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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

January 12, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Royal flush for Seattle’s Double Down, sold for $250 million-plus

Seattle online gaming company Double Down Interactive hit the jackpot.

It’s being acquired by Nevada-based gambling giant IGT for $250 million in cash, plus $85 million in potential retention payments and up to $165 million more if revenue goals are met over the next three years.

The move comes shortly after a Dec. 23 decision by the U.S. Department of Justice to loosen its stance against online gambling.

IGT (International Game Technology) now has a massive new audience of players on the largest social network who can potentially be upgraded from virtual to real gambling. Its stock — traded on the New York Stock Exchange as IGT — closed up 3 percent at $17.78 today.

Double Down Casino is described by the company as the world’s largest virtual casino. It was one of the top four social media games on Facebook last year and currently has 4.7 million monthly active users, up from 3.3 million in October, according to AppData stats shared by the company.

From the release:

The addition of Double Down provides IGT instant size and scale in the fast growing world of casino-style social gaming and is expected to broaden IGT’s popular gaming titles beyond the physical casino to Facebook, the world’s largest social network with over 800 million global users. This powerful distribution model is anticipated to provide IGT an opportunity to entertain players with consistent, ubiquitous, thrilling gaming experiences across multiple platforms.

Double Down’s 70 employees will remain in Seattle. A spokeswoman said it’s on a “hiring spree” and is currently working to add more than 10 jobs.

The company was started in 2010 by Greg Enell, a veteran of Microsoft and Big Fish Games, along with designer Cooper DuBois, who earlier co-founded online trivia game company Pickjam with Enell.

Enell worked on enterprise software at Microsoft and left to join Wild Tangent before starting a casual games company that was acquired by Big Fish. Glenn Walcott, former chief financial officer of Big Fish, joined Double Down in November 2010 as president.

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