owever, Party Gaming’s first set of figures since announcing its merger with Bwin to form the world’s largest listed online gaming company, revealed that heavy marketing spend on casino and the acquisition of bingo operator Cashcade meant that earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) only rose 14% from 42.3 million euros in 2009 to 48.1 million euros this year. The Cashcade deal was also the catalyst to strong bingo revenue growth, seeing it leap from 1.2 million euros in 2009 to 25.8 million euros in 2010.
Casino revenue grew from 62.1 million euros in the first half of last year to 76.4 million euros in 2010 following chief executive Jim Ryan’s new marketing strategy brought in to compensate for dwindling poker takings. Casino EBITDA however dipped slightly from 25 million euros to 24.3 million euros.
Sportsbetting revenue climbed from 5.4 million euros to 10.2 million euros year-on-year, due to a favourable run of results during the football World Cup in June.
Jim Ryan said: “Clean EBITDA margins in the first half were slightly lower than expected due to the delayed launch of cash game poker in Italy but we retain our previous full year guidance of approximately 28%, subject to the returns achieved on planned marketing spend in both France and Italy, where we are continuing to expand the share of our respective poker networks."
All verticals were up for Party with the exception of poker, which in a general industry decline due largely to the football World Cup, fell from 71.2 million euros in 2009 to 64.4 million euros this year.
PartyGaming again blamed the “continued dominance of US-facing sites” adding it would expand its French and Italian poker offerings as a result. In late July it received clearance to launch five French-facing networks including for PartyPoker and its PartyBets and Gamebookers sports betting brands.
Jim Ryan announced that Party’s white label for French TV broadcast giant AB Groupe went live today, while the room for Paris-based gambling venue Aviation Club de France is scheduled to launch in September.