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PartyGaming Returning to the U.S. Market?

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Mar/14/2009

News that PartyGaming, the once largest online poker firm, looks to final settle with the U.S. government has been translated in some circles as the company will be returning to the United States market.  They pulled out shortly after passage of the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act in October 2006 and lost millions of dollars in doing so.  Their share price was riddled. 

PartyGaming PLC reported its annual earnings on Wednesday with a profit of $66.9 million, which was a $25.3 million increase from 2007. Overall revenue fell 1 percent to $472.9 million.

When one looks at PartyGaming, they see a company that is almost stagnant, though not exactly in "survival mode".  After all, Party is the 4th biggest online poker room in the world despite losing a lot of footing over the past two years.

"The reality is that PartyGaming was double the size of its nearest competitor, PokerStars, at the time it pulled out of the U.S. market," stated Payton O'Brien, matriarch of the Gambling911.com website.  "Saying PartyGaming has lost significant market share is like saying China has lost half of its population.  China would still have a larger population than the United States.  India would become the new PokerStars in such a scenario."

PartyGaming chief executive Jim Ryan said this week that his company is making "good progress" in its discussions with the U.S. Attorney's office whereby they may have to pay a sizable fine for previously taking bets from online players in America. It is speculated that the fine will be around the $150 million mark, even though co-founder Anurag Dikshit recently plead guilty and must pay a $300 million fine.

As for returning to the U.S. market, that's not likely to happen in the next 12 months as legislative efforts to overturn the UIGEA will take some time, but Party is looking forward to "the right time" when "circumstances allow for a return".

Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

 

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