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Merkur, the European games developer owned by Germany’s Gauselmann Group, has entered into a strategic agreement with US gaming specialist Gaming Arts.

The newly agreed strategic cooperation will focus on the joint development and supply of games for North American casinos, marking Merkur’s first push into the US market.

Merkur eventually hopes to become a direct supplier in the North American region.

Gaming Arts is a privately-owned gaming technology provider of electronic gaming machines, as well as bingo, keno, and interactive casino promotional systems.

The company is based in Las Vegas and is licensed in approximately 170 gaming jurisdictions.

“We are excited about the immense potential that this cooperation with Gaming Arts brings to Merkur in our efforts to expand into North America,” said Juergen Stuehmeyer, board member of Merkur parent company Gauselmann Group.

“Gaming Arts’ rapid growth and innovation in the gaming supplier space has created an outstanding platform for growth in this crucial global market,” he added.

Gaming Arts CEO Mike Dreitzer will continue to lead the combined team in close cooperation with Merkur going forward.

Dreitzer was the former president for North America of Ainsworth Game Technology.

“Merkur’s global reach and reputation for excellence aligns perfectly with our aspirations for growth and innovation,” said Gaming Arts owner David Colvin.

“Together, we are poised to deliver exceptional gaming experiences to players in North America,” he added.

Merkur parent company Gauselmann Group is Germany’s largest gambling operator.

The firm’s domestic dominance has been questioned by industry figures over the past year.