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Poker Business News From Europe

by Card Player News Team |  Published: Apr 01, 2010


Francais des Jeux and Barrière in Online Poker Move
With the regulation of the French online gambling market on the cards for this year, Francaise des Jeux (FDJ), the French lottery and sports betting monopoly, has joined forces with the Barrière casino group to offer an online poker room which will compete with the many others anticipated to flood the market when it opens.

According to French newspaper Le Figaro, the FDJ had a very good year in 2009, and intends on moving from number three to number two on the worldwide lottery scale, so that it would be in front of Spain and behind Italy. Before a controlled opening of the market even occurs, Le Figaro states that 750,000 French people play online poker, and in the face of future competition, the French intend on preserving their monopoly on online gambling.

Currently, all gambling in France is controlled by state agencies Francaise des Jeux and PMU but the new law will see private companies regulated and licensed.

The move will be subject to the agreement of the Arjel, the authority of regulation of online games in France.

Ladbrokes Poker Customer Data Compromised
In January, British bookmaker Ladbrokes confirmed that a “limited amount” of its customer data had been stolen.

UK newspaper the Daily Mail reported it had been approached to buy the details of 10,000 Ladbrokes customers while also being offered access to its database of 4.5 million people in the UK and abroad. The paper said the information contained “customers’ home addresses, details of their gambling history, customer account numbers, dates of birth, phone numbers, and email addresses.”

In a service message on the poker client Ladbrokes said, “This message is to inform our customers that Ladbrokes has been victim to the theft of a limited amount of customer data. We would like to make it clear that no customer banking details or Ladbrokes account log-in details have been compromised in any way.”

The Daily Mail alerted Ladbrokes to the approach made by what it described as a “mysterious Australian” who claimed to be a computer expert who worked for Ladbrokes in the UK.

Poker Revenues Boom at Leisure & Gaming
Leisure & Gaming Plc, the parent company of, has announced its revenue from poker tournament fees jumped to €14.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2009, up significantly from the €2.7 million earned in the same period of 2008. The company said the average weekly participation in tournament fees had grown from €0.8 million per week in the first quarter of 2009 to €0.9 million per week in the second quarter, before dropping in the summer holiday period to €0.8 million and then increasing again in the fourth quarter to €1.1 million per week.
Leisure & Gaming
Italy was the premier growth market for poker with the volume of sports betting and poker tournament revenues generated by Italian customers hitting €26.5 million from €18.1 million in the final quarter of 2008 comprising, the company said, “a significant growth in poker and a small reduction in sports betting”.

Chief executive Richard Creed said, “Poker activity in Italy has increased and now contributes 30 percent of net win.”

PartyPoker Founder Sells Remaining Stake in Company
PartyGaming Plc founder Anurag Dikshit has sold his remaining stake in the company and plans to “move on” from the online gaming sector. Dikshit, who was fined $300 million by U.S. authorities in 2008, sold his last tranche of 38.8 million shares at 270 pence each in January 2010, netting himself £105 million. The co-founder of the company in 1997 sold two-thirds of his shares in October 2009.

Elsewhere, Aussie poker pro and businessman Tony G has joined PartyPoker as one of its sponsored pros after the company announced it had acquired the assets of TonyGPoker players will be migrated to Party-owned

In Denmark, PartyGaming signed a five-year deal with Danske Spil, one of Europe’s largest gaming and betting companies. The agreement will see PartyGaming provide the organisation with an online gaming platform for poker and casino games in Denmark.

iPoker Revenue Up 12 Percent in 2009
Playtech, owner of the iPoker network, has announced its key performance indicators for the final quarter and full year for 2009. Poker revenue was up 12 percent in the year to December 31, 2009 to €33.8 million from €30.1 million for all of 2008. Poker revenues for the final quarter (October to December) totalled €8.4 million, up 3 percent on the previous quarter. However, this represented a drop of 2 percent when compared to revenue from poker in the final quarter of 2008 when it was €8.6 million.

Overall, Playtech saw gross income up 23 percent to €137.3 million for the 12 months to the end of December 2009 from €111.5 million for the year to the end of 2008.

New Businesses for Poker Sites
Euro Partners, an affiliate program for Playtech licensees, is tapping into the world of sports betting with This new online sportsbook platform comes from the makers of Titan Poker and is the first platform of this kind to be produced by software developer Playtech.

The site which covers all kinds of sports and leagues worldwide does not need to be downloaded, and once signed up, deposits can be used at either Titan Poker or Titan Bet via a single-wallet cashier. The site will be available in German, French, and Spanish; with Portuguese and Scandinavian languages soon to come. There is a 100 percent bonus for first time deposits of up to $250, as well as a 50 percent up to $200 bonus at Titan Poker.

Meanwhile, Devilfish Gaming Plc, owner of, has launched a new online bingo site with UK poker legend and ambassador for DevilfishPoker, Dave Ulliott, calling the bingo numbers at the new site, Ulliott, famed for his bawdy sense of humour and penchant for the ladies, calls out the numbers in his dry, northern English accent and puts his own spin on the art of bingo calling with some traditional saucy rhymes.

“Online bingo is the most fun you can have on the web with your clothes on,” said Ulliott.

PartyPoker Revenues Fall Year-on-Year
PartyGaming Plc, parent company of PartyPoker, saw poker revenues fall 11 percent to $49.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2009 from $55.1 million a year earlier. However, this figure was up 9 percent on the third quarter of 2009.
Average daily players were down from 536,000 in the fourth quarter of 2008 to 517,000 in the fourth quarter of 2009.

The fourth quarter 2009 performance was up 3 percent on the previous quarter of 2009.
Year-on-year active player days were down 2 percent, yield per active player days dropped 8 percent, unique active players fell 3 percent, and average daily revenue was 11 percent lower.

Quarter-on-quarter (Q4 2009 compared to Q3 2009) these metrics show improvement with active player days up 4 percent, yield per active player days jumping 6 percent, unique active players growing 1 percent, and average daily revenue up 9 percent.

The latest figures do not include the World Poker Tour which the company acquired last year. It generated $700,000 for PartyGaming.