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Thu, Dec

Possible Merger between Online Casino Operators

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According to a recent report on Bloomberg news two of the worlds largest Internet gambling companies are in talks about a possible merger that could create a multi-billion pound “gambling giant”.

PartyGaming Plc who trade on the London Stock Exchange and is valued at about 1 billion pounds and Austrian online bookmaker Bwin Entertainment AG who trade on the Vienna stock exchange and is valued at about 1.2 billion pounds, have been in talks about a possible merger in order to form one huge online poker, casino and sportsbetting operator with a value of more than $4 billion.

However, despite the fact that the talks are ongoing it was recently reported by Konrad Sveceny, Bwin’s head of investor relations, that the discussions are only at a preliminary stage and they are also in talks with various other competitors, namely Italy’s Gioco Digitale.

It has been reported by Barclays Capital analysts that Europe’s online gambling market is the largest in the world, at $8.7 in 2009.

Bwin has the largest European market share among publicly listed operators with 8 percent, followed by PartyGaming with 6.3 percent and William Hill Plc, the U.K.’S second-largest bookmaker, with 4.5 percent.  Due to the low combined market share of these top European operators it will be necessary for consolidation to take place in order for companies to remain competitive.

Norbert Teufelberger, Bwin C-Chief Executive Officer, reported that in anticipation of an opening of the U.S. online casino market and as more Internet betting is allowed, there will be a surge in mergers and acquisitions among gambling companies in Europe.