Where’s Atari At? Gaming Giant Exits Atari Casino Africa to Focus on Premium Games

  • After a strategic review, Atari has decided to invest in the development of “premium games”
  • The company announced it will be exiting its Atari Casino operations in Africa as a result
  • The US-based games giant has written off $5.92m for the year ending March 2021
  • Its cryptocurrency online casino with Decentral Games, launched April 28, remains in operation
  • The American iGaming market is booming, generating lifetime handle of more than $54bn to date
Atari logo with magnifying glass
Games developer Atari has decided to focus on premium games development, exiting its Atari Casino operations in Africa for this purpose. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

A shift in focus

After conducting a strategic business review, video game developer Atari has scrapped plans relating to its online casino operations in Africa as it focuses on the production of “premium gaming” content.

provide accessible and joyful moments of meaningful play”

The company announced this repositioning in a statement on Monday. Explaining reasons for the strategic shift, Atari CEO Wade Rosen said: “Our intent with any gaming experience is to provide accessible and joyful moments of meaningful play,” adding that “premium gaming” would prove a “better representative of this type of gaming experience and the Atari DNA.”

According to the statement, the strategy shift means the company has written off $5.93m for the financial year ending March 31, 2021. The US-based firm’s board of directors approved the measure on July 1.

Gambling plans shelved for now

Atari first propeled itself into the gambling world in 2012 with the launch of its Atari Casino segment in partnership with Pariplay. Through this, the company developed a wide range of slots and other traditional casino games. In early 2020, it also revealed plans for a chain of luxury hotels around the world, including one in the US gambling capital of Las Vegas.

best online casino experience to date”

In March this year, the company announced a new project intended to “move the Atari gaming experience onto the blockchain.” The video game specialist planned to build its casino in an Ethereum-based virtual world called “Vegas City” in partnership with Decentral Games.

According to an official release at the time, the casino was to host a number of Atari-themed games, on which gamblers could wager using MANA, DAI, and Atari cryptocurrencies. Players would then earn $DG – Decentral Games’ native token – in return.

Commenting in the company’s statement on Monday, CEO Rosen said: “Atari has decided to exit its direct operations of Atari Casino in Africa.” He added that the firm will instead shift its focus toward games for consoles and PC. No mention was made regarding the Vegas City operation, which launched on April 28.

Atari goes against the grain

Although Atari may have decided to abandon some of its online casino plans, operators across the US are currently enjoying the spoils of this booming market.

So far, iGaming in America has generated lifetime handle of more than $54bn as it continues to grow. According to data from the American Gaming Association, US online casino operators saw revenue of $229.9m for April 2021, an increase of 142% year-on-year and 714% from 2019.

In June, VegasSlotsOnline News completed research into the US’s burgeoning online casino markets. It found that, on average, Pennsylvania gamblers wager the most on iGaming per year, at $6,766 per gambler. That’s more than three times that of closest rival Michigan, and four times that of New Jerseyans. Pennsylvania has generated all-time handle of more than $33.6bn, representing $2.55bn per month.