The London-listed online gambling giant PartyGaming plc issued a trading update Tuesday revealing that its second quarter revenue is expected to be up around 28 percent compared to the same period last year, mainly due to strong growth in its online casino division, along with the acquisitions of Cashcade and the World Poker Tour.
However, the update notes that total revenue is likely to be slightly lower by around 2 percent compared to Q1 following a 9 percent decline in online poker activity and some unexpected outcomes at the football World Cup which had a greater-than-expected adverse impact on other parts of the business.
Online casino revenues grew quarter-on-quarter despite seasonality and the impact of the World Cup, whilst online bingo and sports betting revenues remained steady when compared with the previous quarter.
Management said that prospective licensing and regulation in Europe and the US continues to offer exciting medium to long-term revenue potential through both B2C and B2B opportunities
"Poker has been particularly tough with the number of daily average players expected to fall by between 8 percent and 9 percent versus the first quarter, coupled with lower yields due to reduced frequency of play on the back of both seasonality and the World Cup," the update reveals. "As a result, we expect poker revenue in Euros to be down between 11 percent and 13 percent quarter-on-quarter."
The update notes that in Italy, the new licensing regime that would permit cash game poker has been delayed and is now not expected to occur until the fourth quarter of 2010. In France, the group launched its PartyPoker.fr website on 1 July 2010, one of the first operators to enter the newly regulated online market, and Management are 'very encouraged' by performance to date.
Online casino operations continued to perform well and aare expected to deliver net revenue growth of approximately 6 percent compared with the seasonally strong first quarter, due primarily to an increase in yield thanks to a higher hold and favourable currency movements, despite daily average player numbers down approximately 5 percent on the back of seasonality.
Party Gaming CEO Jim Ryan, said: “We are pleased with the relatively robust performance of our business compared to many other consumer facing businesses in what remains a challenging economic environment. Overall the Group has performed in-line with expectations even though the adverse impact of the World Cup on our non-sports betting verticals was slightly greater than expected.
“We have made great progress in securing partners for our poker network in France with PMU, AB Groupe and Aviation Club de France already in place. We expect to add another significant partner to our French network in the near future. The early signs from this important new market are encouraging.
“The World Poker Tour is performing in-line with our expectations and we believe that this asset, combined with the strength of the PartyPoker brand and the resolution of our US legacy issues ensures that we are well-positioned should online gaming become regulated in the US. In this respect, discussions are progressing well with a number of potential US-based gaming partners.
“Whilst progress on consolidating the online gaming industry has been slower than expected, we remain committed to playing an active role and are continuing to pursue opportunities with a number of parties."
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