Online Poker News - More US Action for Bwin.party
19th of October 2011 - latestpokerbonuses.com
Joint CEO Jim Ryan in the round of US investors
Joint executive of bwin.party digital entertainment, Jim Ryan, is currently doing the rounds of investors in the United States, spending three out of the last five weeks in the country with his team, presenting the strengths of his company, which owns both PartyPoker and the World Poker Tour, to potential and highly desirable US investors.
According to a Forbes magazine report, "Ryan’s presentation included a one-page chart that listed the top online poker brands in the U.S. market and made a stark point about brand awareness: The names of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, until recently the favorite destinations of U.S. online poker players, were crossed out in red."
In an interview, Ryan stated: “Where you see the red lines, those organisations have been indicted, so although one can’t predict the future, it’s unlikely you will see those brands back in the U.S. The brand that has the most consumer awareness is in fact the PartyPoker brand.
“My focus is on the U.S. Even though there is no guarantee that online gaming will ever regulate in the U.S.”
In addition, Forbes underlined that it is not easy to operate in the highly-regulated and taxed European markets and at the same time compete against well-run companies like PokerStars:
"Bwin.party’s stock, which trades on the London Stock Exchange, has tumbled by 50 percent in 2011. Big corporate mergers are never easy, but the company has also suffered a defeat in Germany, where the nation’s top civil court recently decided to uphold an online gambling ban, and been slammed by higher gaming duties across Europe.
"When the company tried to take advantage of the April U.S. shutdown of PokerStars and Full Tilt, Bwin.party found that while some new European players were attracted to its poker brands, revenues remained flat. It wasn’t until Full Tilt’s European regulator suspended Full Tilt’s license in late June that Bwin.party’s increased advertising and promotional expenditures started to pay off.
"PartyPoker is now the second-biggest online poker room, according to PokerScout.com, averaging 4,150 cash players during any given time. PokerStars has 22,800."
In addition, Ryan told Forbes that the company’s B2B capabilities have been fine-tuned in the past few years: “We had to be realistic about where we sat in the food chain. We figured if the U.S. regulated it would be unlikely that we would secure a licence directly, that the laws of the land would be written to allow existing land operators and equipment manufacturers in the U.S. to secure the licenses.”
Yet, he seems to be rather positive about current political developments on internet poker legalization in Washington, especially in regard to the initiative of the American Gaming Association and powerful casino companies like Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts.
Apparently, the company, too, is gearing for the potential online poker legalization in individual states.
“We have to be ready for both federal or state,” Ryan said. “It feels good to have American taxpaying companies finally driving this.”
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