win shareholders will own 51.6% of bwin.party Digital Entertainment, while PartyGaming shareholders will hold the other 48.4% stake. The company will become the largest online gambling company listed on any stock market in the world, and the announcement of the deal has set off a wave of consolidation within the industry.
The ultimate goal for many of these companies is to eventually gain access to the US market. Currently, the US market is closed to foreign companies, but that may change in the near future with several lawmakers looking to regulate Internet gambling in the US.
While the companies wait on US regulations, they will focus their attention on newly opened markets in France and Italy. European countries have all started to explore their online gambling laws, and many are now starting to come into compliance with European Union trade agreements.
PartyGaming recently settled a legal dispute with the US and has not accepted US players in the past couple of years. Bwin stopped accepting US players when the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was created back in 2006. With both companies appearing to be clear of problems with the US, the new company would likely receive considerable attention when regulations are put in place and online gaming licenses are awarded.
PartyGaming was one of the major players in bringing online poker to the forefront of society's all across the world. PartyPoker was considered to be the biggest online poker site in the world for several years. PokerStars and Full Tilt have become the new standard by which online poker rooms are judged.