Is Google getting ready to buy Bwin.party? That’s the juicy rumor that’s spreading like wildfire through gambling and financial media today.

The story was first reported by Geoff Foster of the UK-based Market Report. According to his, unconfirmed, account Google is readying a 200 p ($3.17)/share cash offer for oft-troubled operated and wants to have the deal done before regulated Internet casino gambling launches in New Jersey on November 23. Bwin.party is set to partner with Boyd Gaming and MGM Resorts on a New Jersey igaming product that’s connected to the popular Borgata Casino and Hotel.

News of the supposed offer boosted Bwin shares by a little over four percent on the London Stock Exchange.

The big, and completely unanswered, question is why Google would suddenly want to jump into the igaming market at all?

Though regulated Internet gambling is expected to be big business in the States, Google’s hardly been a friend to gambling in the past. And if Google was really interested in Internet gambling, why have they waited until now to get their feet wet?

At the same time, Google has no problem getting into all sorts of businesses and projects that seem far removed from its core search/advertising business. This may be a case of a company that’s flush with cash taking a chance on a ground floor business opportunity with big potential.

So far, neither Google nor Bwin.party have commented on the rumours.


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