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Online Poker News Archives - July 1, 2005

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Copyright 2005 The Liverpool Daily Post & Echo Ltd
Daily Post (Liverpool)

July 1, 2005, Friday


RETAIL investors showed a willingness to gamble on the fortunes of PartyGaming yesterday as the value of the online poker firm hit £5.7bn.

On the first day of full trading, PartyGaming shares rose more than 2% or 3.5p to 142.5p - well above the price of 116p at the time of its initial public offering on Monday.

It means PartyGaming is now on a par with retail giants such as Marks & Spencer and B&Q owner Kingfisher in terms of market value.

When conditional dealings began in its shares earlier this week, the company was already worth more than well-known firms such as British Airways, Dixons and Boots.

The rise in the share price suggests investors have overcome concerns over the legality of online poker in the United States where PartyGaming generates 90% of its revenues. Some analysts fear the introduction of legislation in the US that will prohibit online gambling.

Other threats to the company come from intensifying competition which could weaken margins or the potential for online poker to be a short-term fad.

But the Gibraltar-based company has countered this by pointing out that case law in the US indicates only sports betting is prohibited and not online poker.

PartyGaming owns the PartyPoker brand and its online poker gaming room has attracted more than one million users since 2001. Customers pay a type of commission known as rake to play against each other.

Online poker generated about $ 553m (£305m) or 92% of PartyGaming's revenue in 2004, helping it to notch up annual pre-tax profits of $ 371.7 (£204.6m) against $ 89.2m (£49.1m) last time

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