Party Gaming intent on entering US gambling market

Internet gaming giant talking to potential partners against the day the world's biggest market opens up

Gibraltar-based online gambling operatorParty Gaming is still apparently intent on entering the US market, should it become accessible legally, with its multi-million dollar settlement with the US Justice Departmentlast July forming a springboard from which it may be able to develop partnerships with US companies.

This week the online gambling giant revealed to the Reuters news agency that it is talking to potential US partners with a view to re-entering what is still the world's largest online gambling market.

“We are certainly in discussions with a few parties on a number of different opportunities,” said Jim Ryan, chief executive officer at Party Gaming, adding the cautionary statement that the talks were still in the preliminary stages, and declining to identify with whom his company was negotiating.

“There is a list of suspects who one would expect us to be talking to, given that our focus is consolidating the online gaming sector,” said Ryan. “We are talking to a number of US entities about doing business with them when the US market regulates. It's positioned us for growth from a mergers and acquisitions perspective and, from an operational perspective, I think it's our ticket back into the United States.”

Ryan went on to say that he has been encouraged by recent moves in the US by Congressmen Barney Frank and Jim McDermott to overturn the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. The legislators have argued that the passage of their measures would generate tax revenues of about $42 billion over ten years.

“We're hearing rumours that we're going to get support from the [US] land-based operators for online gaming so it seems like momentum is building,” said Ryan.

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