26 October 2006


By Simon Packard and Amy Wilson Bloomberg News
October 26, 2006

LONDON PartyGaming, the world’s largest online poker company, lost 75 percent of its revenue when the company shut down its U.S. sites to comply with a new law enforcing a ban on Internet gambling. That has not dented the optimism of the chief executive, Mitch Garber.

“Chaos breeds opportunity and we will seize that opportunity,” Garber said during a conference call last week, when he laid out the strategy of his company for international expansion, particularly in Europe. “The European Union is run in a way that favors our business.”

Britain, Italy and Belgium are opting to regulate Internet gambling, rather than outlaw it, as players turn increasingly to the Web. The EU is pushing countries to scrap any measures that protect domestic companies when those countries open their markets. Earlier this month, regulators told members including France and Austria to stop discriminating against international bookmakers and casinos.

The changes may give U.S. gamblers more ways to evade the ban on Internet betting at home, said William Eadington, a professor at the Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming at the University of Nevada at Reno.


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