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Majesco gambles with online casino gaming investment

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Zumba Fitness and Cooking Mama publisher Majesco Entertainment is getting into the online casino gaming business, investing between $3.5 million to $4.5 million to establish GMS Entertainment. The new venture will explore "emerging growth opportunities in the social and online casino gaming industry to supplement [Majesco's] existing business," the company announced today.

As part of the deal, GMS Entertainment will acquire Orid Media Limited and Pariplay Limited — two online and mobile real money gambling companies — and certain assets and liabilities. Investor Yair Goldfinger, co-founder of ICQ, purchased 3.3 million shares of Majesco common stock as part of the deal.

"During this transition year in console gaming, we have been actively exploring emerging growth opportunities in the social and online casino gaming industry to supplement our existing business," Jesse Sutton, CEO of Majesco Entertainment said in a statement. "Entering the market through this partnership allows us to participate in a rapidly growing market segment and position the company for longer term growth as more jurisdictions move to legalize real money online gaming."

Social game giant Zynga launched real money online gambling titles ZyngaPlusPoker and ZyngaPlusCasino in the U.K. through partner earlier this year. Zynga announced last month that it won't pursue a similar strategy in the United States.

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