Bwin and Party Gaming completed their merger last week and will emerge as the largest publicly held gaming company in the world. The announcement completes a process that began back in July and could radically alter the landscape of the online poker world. Once the announcement was made official, the company formally changed its name to Bwin.party Digital Entertainment.
Opportunities to Compete
This merger is just one of many strategic moves made by online gaming companies in an attempt to compete in a weak global economy and an extremely challenging regulatory environment. Poker sites of all sizes are gearing up for the possibility of legalized online poker in the United States.
By combining forces, the two companies will be better able to to compete with leading poker companies like Full Tilt, which have already aligned themselves with brick and mortar casino giant Station Casinos. Despite all of the wrangling for U.S. market share, there are currently no bills to legalize online poker being considered by Congress.
Changes at the Top
Along with news of the merger, the new company announced some changes in its executive suites. The former CEO’s of both companies, Jim Ryan and Norbert Teufelberger, will share duties as co-CEO’s of Bwin.party. Simon Duffy was named Non-Executive Chairman of the Board; and Martin Weigold will serve as acting CFO.
“We are delighted that our merger is now complete so that we can start with the integration of our businesses and capturing the synergies we have already identified,” the co-CEO’s said in a joint statement, “As we make the transition from unregulated to regulated markets, we have an excellent opportunity to capitalize on our market-leading positions in sports betting, poker, casino, and games as well as bingo.”
If you don’t have a Marketing Speak-to-English Dictionary handy, the previous statement basically mean that these two companies are glad that they’re finally large enough to compete with other, bigger companies in the lucrative gaming business. It goes on to say that they also feel very well positioned to battle for a share of the U.S. poker market, should it ever become legal again.
What it Means for Affiliates
As part of the merger, the companies will be combining affiliate platforms and that could bring mixed results for affiliate marketers.
The Bwin brand has not been very popular in the affiliate world since making major changes to their program last year. The changes weighed heavily in favor of the company and cut off some affiliates from lucrative revenue streams they’d enjoyed for extended periods. Bwin recently made our list of the 10 Worst Gambling Affiliate Programs.
Because the announcement of the affiliate program merger only came last week, details of the new programs were not yet available. But we’ll report them as they become available.
How do you think the new Bwin.party brand will impact affiliates? Let us know in our Casino Affiliate Scams and Warning Forum.