements with leading organisations

    The Taiwan-based Gigamedia group, which took over the Grand Virtual turnkey provider some time ago, has been active in a series of important Asian deals over the past month, starting with a cash-wager Mahjong licensing agreement with the major Gibraltar-based Internet gambling group, Carmen Media.

    In terms of the agreement Gigamedia has licensed its real money MahJong and several other Asian gaming softwares to the Carmen, which operates a portfolio of top online entertainment sites worldwide and has been targeting the Asian market.

    Under the terms of the non-exclusive license, Carmen Media and subsidiary BelleRock will have the right to offer GigaMedia's MahJong and other Asian gaming software on a real money basis to its players.

    GigaMedia Limited is a Singapore registered major provider of online entertainment software and services, and develops software for the online entertainment industry, including the global online gaming market. The companys FunTown game portal is a leading Asian casual games portal and arguably the world's largest online MahJong game site in terms of revenue. GigaMedia also operates a broadband ISP providing Internet access services to consumers and corporate subscribers in Taiwan.

    The company has also secured the five-year exclusive co-host role of the MahJong World Championship in partnership with the World MahJong Organisation.

    The World MahJong Organisation is the official international rule-setting body for the game of MahJong, and seeks to promote the popular Asian game and establish international competition standards.

    "GigaMedia is honored to be selected as the exclusive co-host of the World Series of MahJong," commented Giga CEO Arthur Wang. "MahJong is the traditional game of choice for over a billion people so we envision a championship as big as the World Series of Poker."

    GigaMedia and the World MahJong Organisation will together establish and operate a series of regional qualifying tournaments in Asia, Europe and North America, culminating in the grand finale, the MahJong World Championship. GigaMedia plans to include television programming and corporate sponsorships surrounding a multimillion-dollar championship event.

    All profits from the MahJong World Championship will be divided between GigaMedia and the World MahJong Organisation in equal parts.

    "Hosting the MahJong World Championship is an integral part of GigaMedia's strategic plan to bring MahJong to the world in a full range of offerings: play for fun, play for prizes, and play for real money," added Wang.

    Last month Giga formed a strategic partnership, and invested in Infocomm Asia Holdings Pte Ltd, which a spokesman described as "....an exciting Southeast Asian online gaming platform."

    The deal extends GigaMedia's online game presence from Greater China to the large and promising Southeast Asia region, offering new and high growth markets for GigaMedia's FunTown games.

    Infocomm Asia is an emerging leader in Southeast Asia, offering blockbuster game titles from its base in Singapore, where it is managed by a team of top industry veterans with a track record of mega-hits in Asia.

    Southeast Asia is one of the fastest growing online game markets in the world. According to an IDC study ("Southeast Asia Online Gaming Forecast & Analysis, 2006"), the region's online games market is expected to nearly triple over the next four years.

    "Southeast Asia is a huge and largely untapped opportunity, similar to China's online game market several years ago," says Wang. "Through Infocomm Asia, we look to establish an unrivaled No. 1 position in this region."

    Southeast Asia has a total population of approximately 580 million people in ten countries and an estimated 57 million Internet users.

    GigaMedia has made an investment of US$10 million in Infocomm Asia and obtained Board representation and preferred shares convertible into an approximate 33 percent equity position, making it the largest shareholder of Infocomm Asia.

    GigaMedia joins several premier strategic and financial investors as a shareholder of Infocomm Asia, including Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore; Commerzbank Asset Management Asia, the Asian arm of one of Europe's largest banks; and The9 Limited, a leading online game operator in China.

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