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01 September 2011

Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment Making Friends In United States: California, New Jersey, Florida, by Greg Tingle - 1st September 2011

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Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month Award'...

PartyCasino.com has once again won the Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month' Award. Richard Branson's VirginCasino.com picked up 2nd place, while new entrant into the Asia Pacific Region, Grand Reef Online Casino picks up 3rd. Well done to all brands.




Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment Continues To Make Friends In U.S Market; Talks Well Developed...

In a recent interview with eGaming Review, Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment Co-CEO, Jim Ryan, advised re his firm's goal to enter the lucrative US market: “We have made the decision to target strategic partners. At federal level, we are finalising agreements with a couple of parties positioned nicely to operate in that market. In California, we are well advanced with a particular party. The same in New Jersey, consistent with where we are at a federal level.”

California’s legislator announced it will not be pursuing the issue until the start of next year, quite possibly after federal legislation is enacted.

New Jersey State Senator Raymond Lesniak introduced new draft legislation earlier month. His previous proposal made it all the way to Governor Chris Christie’s desk before Christie announced he would not be signing off in the final minutes of a deadline. The Governor cited specifics in the bill that Lesniak believes the latest incarnation addresses.

Media Man is following up the situation.


Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment Talk Of The Town...

Earlier this year, PartyGaming and bwin merged to create Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, which is traded on the London Stock Exchange under the symbol BPTY. In an news article that appeared in The Independent last Tuesday, it was noted that since the two online gaming giants merged, the combined company’s share price has dipped by nearly half. While part of the drop might be due to a slowing economic environment worldwide and so no action might be needed, other entities felt that an infusion could be in the offing. The news outlet cautioned, however, that investors might wait for the gaming environment in the United States to be sorted out first: "Not everyone agreed with the chatter, however, with one trader saying acquisitions in the sector were unlikely until there was further clarification over the potential regulation of online gambling in the U.S."

Despite the merger, PartyPoker.com remains the flagship site of its own network, while bwin makes its home on the Ongame Network alongside rooms such as Betfair.

Caesars Entertainment, one of the principal competitors of Wynn Resorts, has partnered with 888, also a publicly traded company in London. Prior to Black Friday, Full Tilt Poker teamed up with Fertitta Interactive, whose ownership group has strong ties to Station Casinos. Along with the PokerStars - Wynn deal, the latter fell by the wayside once the U.S. Department of Justice took action in April. Other members of TwoPlusTwo continued to cast doubt on the validity of The Independent’s report. One player wrote, "Party has never had any interest in selling. This feels like an absolute recycle of the previous such rumor that they were going to be bought out by Harrah’s. Unsurprisingly, it turns out there was never such a thing on the table and the only connection was former Party CEO Mitch Garber moving to Caesars Interactive." Rumors have also persisted that the Ongame Network could be sold outright. To that end, Sharecast.com noted in a recent article, "Bwin.Party, the world's largest online gaming group, already has its poker network, Ongame, on the auction block. The sale is expected to generate between 20M and 30M Euros ($28.5m to $42.7m), a modest figure reflecting the loss of players the network will incur through the sale." But could a deal between Wynn and Bwin.Party be finalized before online poker is legalized in the United States? And will it matter? This week, the New York Post published an article stating that online poker legislation could be coming sooner rather than later. One source told the Post, "I think there is becoming a feeling in Congress that this is something that needs to be regulated and be done. I believe there is a possibility a bill will pass towards the end of the year." Media Man will be following the story with weekly reports.


FTSE 250 Movers: Bwin.party bid may be on the cards...

Bwin.party Digital Entertainment saw its share price head north as rumours persist that a US company has it in its sights.

Casinos operator Wynn Resorts is one name in the frame, with a take-out price of 170p per share being talked about.

Bwin.party, the world's largest online gaming group, already has its US poker network, OnGame, on the auction block.

The sale is expected to generate between 20m and 30m euros ($28.5m to $42.7m), a modest figure reflecting the loss of players the network will encur through the sale.

Irish mining company Kenmare Resources was rapidly heading back down following a rally of 7.5% on Monday on the back of a tip in the Daily Telegraph which declared Kenmare a "bargain share".

FTSE 250 - Risers
Bwin.party Digital Entertainment (BPTY) 112.50p +6.43%


Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month Award'...

PartyCasino.com has once again won the Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month' Award. Richard Branson's VirginCasino.com picked up 2nd place, while new entrant into the Asia Pacific Region, Grand Reef Online Casino picks up 3rd. Well done to all brands.


Betfair Poaches Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment Executive...

A talent war of sorts has broken out between Bwin.Party and Betfair, with Betfair scoring the most recent strike.

Betfair has by all accounts poached bwin.party’s central marketing director Matt Robinson to become the firm's emerging markets director, a new role created for the top notch gaming executive.

Robinson, who has been at PartyGaming, today known as bwin.party, for two years and was previously at 888 for six years launching the brand in the UK, will join the betting exchange in September reporting to chief commercial officer Niall Wass.

Media Man wishes him well, and holds both Bwin.Party and Betfair in high regard.

*The writer has conducted b2 with Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment and Betfair.

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