Online Poker News - Update: New Details about Bwin.party Digital’s U.S. Online Poker Deal
1st of November 2011 - latestpokerbonuses.com
Statement issued by online gambling giant
Not long after the announcements of a new online poker agreement between Bwin.party digital and US land gambling companies MGM International Resorts and Boyd Gaming, bwin.party released a statement detailing some of the terms of the deal and pointing out that it is essential for its US market strategy.
The announcement reads: "While there is no certainty that online poker legislation will be enacted in the US, bwin.party is preparing to enter into a preliminary suitability review in the State of Nevada."
The terms of the deal specified in the announcement are the following:
Business-To-Consumer (‘B2C’) Joint Venture will be formed provided that suitable federal legislation for online poker is enacted in the US, under the name ‘Federal NewCo’. In it, bwin.party will own 65 percent, MGM 25 percent and Boyd 10 percent, whereas MGM and Boyd will have representation on the company board.
In terms of the funding of the newly formed company, it will be provided by bwin.party, MGM and Boyd pro-rata with their respective shareholdings. Also, Federal NewCo will be supplied with bwin.party’s primary online poker brands for use in the US - including PartyPoker and World Poker Tour, as well as its poker platform and all other required support services.
In the event of a state-by-state regulation of online poker, a stand-alone company will be formed to develop each state opportunity (‘State NewCo’), only in this case the shareholders and shareholdings in the company may vary, depending on the state concerned and reflecting the contributions to be made by each shareholder, which apart from bwin.party, MGM and Boyd, may also involve other partners.
In terms of Business-to-Business (‘B2B’) Agreements, the three partners will close two separate, 15-year business-to-business agreements that will enable them to offer real money online poker services under their own brands in the US, using the bwin.party technology platform and associated services. These agreements will include a provision that MGM and Boyd are exclusive to bwin.party and that a share of the online poker revenue generated by those services will go to bwin.party.
Finally, it has been specified that Bwin.party is preparing to enter into a preliminary suitability review with the Nevada Gaming Control Board, with an aim to secure an advanced finding of suitability in anticipation of future US-facing real money poker opportunities.
A comment has been issued by Jim Ryan and Norbert Teufelberger, the Co-CEOs of bwin.party, in terms of the new deal: “Our strategy has been designed to address any and all legislative outcomes, whether federal or state-by-state. We are particularly excited to be working with MGM and Boyd. Combining their significant assets and regulatory expertise with the strength of our PartyPoker and World Poker Tour brands, all supported by our in-house technology, makes us perfectly positioned for any future opening of the US online poker market,” they said.
According to Jim Murren, Chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International, "MGM has long been supportive of Federal legislation to strengthen UIGEA and provide the needed regulations and consumer protections for online poker. MGM is proud to have bwin.party as our partner as they have the assets and experience that, combined with our brands, can ensure a secure, fair and entertaining online poker experience.”
The third partner’s chief - Keith Smith, President and CEO of Boyd Gaming, said: “We believe the right approach to offering legal online poker in the United States is through a federal regulatory structure that ensures the games are conducted with the greatest possible integrity and security. Should Congress enact legislation to legalise Internet poker, this agreement will allow us to partner with the world’s most experienced and prestigious online operator to offer a secure, fair and entertaining experience for players in the United States.”
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