Major Online Poker Changes Ahead?

London analyst's advisory raises some intriguing possibilities

A recommendation this week from a London analyst firm, Daniel Stewart & Company, that investors switch their holdings from PartyGaming to 888 has industry observers trying to second guess what may soon be in the corporate works.

The recommendation is based on the possibility that 888 is "likely" to consolidate or outsource its online poker interests in 2009, although little in the way of specifics is available. The analyst reports that 888 recently produced strong end of year accounts, but that poker revenues suffered, whilst PartyGaming continued to post mixed results with poker revenue falling but player numbers growing.

The Stewart note also reprised the optimistic note in a recent Ernst and Young assessment by advising that the gambling sector was outperforming the market, up 9.5 percent, with more to come. Other major online firms with poker interests remain on the "buy" recommendation list.

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