he Cereus online poker network, formed by Absolute Poker and UltimateBet in 2008, has been sold to Antigua based Blanca Games for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition includes the Cereus network, operating software and the AbsolutePoker and UB brands.
Blanca Games is headed by Stuart Gordon, founder and operator of online bingo site bingomania.
Commenting on the acquisition, Gordon stated that security will continue to be a key area of focus for the network going forward. Both Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet have in the past been mired in cheating and security scandals.
“The acquisition of Cereus is a significant opportunity for us,” says Blanca Games CEO Stuart Gordon. “Cereus is a major platform of well-managed assets. Over the past few years, it has created new brands, like ub.com, that are extremely well-positioned in the most desirable demographic in our market: players in the 20s and 30s age brackets. From our perspective, we have acquired a large, sophisticated online gaming operation with state-of-the art capabilities, ranging from compliance to business intelligence to online marketing to customer service. We see a tremendous growth opportunity in this deal and beyond, as Blanca seeks additional acquisitions in the market.
“We intend to leverage the existing strengths of the Cereus Poker Network, particularly in the areas of security and customer service. Although we are impressed with many of the new security features on the Network today, security is and will remain our top priority.”
Cereus is the third largest US facing online poker network according to PokerScout.com, behind PokerStars and Full Tilt, albeit with a fraction of their liquidity.
The network’s former owner, Tokwiro, is yet to comment on the sale, although a statement is expected to be released next week.