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Bengaluru: Nazara Technologies Ltd on Friday said it has acquired 100% stake in Hyderabad-based skill gaming company OpenPlay Technologies for 186.4 crore as the gaming and sports media company looks to bolster its play in the real money gaming segment.

OpenPlay runs a multi-game consumer gaming platform under the ‘Classic Games’ brand which hosts skill-based games. This marks the second acquisition for Nazara in the skill-based real money space after the 2019 purchase of Halaplay.

OpenPlay is also Nazara’s eighth acquisition till date, and its second after the company’s public listing in March.

For Nazara, real-money gaming contributes 2-3% of overall revenue, with the firm choosing not to aggressively bet on the space in the past due to regulatory uncertainties.

“There was uncertainty in the regulatory landscape for real-money and skill gaming, but some positives are emerging along with clarity. This is also giving us the confidence to look at this segment and build a sizeable real-money gaming business. We are very confident of the strong product innovation which OpenPlay brings on the table, and will look to scale our skill and real-money gaming business with this acquisition," said Manish Agarwal, chief executive officer, Nazara Technologies, in an interaction with Mint.

Earlier this month, the Madras high court, struck down a February 2021 amendment to the Tamil Nadu Gaming Act, which banned online betting games like rummy and poker with stakes. Also, the Supreme Court in July dismissed a petition that alleged game format offered by fantasy sports platform Dream11 amounted to gambling.

“I’m excited to join the ‘Friends of Nazara Network’ and look forward to working closely with Nazara leadership and the network to build India’s largest vernacular social gaming and entertainment platform. Our technology complemented by Nazara’s positioning in the gaming industry in India is the perfect combination for this endeavour," Sreeram Reddy Vanga, founder, OpenPlay Technologies.

Before OpenPlay, Vanga founded CozyGames, and scaled it to become one of the largest Bingo networks in the UK. In 2017, it was bought by multinational sports betting and gaming group, Entain.

OpenPlay has an annualized gross gaming revenue run rate of 80 crore, and is earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (Ebidta) positive, the company said.

Nazara is now betting on creating a software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based product for real-money gaming which will allow any platform to integrate and offer real-money games to its user base. It will also take this proposition to the US market as it looks to gain market share in North America.

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