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Poker News | World Poker News

WPT Enterprises Sells Assets to Gamynia for $9 Million

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WPT Enterprises had been relatively quiet for months, except for the month of July in 2009 that found the company with stock prices back over $1 per share, thus avoiding being delisted from Nasdaq. Soon after, it was announced that the company’s second quarter was profitable, news that was followed weeks later by information that took the poker industry by surprise. Gamynia Limited, a privately held investment group, plans to purchase nearly all of WPTE’s operating assets - with the exception of cash and investments - for $9,075,000.

The price is low, considering only a few years ago, numbers like $70 million were being bandied about. But with the loss of paid television programming from the likes of the Travel Channel and GSN, and fewer casinos in agreement to pay to be part of each World Poker Tour season, combined with ailing stock prices and several failed attempts to develop online gaming sites, WPT Enterprises lost some of its status in the poker industry and as a public company. The announcement of the sale of much of the WPT brand should not have come as much of a surprise at all.

The details of the sale are explained in legal speak as released by Investor Relations but boil down to some relevant facts. Gamynia will purchase the World Poker Tour and Professional Poker Tour brands for future revenues, though WPTE will continue to share a certain percentage of those revenues. But it will be Gamynia that will push operations forward in the television, sponsorship, distribution, and licensing sectors, as well as make another attempt to take the company into the online gaming market. Gamynia, which operates in Cyprus, has enlisted the services of Hardway Investments Ltd. to pursue the latter of the tasks, and the company has experience in the online poker realm, as it operates such gaming websites as Titan Poker and TonyG Poker .

WPTE will give up its television library, including all intellectual property rights and brand names, though it will maintain domain over its cash and cash equivalents, investments in debt securities, specified investment and litigation assets, and future sponsorship revenues from WPT Seasons 4, 5, 6, and 7, and PPT Season 1. WPTE will also handle office lease obligations in Los Angeles and all employee obligations for its production and corporate staff.

The press release is vague about the future of the company and the World Poker Tour, only stating that WPTE plans to use available cash to “develop or acquire a non-poker related business.” However, the immediate future will be comprised of the completion of the sale, as a majority of the shareholders of WPTE outstanding common stock must vote on the transaction and approve it. The finalization of all parts of the transaction is expected to take place during the fourth quarter of 2009, which begins in October.

WPTE CEO and President Steve Lipscomb stated, “We believe this transaction will enable the World Poker Tour to realize its full potential across both its existing businesses and the lucrative online gaming market. Gamynia and its partners possess highly complimentary resources which will help it invest in and effectively integrate with the World Poker Tour efficiently and profitably.”

He added, “In Gamynia, we have found a partner that already understands and fosters a spirit of cooperation in the online marketplace. We believe that Gamynia and Hardway Investments Ltd. are uniquely positioned to join with our current partners and guide the World Poker Tour brands to fulfill their potential in the global poker marketplace… After the transaction, WPTE will move forward under a new name and will employ our cash in a new venture by developing a new business or combining, through one or more strategic transactions, with companies that have significant unrealized value or growth potential.”

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