January 27, 2010 (CAP Newswire) — Austrian online gambling leader, bwin, and leading European online casino and poker site PartyGaming, are indeed in talks regarding a possible merger, several news sources have recently confirmed.

The talks are, so far, just talks, and no guarantee of a combination that would create a gigantic online gambling company worth than $4 billion. Bwin executives have admitted to but downplayed the story. For its part, PartyGaming admitted the rumors were true, but also stated that it’s in such talks with “a number of companies”.

Though the companies downplay the rumors, they’ve persisted for some time now, and many in the industry are taking them seriously. The merger would completely transform the online gambling industry, especially in Europe.

“Europe’s online gambling market is the world’s largest, at $8.7 billion in 2009,” write Zoe Schneeweiss and Jonathan Browning at Bloomberg.com. “No European gambling operator currently has a dominant position. Among publicly listed operators, Bwin has the largest European market share by revenue with 8 percent, followed by PartyGaming with 6.3 percent and William Hill Plc, the U.K.’s second-largest bookmaker, with 4.5 percent, according to Barclays Capital.” Read the complete story at Bloomberg here.

Both companies saw a significant share rise after the news was confirmed late last week. In related news, PartyGaming’s founder has agreed to sell off the last of his ownership stakes in the company, amounting to about £114 million in value. Read more about that story here.

Info on Bwin’s affiliate program can be found here; info on PartyGaming’s affiliate program can be found at this link.

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