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Online Casino News - October, 2009

World Poker Tour Party Gaming Deal Finalized


  Seed Newsvine

by Mira Patel, News Staff Writer

November 11, 2009

Party Gaming has just taken one step closer at becoming the largest gambling venture in the world with their recent acquisition of the World Poker Tour brand. Awaiting for the transaction to be finalized since the acquisition was first announced on August 24, 2009, Party Gaming's expanded ownership is now official. Divvying out $12.3 million for the WPT empire, which hosts one of the largest professional poker tour series in the world (along side the World Series of Poker), Party Gaming has entered the U.S. poker market once again.

The only thing different this time is that Party Gaming will not be venturing into the online realm, although they certainly will be keeping the option of doing so open. With legislation gaining momentum in the U.S. Congress that would effectively overturn the UIGEA online gambling ban and enact State's rights to regulate all forms of online gambling, Party Gaming, along with Harrah's, will likely be the first top-tier gambling brands to launch on the U.S. facing internet.

Of course, Party Gaming was one of the most popular and successful online gambling destinations with U.S. online gamblers, and therefore knows just how to go about tapping into that traffic if and when it becomes available again. And not that it isn't already. Party Gaming simply decided to play their cards safe and fold early just as the UIGEA was being passed. Leaving that traffic for a handful of offshore online casino and poker room operators now banking tremendously on the unimpeded U.S. bettors, Party Gaming miraculously managed to stay one of the world's leading online gambling brands by essentially tapping online gambling markets elsewhere in the world - especially in Europe.

Now, Party Gaming will be entering another venture altogether, and hosting some of the world's largest land-based poker tournaments from here on out. The World Poker Tour, which is in its seventh season, just wrapped the Foxwoods Casino World Poker Finals tournament, earning Cornel Andrew Cimpan a $910,058 payout from a prize pool worth over $3.3 million, and helping Cimpan make the 19th position on the all-time money winner's list.

As part of the acquisition agreement, World Poker Tour will keep an ongoing 5% participation in revenues (a minimum of $3 million over the next three years), and says it will be using the net proceeds to develop or acquire a non-poker related business, none of which will be distributed to shareholders. Party Gaming's stock had risen over five points in less than 24 hours from when the deal was finalized.



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