May 7, 2009 (CAP Newswire) – Reports are circulating that PartyGaming is in talks to acquire Everest Poker, a leading online poker website owned by U.S.-listed GigaMedia Limited. Such a merger could bring PartyPoker in direct competition with PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, the world's largest online poker sites in terms of players and traffic.  

PartyGaming is riding high lately. After the successful settlement of its long-standing dispute with the U.S. Department of Justice, the company seems to be securely in a positive growth mode, seeking out opportunities to expand. And, perhaps thanks to yesterday’s unveiling of new online gambling regulation legislation in the U.S., the company’s stock prices have soared this week, making its position for a possible takeover even stronger.

More positive news for the company, although not for the industry at large: The U.K.’s Guardian news source is reporting that analysts are speculating that U.S. authorities may soon be cracking down on PartyGaming rivals PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker. That could leave PartyGaming in an even more advantageous position regarding market share.

There’s also speculation that PartyGaming may implement some sort of partnership with Harrah’s, the huge U.S. land-based casino chain that’s reportedly about to get into the online game. The Guardian quoted a broker at Daniel Stewart as saying “Also, the appointment of ex-PartyGaming chief executive, Mitch Garber, as head of Harrah's US online division, [is] driving rumours of a tie-up with/acquisition of PartyGaming now that PartyGaming has settled with the Department of Justice.”

The Guardian’s article can be found here.  

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