PartyGaming, Plc. recently acquired Gamebookers, a sports betting firm, from Trident Gaming for €102 million in cash. The acquisition broadens PartyGaming, Plc.'s business as well as decreasing their reliance on gambling revenue from the United States.
Gamebookers, which doesn't take bets from the United States, has more than 250,000 registered customers from 140 countries, with more than 53,000 of those customers being active users. The company was established in 1999 and allows betting on a wide range of international sporting events.
"The acquisition of Gamebookers is an important step forward in diversifying PartyGaming's business from both a product and geographic perspective," said Mitch Garber, PartyGaming, Plc. CEO. "Gamebookers is a well-established and profitable operator with proven risk management skills and scaleable proprietary software. We believe that sports betting will be a valuable addition to our integrated gaming platform, which we expect to provide excellent cross-selling opportunities for our expanding base of customers outside the U.S."
Last year, Gamebookers took in bets worth €179.4 million, and came out ahead on those best by about €10 million, creating pre-tax profits of €4.6 million. PartyGaming, Plc. plans to generate pre-tax earnings between €8 and €9 million from Gamebookers this year.
PartyGaming, Plc., which operates PartyPoker.com, has a stock market value of nearly £4.4 billion, so this is a relatively small deal for them, but a big deal in trying to move away from the U.S. market where the company currently generates more than three-quarters of its annual revenue.
The legality of online gaming is still in contention in the United States where legislators are trying to pass the Internet Gambling Prohibition and Enforcement Act, which would ban most forms of online gambling. The U.S. Justice Department also recently stepped into the debate with their arrest and indictment of David Carruthers and others connected with BetonSports, Plc. for charges of racketeering and fraud.