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Las Vegas interested in PartyGaming?
Apparently PartyGaming is open to sales pitches from Las Vegas-based casinos.
In a story published yesterday PartyGaming CEO Mitch Gerber told the Financial Times that the U.K.-listed poker firm would like to hear from the major Las Vegas groups.
PartyGaming is a massive online gambling network with a market cap of $2.5 billion. The company is responsible for numerous brands including PartyPoker, PartyBets, Party Casino, PartyBingo and PartyGammon. The company was founded in 1997 although PartyPoker.com wasn't launched until 2001.
At one point 75% of PartyGaming's revenue flowed from U.S. customers. As a result of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act passed in fall of 2006, PartyPoker had to pull out of the U.S. market and the company's share price dropped 60%. Since then the company has made strides building a strong market in Europe.
Recently there have been rumblings the owner wants to sell. 888.com was already rumored to be a potential buyer.
In the Financial Times interview Gerber mentioned that he would like to hear from the major players in Vegas. Although he couldn't confirm any of the interested parties, it is assumed casinos like the Bellagio, MGM, Harrahs and the Wynn would all be looking into a deal.
If a major U.S. casino invested in an online gambling site, the move would be significant in at least two ways. It would allow U.S. casinos direct access to the European market and it might serve to make politicians reconsider UIGEA.