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Gambling News: PartyGaming Bosses Screwed, Sportingbet Numbers In

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Mar/12/2009

An article appearing in the London Telegraph reports that, being a PartyGaming top dog doesn't exactly have its rewards...especially after you've been shown the door.  Party lost two of its chiefs over the past year, including Chief Executive Officer Mitch Garber and Chairman Michael Jackson. 

How did the two gentlemen fare in their respective departures? the paper asks.

"Well poor old Mitch had to give up all three of his rent free Gibraltar houses on his departure. Two of them had an estimated annual rental value of $150,000. We didn't find out how much the other cost as Mitch didn't use it. Presumably even in a place as small as the Rock using three houses is tricky."

As for Michael Jackson (no relation to the ‘gloved one' Gambling911.com might add), he didn't fare well either.

"He picked up £110,000 for "consultancy services, as required" in the 12 months after leaving. And have those services required been required? Alas the company declined to say."

....In other gambling news, Gambling911.com sponsor Sportingbet.com was the latest of the United Kingdom online gambling firms to report strong numbers this week.  Sportingbet (LSE: SBT.L - news) on Wednesday pointed to the first signs of the downturn affecting trading, however, with its Australian telephone business.  That arm of the company bets of up to £50,000 and it was beginning to show signs of decline.

Gala Coral, operator of the UK's third-biggest bookmaker, is "also trading well", according to Neil Goulden, chairman of the private equity-owned betting, casino and bingo group, even though it is struggling under a heavy debt load. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation have risen 3 per cent in the five months since October 1, compared with the same period the prior year.

Three reasons account for the gambling sector's resilience, says Mr Goulden. "If you compare our industry to other consumer-facing industries - say the pubs sector - we have no price war, no supermarket category killing us and more and more of our business is online," he says.

"Most of our customers part with less than £10 ($14). At the moment, the recession is middle-class focused and they are cutting back on buying cars. If you have a job and can attract a mortgage, you are better off than you ever have been."

Online gambling is fuelling much of the resilience, with the Internet businesses of Ladbrokes and William Hill (the number one and number two largest bookmakers in the UK, respectively) the star performers in this sector.

Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

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