U.S. resort and casino company Harrah's, a subsidiary of Caesar's Entertainment, has purchased a 51% stake in Israeli social game maker Playtika for $40 to $45 million, valuing the entire company at $80-90 million, according to media reports.
Founded in 2010 with a reported $1 million in funding, Playtika has attracted nearly 3 million monthly players to its Facebook games, including slot machine title Slotmania
and dice game Farkle Pro
, according to AppData
The company has 15 or so full time employees in Israel and the Ukraine, according to InsideSocialGames
The high-value acquisition, the first in the social gaming space by a major gambling company, is somewhat surprising given that Playtika's estimated $1.2 million a year in revenue is not enough to generate a profit, according to Israeli business publication Globes
Last August, Harrah's collaborated with Playdom to rebrand the developer's Poker Palace
Facebook game with the casino's World Series of Poker brand. The title has nearly 600,000 monthly players, according to AppData.
Golden Nugget Casino launched its own "virtual casino" Facebook game last year, though the title has languished with only a few thousand monthly players.