Empire Online cites World Cup for low profits

Empire Online reported this week that their second quarter earnings for 2006 were lower than usual as a result of the World Cup and the company's efforts to recruit players outside of the United States.

Traditionally, the second quarter is the slowest quarter of the year in the online gaming industry, but according to Empire Online, the deficit was more pronounced this year.

Gaining new customers from outside the United States made Empire Online more vulnerable to the usual negative impact on trading patterns caused by the World Cup. This also had a dampening effect on new player sign-ups and activity.

However, during the second quarter, the number of new real money players across all gaming platforms at Empire Online had risen by 29,921, with 60% of those coming from outside the United States. The net gaming revenue during the quarter was $18.3 million, with $16 million in casino revenue and $2.2 million in poker revenue.

"I'm pleased to report further progress, against the normal [second quarter] headwind, in rebuilding the company," said Noam Lanir, Empire Online CEO. "The Company's geographic diversification and financial strength are key features which will ensure future success. I expect this progress to continue through the second half of 2006."

The uncertainty of the future of online gambling in the United States has forced many companies in the industry, including Empire Online, to shift their game plan. As well as working on recruiting players in other markets, Empire Online has recruited additional resources to allow senior management time to explore the possibilities of diversifying its existing business operations.

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