PartyGaming plans to expand aggressively outside the United States, but sees no risk of being dragged into the U.S. indictment of a rival for racketeering, the world's biggest online gaming firm said.
As PartyGaming reported a 49 percent boost to second quarter revenues on Friday, Chief Executive Mitch Garber said he was not concerned by the U.S. indictment of rival BETonSPORTS on charges of racketeering and tax evasion.
The results beat some analysts forecasts and PartyGaming's volatile stock rose 5 percent before falling back to its opening price of 87-1/4 pence by 0758 GMT.
BETonSPORTS Chief Executive David Carruthers faces his first court hearing later on Friday after being arrested on allegations of taking illegal sports bets in the United States.
Over $1 billion of combined market value has been wiped off the sector this week as investors speculated the arrest could be part of a wider crackdown on Web gaming. Garber said this could provide an opportunity to make cheap acquisitions.
I've had a very strong M&A focus in my previous life and Martin (Finance Director Martin Weigold) and I have been looking at companies, Garber told Reuters. Any time price becomes more attractive, I guess deals become more attractive.
Garber told a conference call PartyGaming was looking at expanding in Asia and was working on a number of very advanced initiatives in Europe and South America.
PartyGaming revenue rose to $319.3 million in the second quarter from $214.8 million a year earlier.
Deutsche Bank analysts said this was slightly ahead of their forecast and upgraded their full-year core profit forecast to $748 million from $735 million.
PartyGaming's policy of not taking sports bets from the United States - a business that remains legally ambiguous - has been a wise one in the light of the BETonSPORTS indictment, said Garber.
The characteristics of the indictment are very far away from what PartyGaming does, he said. PartyGaming intentionally does not take U.S. telephone bets on sports.
Daily poker revenue rose 28 percent to $2.7 million, while daily casino revenue increased to $0.8 million from $0.1 million