Talks between Sportingbet and Bwin continue
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The company noted the recent political developments in the US with regard to certain proposed legislative reforms
The online gambling firm admitted, however, that talks with Bwin remain protracted due to complex legal, regulatory and operational issues. “Such discussions may or may not lead to a transaction between the two parties and the board will provide further updates in due course and when necessary,” It said in a statement.
Commenting on the regulatory environment, the company noted the recent political developments in the US with regard to certain proposed legislative reforms but confirmed it is “taking no part in any reported initiatives to overturn, challenge or amend that or related legislation”.
Sportingbet ceased taking bets from US residents last October following the introduction of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) which effectively banned the industry in the US. Earlier this week, PartyGaming and 888 Holdings said they have initiated talks with the US Department of Justice attempting to seek clarification on retrospective legal action being taken against the industry.
Democrat Barney Frank remains committed to overturning the UIGEA but conceded recently that such a move currently lacks sufficient support among lawmakers.
Sportingbet completed a major restructuring following its exit from the US, establishing a customer services centre in Dublin and successfully migrating all its poker players onto a single integrated platform.
Operating profit before exceptional items, share option charges and goodwill amortisation for the three months to end April was us$ 5.9 million. Sales totaled us$ 580 million, against us$ 457 million the previous year. The company saw a pretax loss after exceptional charges, share option charges, and goodwill amortisation of us$ 125.3 million, compared with a us$ 5.3 million deficit the previous year.
That included exceptional charges of us$ 125.3 million. The exceptional items comprised a us$ 102.4 million charge relating to the migration of Paradise Poker players onto the Boss Media network (below the us$ 109.6 million forecast by the company) and us$ 21.7 million charges from the transfer of Sportingbet’s operations to Dublin and the Channel Islands. The comparatives discount last year’s contribution from the US business.
As at April 30, the company had us$ 99.8 million of cash and liquid resources on its balance sheet, of which us$ 23.9 million relates to customer liabilities.
Commenting on current trading, Sportingbet said its overall margin in May had been below average due to less favourable results across European soccer. However, it remains confident of the outlook for the remainder of the current financial year and beyond.