Bingo and casino operator Gala plans to spend up to £3
million on developing its newly purchased online games site Jamba.co.uk.
The acquisition was originally revealed by Revolution (24 October,
The money will be used to transform Jamba.co.uk, formerly owned by
Carlton Interactive, into a pay-to-play venture with fixed odds gaming.
The Jamba brand will be retained, with Gala planning to develop a
next-generation online casino.
According to Brian Mattingley, development and strategy director at
Gala, the company is looking to base the casino offshore in Gibraltar or
the Isle of Man and will be planning to develop relationships with
"We will be fairly aggressive in the coming months in promoting
Jamba.co.uk," said Mattingley. "This is just the platform to take Gala
into true commercial online gaming. We have to put our foot back on the
gas and create a high-profile for the site."
He added that the company is also planning to extend Jamba.co.uk's iTV
coverage by looking to move the site onto Sky digital's platform. "We
would be a bit brain-dead not to go after it," he said. "It will involve
negotiation and cost but, at the end of the day, we are already present
on iTV, which is a core focus for us."
Under the £1.5 million deal, Gala purchased the site, brand and
associated customer base, and will continue to work with Carlton
Interactive on development of the revamped site.
Jamba.co.uk currently has a 750,000-strong database and, according to
Carlton Interactive, 600,000 players a month. It will continue to
feature free-to-play games for the next three months to keep its
customer base strong, with at least one new game being launched during
the next two months.
The first phase will see the current back office system being used to
build a commercial gaming engine, which should be developed within three
or four months. Gala then plans to develop predominantly numbers-based,
fixed-odds gaming, which should be in place within six months.