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Bwin.Party Seal US Partnership Deal With MGM
Gibraltar-based gambling group bwin.Party has reached a deal with MGM Resorts International and Boyd Gaming to partner up when online poker is legalized and regulated in the United States.
All three companies put out press releases today to publicize the partnership and follow-up interviews with several news agencies have outlined how the agreement would work.
According to a report on reuters.com, once the proper regulatory framework has been enacted by the US government a still-to-be-named company will be formed by the three parties in which bwin.Party will own the majority share at 65%.
MGM will hold 25%, Boyd Gaming will hold 10% and each entity will be responsible for the same percentage of start-up and operating costs.
Both MGM and Boyd would offer poker games under current bwin brands like Party Poker and the WPT but each will also have licenses to use bwin’s existing software to offer products under their own brands.
MGM’s own brand entities include the MGM Grand, Bellagio and Mandalay Bay properties in Las Vegas. Boyd Gaming owns 17 gaming entertainment properties across six states including the Borgata in Atlantic City and Sam's Town, The Orleans and Gold Coast casinos in Las Vegas.
Said MGM Chief Executive Officer Jim Murren in his interview with Reuters:
"There is now an overarching opinion in Washington that this (online poker legislation) needs to be addressed."
bwin.Party CEO Jim Ryan, who recently publicized his active pursuit of partnership agreements with US casino companies, added:
“The intention of the joint venture is to take the PartyPoker brand and the World Poker Tour brand and our operating expertise and combine that with the regulatory expertise of MGM and Boyd.
“Effectively you will have four brands in the U.S. and all four brands will be acquiring players and putting them in one hub, one poker network.”
Added Keith Smith, chief executive of Boyd Gaming:
“We believe that the right approach to offering legal online poker in the United States is through a federal regulatory structure that ensures the games are conducted with the greatest possible integrity and security,” he said.
“Should Congress enact legislation to legalize Internet poker, this agreement will allow us to partner with the world’s most experienced and prestigious online operator to offer a secure, fair and entertaining experience for players in the United States.”
Bwin.Party is the largest publicly traded online gambling company in the world with reported revenue of $716 million last year.
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