Gambling shares slump after U.S. act approved PartyGaming, 888 Holdings prepare to fold U.S. operations
By Simon Kennedy, MarketWatch Last Update: 6:58 AM ET Oct 2, 2006
LONDON (MarketWatch) — Shares in U.K.-listed online gambling companies including PartyGaming and 888 Holdings plummeted Monday after the U.S. Congress unexpectedly passed an act that could cripple the industry by cutting off its revenue flows. PartyGaming (UK:PRTY: news, chart, profile) and 888 Holdings (UK:888: news, chart, profile) both said they will shut down their U.S.-facing operations once the act is signed into law by President Bush, which is expected to happen in the next two weeks. Other firms, including Sportingbet (UK:SBT: news, chart, profile) , whose former chairman was recently arrested in the U.S. under anti-gambling laws, said they are examining their options, but added the act could have a significant negative impact on their performance. Chart of UK:PRTY Shares in PartyGaming slumped 58% to 45 pence a share, having touched an all-time low of 40.25 pence in earlier trading. Volume was heavy, with around 180 million shares changing hands in the first two hours of trading. Shares in 888 Holdings gave up 34%. Sportingbet shares dropped 58% and World Gaming Plc (UK:WGP: news, chart, profile) was the biggest faller, losing 81% of its value after it also announced that takeover talks with Sportingbet had been scuppered by the act. Also see London Markets. Congress attached the anti-gambling measures to the Safe Ports Act, an unrelated security bill that was passed on Saturday.
Big Time Gaming has proven a true innovator revitalizing the concept of fruit slots. Their latest online game comes with an interesting layout and a grid that is filled with large and small symbols. It is a classic fruit theme with reels that contain images of watermelons, plums, diamonds, oranges, pears, lemons, and grapes.
Betting options and bonus features
The Swedish-based provider, Lady Luck Games, will acquire UK-based studio, Revolver Gaming. After inking an exclusive letter of intent, both brands agreed on the purchase price of €750,000 and approximately 4 million newly issued shares of Lady Lucky Games. Revolver was founded in 2010 and has been developing mostly online slots, however, it also produced several online bingo games. Its most popular games are Reign of Gnomes, Good Fishes, Lotto Lucky, Robin Hood, and more.
Microgaming has agreed to sell its Quickfire distribution business and online games to young company, Games Global (GG). The deal, announced as a "historic sale," will enable GG to obtain the international distribution rights for exclusive Microgaming online slots and progressive jackpots. Following the sale, the provider says it will continue to supply several customers with its gaming platform while they will be looking ahead to the future and developing sports betting technology.