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bwin.party Positioning for Return to US Market
According to bwin.party co-CEO Jim Ryan we can expect an announcement about the company's upcoming US strategic partnerships by the end of the year.
Earlier this week Ryan told Stephen Carter of egrmagazine.com that bwin.party was busy finalizing agreements with partners at state and federal levels in an effort to get out in front of expected governmental regulation of online poker in the US.
Yesterday Ryan confirmed to egrmagazine.com that bwin.party would be making an announcement on those partnerships by the end of 2011.
“You will definitely hear from us in the second half,” said Ryan.
As a publicly traded company, PartyPoker was forced to pull out of the US market when the UIGEA legislation was introduced in 2006. Now, with online poker regulation looking more and more plausible, bwin.party is doing everything they can to position themselves effectively.
Ryan singled out California and New Jersey as two markets on which they are focusing.
“The structure of the deals we are likely to do will be joint venture partnerships,” Ryan told Carter.
“We will be exploiting our brands, and our JV partner will be exploiting their brands. A poker network that would have Party, WPT, Poker Room, and then the brands of our partners,” he continued.
But getting a foot in the door of regulated online poker at a state or federal level might be easier said than done.
Ryan was quick to point out that bwin.party would be forced to undergo suitability reviews should they successfully partner with a land-based casino.
“We will have to go through suitability review, assuming there is a federal bill, based on whatever legal construct they come up with. At a state and a federal level, we will have to go through suitability.”