Online gaming group PartyGaming reported a 47 percent increase in its first half core profit on Thursday and said it was confident for the full year.

Whilst regulatory uncertainties continue, the board remains confident about the group's full year prospects, said Chief Executive Mitch Garber, referring to attempts by some U.S. politicians to ban online gaming there.

The owner of the PartyPoker and PartyCasino Web sites said first half underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose to $380 million (202 million pounds) from $257.7 million in the first half of 2005.

New player sign ups have returned to levels seen in the first quarter with over 3,000 new additions per day, it said.

Average gross daily poker revenue was $2.9 million in July and $3 million in August.

PartyGaming is paying a first interim dividend since its flotation last year, of 3 cents per share.

Its share price closed at 117 1/4 pence on Wednesday, valuing the group at around 4.7 billion pounds.