9/24/2012

Bwin.Party Shows Profit And Revenue Increases like rocket - September 2012

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News: Bwin.Party Shows Profit and Revenue Increases like rocket ship

Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, the giant online gambling king, released its financial figures for the first half of 2012, showing a significant rise in overall profits and revenue, despite the fact that its online poker arm did not perform strongly. Bwin.Party's revenues grew 3% to €410 million, in comparison to the €398 million recorded in the same period last year, while Net profit climbed dramatically from €81.9 million last year to €92.3 million in the first half of 2012. Other figures released by Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment included: A rise in revenues for Bwin's sports betting arm from €125.7 million in 2011 to €128.1 million in 2012. A rise in casino revenues from 2011's €124.3 million to this year's €139.7 million. A drop in bingo revenue from €33 million in 2011 to €31.5 million in 2012. A drop in poker revenue from €104.9 million in 2011 to €96.5 million in the first half of this year. Spain Remains a Challenging Market Despite Bwin.Party profit increases, the group made a challenging entry into the Spanish gambling market earlier this year, beginning with a €31.5 million one-off payment to the Spanish government for back taxes. The group said in its statement: "The Spanish tax authority contacted all of the major online gaming operators and made clear that, in their opinion, any online operators that has ever accepted customers from Spain has an obligation to pay Spanish taxes under two laws, one dating from 1966 and the other from 1977." While Bwin.Party was eventually awarded a license to operate in Spain, the group's Chief Financial Officer, Martin Weigold confirmed that the group is still finding the market challenging because of the tough recession which has hit the region. He also conceded that Bwin.Party was finding the Italian market difficult to break into for the same reason. Australia and New Zealand remain on the radar, but would not be drawn into specifics. Focus on Online Poker... Bwin's co-chief executive officers, Jim Ryan and Norbert Teufelberger spoke about the group's online poker offering which amounted to the weakest performance in the first half of the year. "Poker is a key area of focus and we are determined to return it to growth through execution of a detailed plan that includes pooling our poker liquidity as well as repositioning our flagship PartyPoker brand," they said in a joint statement. "We expect both initiatives to have a positive impact on our performance, along with our recently launched FastForward Poker product."
PartyCasino wins Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month' Award

PartyCasino.com has been awarded the Media Man and Casino News Media "Online Casino Of The Month" award.

Bwin.Party's igaming suite has grown a custom to winning awards since they first opened for business in 1997.

The competition for the coveted award was intense again this month with massive bids from both Virgin Casino, PKR Casino and Captain Cooks Casino however there can only be one winner... ladies and gentlemen, that's PartyCasino.com

The award follows PartyPoker's EGR Poker Operator Of The Year and PartyGaming also made the shortlist for EGR Operator Of The Year. Recently PartyGaming's PartyPoker.com also won the Casino News Media "Online Poker Website Of The Month".

The Media Man - Casino News Media accolade is based on a combination of elements including user experience, innovation, trustworthiness, customer service, gameplay, affiliate program offerings, newsworthiness and company values.

PartyCasino.com is one of a number of Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment brands.

The most popular PartyCasino.com games of late include Heist, Circus, Rambo, Palladium Slot, The Godfather, Sinatra, Slotbox, Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Mission: Impossible, The Terminator, Cleopatra, Sinatra, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, The Amazing Spider-Man, Monopoly, Resident Evil, Melon Madness, Wheel Of Fortune and Mega Fortune Wheel.

The PartyCasino.com jackpot is currently approaching the $6 million mark. Players can also compete for The Big One and Marvel Hero Jackpot, playing the Marvel super hero themed online slot games.

PartyCasino's most recent game releases include Shaaark! SuperBet, Crocodopolis, Alice's Wonderland, Glamour Puss, Super Cubes, Heist, Palladium Slot and Circus Slot.

Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment Co-CEO Jim Ryan has gone on record advising PartyCasinowill soon feature more Hollywood blockbuster themed slots. A few in the know journalists and media agents have been recently tipped off that an all time classic movie adaption will be showcased in the PartyCasino portfolio within 1 month. PartyCasino has the world's most impressive line up of Hollywood themed games, and more are just around the corner.

PartyCasino.com and PartyPoker.com customers can also benefit from rewards and bonuses via PartyPoints and the Palladium Lounge. Be certain to check out the PartyCasino exclusive "Cash Machine" that is being championed as one of the greatest online casino promos ever.

Media Man, Casino News Media and Global Gaming Directory do have a b2b relationship with Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, as they do with dozens of other companies in the gaming, igaming, media and entertainment industry.

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9/20/2012

Genting sells half its shares in Echo Entertainment - 20th September 2012

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The battle for control of Echo Entertainment Group, the operator of Sydney’s Star casino, has taken a new twist, with Malaysia’s Genting selling down half of its 10 per cent stake.

Genting, which operates casinos in south-east Asia, told the stock exchange last night that it had entered into an agreement with Citigroup Global Markets Australia to dispose of a 4.8 per cent stake in Echo at $3.99 a share, a 2.7 per cent discount to yesterday’s closing price of $4.10. That values the stake at around $158 million.

"This comes after a review by the company to rationalise its investments portfolio," Genting said in a statement. "The disposal is not expected to have any material effect on earnings per share for the current financial year," Shares in Genting rose 2.5 per cent in Singapore trade.

Genting and Crown have been circling Echo for its Sydney Casino, which attracts scores of Asian high rollers and last night’s move may allow Crown to close in on what is Sydney’s only casino operator. Crown, which owns a 10 per cent share in Echo, has sought regulatory approval to boost that holding to 25 per cent. An exit by Genting opens the door for Crown to increase its stake.

"The market, looking at the share price, welcomes this [move]. People didn’t understand what the strategy could be in Australia," said Lucius Chong, an analyst at CIMB Research. "This removes a lot of uncertainty because Genting is good at building casinos, looking at emerging growth, whereas Australia is a mature market," Mr Chong said.

Crown, which operates casinos in Melbourne and Perth, has amassed a 10 per cent stake in Echo, and has sought regulatory approval to go to 25 per cent.

Echo also operates casinos in Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Townsville in Queensland. Echo in August reported a net profit for the 2011/12 financial year of $42.2 million, well down on the previous year’s $226 million. Echo recently spent $870 million redeveloping its main asset, The Star, including a $100 million payment to the New South Wales government for exclusivity.

Crown has been lobbying the NSW government to build another casino in Sydney at the Barangaroo redevelopment near the CBD, just across the harbour from The Star.

Malaysian-based parent Genting Group built its stake through its subsidiaries in Singapore and Hong Kong in June, sparking talk of a potential bidding war. Genting had also sought regulatory approval to increase its holding.

It was not clear whether Genting has withdrawn the application. A spokesman for the regulator was not immediately available to comment on the matter.

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9/19/2012

PartyCasino Wins Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month' Award; bwin.party digital BPTY Nordeus Social Gaming Partnership

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PartyCasino.com has been awarded the Media Man and Casino News Media "Online Casino Of The Month" award.

Bwin.Party's igaming suite has grown a custom to winning awards since they first opened for business in 1997.

The competition for the coveted award was intense again this month with massive bids from both Virgin Casino, PKR Casino and Captain Cooks Casino however there can only be one winner... ladies and gentlemen, that's PartyCasino.com

The award follows PartyPoker's EGR Poker Operator Of The Year and PartyGaming also made the shortlist for EGR Operator Of The Year. Recently PartyGaming's PartyPoker.com also won the Casino News Media "Online Poker Website Of The Month".

The Media Man - Casino News Media accolade is based on a combination of elements including user experience, innovation, trustworthiness, customer service, gameplay, affiliate program offerings, newsworthiness and company values.

PartyCasino.com is one of a number of Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment brands.

The most popular PartyCasino.com games of late include Heist, Circus, Rambo, Palladium Slot, The Godfather, Sinatra, Slotbox, Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Mission: Impossible, The Terminator, Cleopatra, Sinatra, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, The Amazing Spider-Man, Monopoly, Resident Evil, Melon Madness, Wheel Of Fortune and Mega Fortune Wheel.

The PartyCasino.com jackpot is currently approaching the $6 million mark. Players can also compete for The Big One and Marvel Hero Jackpot, playing the Marvel super hero themed online slot games.

PartyCasino's most recent game releases include Shaaark! SuperBet, Crocodopolis, Alice's Wonderland, Glamour Puss, Super Cubes, Heist, Palladium Slot and Circus Slot.

Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment Co-CEO Jim Ryan has gone on record advising PartyCasinowill soon feature more Hollywood blockbuster themed slots. A few in the know journalists and media agents have been recently tipped off that an all time classic movie adaption will be showcased in the PartyCasino portfolio within 1 month. PartyCasino has the world's most impressive line up of Hollywood themed games, and more are just around the corner.

PartyCasino.com and PartyPoker.com customers can also benefit from rewards and bonuses via PartyPoints and the Palladium Lounge. Be certain to check out the PartyCasino exclusive "Cash Machine" that is being championed as one of the greatest online casino promos ever.

Media Man, Casino News Media and Global Gaming Directory do have a b2b relationship with Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, as they do with dozens of other companies in the gaming, igaming, media and entertainment industry.

News

bwin.party digital BPTY Nordeus Social Gaming Partnership...


bwin.party digital entertainment plc ('bwin.party', or the 'Company')

Partnership formed with Nordeus to develop a social sports betting application

bwin.party has today announced a further step forward in the execution of our social gaming strategy with the signing of an agreement with Nordeus, the award-winning social gaming company, to develop initially a social sports betting application.

Having launched a new business unit called Win to drive our social gaming initiatives in May 2012, finding the right partner to help us exploit our strong presence in real money sports betting has been a key area of focus.

Founded in March 2010 by ex-Microsoft engineers Branko Milutinovic, Ivan Stojisavljevic and Milan Jovovic, Nordeus has established itself as the market leader in social sports games. The company's Top Eleven football management social game consistently features in the Top 25 list of games by daily average users on Facebook.

Top Eleven is the most-played online sports game in the World with more than 6 million monthly active users and 2 million daily active users on Web, Android and iOS devices. In addition to its popularity on Facebook, the Top Eleven game is available on Odnoklassniki, a Russian social network with more than 100 million users.

Nordeus was voted The Best Gaming Startup at the Europas Awards 2011 and was chosen as one of the 25 hi-tech European companies with 'most potential and successful outcome' by the European Tech Tour Association.

Norbert Teufelberger, Co-CEO of bwin.party, said: "Nordeus has demonstrated that there is great demand for social sports games around the world through its Top Eleven game. We will leverage our unrivalled sports brand and products as well as our online betting and gaming expertise.
Nordeus and bwin.party are two European companies with global footprints and share an aspiration to become clear leaders in social sports gaming."

Branko Milutinovic, CEO of Nordeus, said: "Following the successful release of Top Eleven, we recognised a huge opportunity for social sports betting games based on the feedback from millions of our customers. Since then, we have been seeking the right partner and we are thrilled to have an opportunity to work with bwin.party, market leader in online sports betting and one of the most known brands in sports.

"With Top Eleven, we have proven that our unique approach in social games design is highly engaging and successful. With that in mind, we are convinced that leveraging our development experience in combination with bwin.party's expertise in real-money betting will lead to a highly successful title and establish our companies as the leaders in social sports gaming."

About bwin.party:

bwin.party digital entertainment plc (LSE: BPTY) is a global online gaming company, formed from the merger of bwin Interactive Entertainment AG and PartyGaming Plc on 31 March 2011. Incorporated, licensed and regulated in Gibraltar, the Group also has licences in France, Italy, Spain and Denmark. With offices in Europe, India, Israel and the US, the Group generated total pro forma revenue of €816.0m and pro forma Clean EBITDA of €199.3m in 2011. bwin.party commands leading market positions in each of its four key product verticals: online sports betting, poker, casino and bingo with some of the world's biggest online gaming brands including bwin, PartyPoker, PartyCasino and Foxy Bingo. The Group's scale, technology and strong portfolioof games collectively differentiate its customer offer from those of its competitors. bwin.party is a constituent member of the FTSE 250 Index and the FTSE4 Good Index Series, which identifies companies that meet globally recognised corporate responsibility standards.

About Nordeus:

Nordeus, located in Belgrade in Serbia, is one of the leading and award winning European game development companies and officially the best European gaming startup of 2011. Its Top Eleven game, with more than 6 million monthly active users and 2 million daily active users on Web, Android and iOS devices, is the most played online sports game in the World. Nordeus' goal is to provide a seamless gaming experience to millions of people no matter what device they are using. Quite simply they make social games that are free and accessible to play on any device. Every day its team in Belgrade puts all of its talent into making 5-star games. Every day millions of people enjoy what they have created.

News

Nordeus partnership for bwin.party...


The world’s largest listed online gambling operator, bwin.party digital entertainment, has signed a deal that will see it develop a social sportsbetting application in partnership with Serbian firm Nordeus.

Following the launch of its bespoke Win business unit in May, bwin.party stated that the agreement is a ‘further step forward’ in the execution of its ‘social gaming strategy’ as it looks to capitalise on its ‘strong presence in real-money sportsbetting’.

“Nordeus has demonstrated that there is great demand for social sports games around the world through its Top Eleven game,” said Norbert Teufelberger, Co-Chief Executive Officer for bwin.party.

“We will leverage our unrivalled sports brand and products as well as our online betting and gaming expertise. Nordeus and bwin.party are two European companies with global footprints and share an aspiration to become clear leaders in social sports gaming.”

Based in Belgrade, Nordeus was established in March of 2010 by former Microsoft engineers Branko Milutinovic, Ivan Stojisavljevic and Milan Jovovic and concentrates on the development of social sports games. Its Top Eleven title is now one of the most-played games of its type in the world with in excess of six million monthly active users via the web and Android and iOS devices.

“Following the successful release of Top Eleven, we recognised a huge opportunity for social sportsbetting games based on the feedback from millions of our customers,” said Milutinovic, Chief Executive Officer for Nordeus.

“Since then, we have been seeking the right partner and we are thrilled to have an opportunity to work with bwin.party, a market-leader in online sportsbetting and one of the most known brands in sports.

"With Top Eleven, we have proven that our unique approach in social games design is highly engaging and successful. With that in mind, we are convinced that leveraging our development experience in combination with bwin.party’s expertise in real-money betting will lead to a highly successful title and establish our companies as the leaders in social sports gaming."

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9/01/2012

Melbourne Storm NRL team ink sponsorship deal with Packer's Crown Casino; Sydney news - 31st August 2012

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The Melbourne Storm is raking it in, with an extra $1.5 million in with Crown Limited inking as major sponsor for a third year running, while rugby league in Victoria could also benefit significantly.

Thursday's renewal of Crown's only team sponsorship is believed to be valued at $1 million, give or take a few dollars.

The funds boost joins the $500,000 Australian Rugby League Commission chairman John Grant confirmed on Monday would be delivered to all clubs before October 31.

With a back-of-jersey sponsorship still to be sold before the finals, Storm might well collect another payday.

Club chief exec Ron Gauci advised the funds would be used to help expand the code in Victoria, a cause boosted last month with the debut of born-and-bred local Mahe Fonua.

Storm officials aim to fund youth teams down to under-16s and spend up to keep Melbourne "ahead of the pack" with cutting-edge, football-specific technology.

"We'll continue to invest in the organisation. We'll invest both across the football department and administration," Gauci said.

"We want to continue being best practice and continue being ahead of the game. We'll invest in football operations and pathway development.

"We want to extend the Storm brand beyond the under-18s and we've put in a proposal to the Australian Rugby League Commission to facilitate the growth of the game in Victoria and now have the funds to help make that happen.

"For us, any investment needs to have a long-term benefit."

The push from the Government-backed Victorian Major Events Company to secure more State of Origin clashes in Melbourne could reap even more cash for local rugby league.

Plans are in place to establish a youth academy, with only the arrival of sufficient funding needed to make it happen.

Great to see Crown's casino king James Packer sharing the love and funds around to worthy causes.

It's understood that Sydney's South Sydney Rabbitohs management including king bunny, Russell Crowe, are taking an interest in the way The Storm and Crown do things, as you might expect with Rabbitohs also having a sponsorship deal with gaming - entertainment firm - The Star.


Sydney NRL team also has casino deal...

The South Sydney Rabbitohs are continuing to enjoy their sponsorship deal with The Star (formally known as Star City Casino).

NRL top brass has said rugby league has benefitted from its association with betting agencies because it allows better access to information about irregular plunges.

As the Australian and globally economy continue to go through tough times its going to be interesting to see if more NRL teams ink deals with Australian casino or gaming firms. I for would would bet yes.

And what's to become of the Barangaroo 6 star hotel and casino development in Sydney? Could they also become a sponsor of an NRL team? With James Packer in the think of the action one would think so. Keep watching this space.


Media Release...

Exclusive Deal For 6 Star Hotel...


Last week's announcement by Lend Lease and Crown, that they had signed an exclusive agreement to develop a six star hotel at Barangaroo South, has attracted wide ranging media coverage and commentary. Below is a summary of the media releases and media coverage to date.

Following the announcement, the Authority confirmed it will continue to work with Lend Lease, and now their exclusive rights partner Crown, to negotiate a new location for the hotel in Barangaroo South and oversee the appropriate planning applications that must be approved before any concept moves ahead.

Acting Premier Andrew Stoner last week said the development of such a hotel would represent a significant investment in NSW tourism infrastructure, and today’s agreement is a vote of confidence in the NSW economy.

“It is, of course, subject to all the necessary planning and regulatory approvals but Lend Lease already has an existing permit to build a hotel in Barangaroo South and are negotiating with the Barangaroo Delivery Authority to relocate that onshore,” he said.

“The creation of a hotel of this stature would deliver new jobs in construction, off-site manufacturing and the tourism industry, along with hundreds of millions of dollars for the State economy each year.”

Lend Lease Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Steve McCann, said that Lend Lease and Crown would now work towards achieving the necessary development approvals from the NSW Government for the hotel and jointly develop the concept plan for the hotel. Lend Lease is currently in negotiations with the NSW Government to finalise the hotel location.

“Barangaroo South is a major urban regeneration project that provides a unique opportunity to create a world class commercial, residential, entertainment and mixed use destination on Sydney Harbour. A key part of Lend Lease’s vision for Barangaroo South is to have a high quality international hotel,” said Mr McCann.


*the writer is a shareholder in Crown Limited, Virgin Blue and Ten Network Holdings.

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