ccording to a report from the Reuters news agency, PartyGaming’s July agreement with US authorities, which protects it from being prosecuted over its past activities there, will make it easier for the Gibraltar-based firm to return to the American market while also clearing the way for it to engage in mergers and acquisition activities. “We are certainly in discussions with a few parties on a number of different opportunities,” Jim Ryan, Chief Executive Officer for PartyGaming, told Reuters.
However, Ryan stressed that talks remained at a preliminary stage and declined to comment on the size or identity of the companies PartyGaming was talking to. “There is a list of suspects who one would expect us to be talking to given that our focus is consolidating the online gaming sector,” said Ryan.
“We are talking to a number of US entities about doing business with them when the US market regulates. It's positioned us for growth from a mergers and acquisitions perspective and, from an operational perspective, I think it's our ticket back into the United States.”
PartyGaming operates popular online poker domain PartyPoker.com alongside leading bingo sites FoxyBingo.com, MirrorBingo.com, ThinkBingo.com and CheekyBingo.com and revealed that its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation for 2009 were us$ 135 million, which was down from 2008’s us$ 144.2 million but ‘slightly ahead of market expectations’.
Ryan stated that he has been encouraged by recent moves in the US by Congressmen Barney Frank and Jim McDermott to overturn the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. The legislators have argued that the passage of their measures would generate tax revenues of about us$ 42 billion over ten years. “We're hearing rumours that we're going to get support from the land-based operators for online gaming so it seems like momentum is building,” said Ryan.