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Poker News: August 31st, 2008

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Copyright © Times Online

HEADLINE: Poker players folding at PartyGaming sites

PartyGaming, the online gaming firm, today reported a 19 per cent drop in the number of people playing its poker games.

PartyGaming, which runs the PartyPoker and PartyBets Web sites, said its trading in the past two months had been in line with management expectations except for poker which was “slightly softer” than expected, sending its shares down 2.7 per cent to 207.75p in early trading.

The average number of active daily poker players in July and August was 19 per cent lower than in the first six months of 2008, while gross revenue was down 9 per cent in August compared with July.

The news overshadowed first half results showing average gross daily revenue was $1.6 million per day, and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation rose by 76 per cent in the six months to June 30 to $64.9 million – well above average analysts’ expectations of $57.7 million.

Jim Ryan, recently-appointed chief executive of PartyGaming, said: “Whilst trading in poker since June 30 has been slightly softer than we would have expected ... the board remains confident about the group’s future prospects.”

PartyGaming also said that it was targeting a successful resolution to talks with the US Department of Justice, over the threat of prosecution for taking US wagers over the internet in the past, this year and has placed new Chairman Rod Perry in charge of the process.

A deal with the DoJ could leave online firms clear to re-enter the United States if internet gambling is ever permitted there.

PartyGaming’s share price collapsed after it was banned from doing business in the lucrative US market following a rule change in 2006. The US Congress made it illegal to make payments to online gambling sites. Bonus Code
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Article downloaded from the World Wide Web on August 31th, 2007

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