In what would be a huge tidal wave through the online (and offline) gambling worlds, it’s being reported this week that Wynn Resorts may be positioning itself to buy Bwin.Party — the largest publicly traded online gambling brand in the world.
Besides the nice symmetry of a Wynn / Bwin brand name, there are other reasons this would shake up the casino gaming world.
Since it was created earlier this year by the merging of German-based Bwin and UK-founded PartyGaming, Bwin.Party has struggled for financial stability. It’s benefited a bit from the Black Friday shutdown of PokerStars, Full Tilt, and other major poker rooms, but overall, its share price has dropped some 45 percent since the new company was formed.
Although The Independent notes that the buyout from Steve Wynn’s company is “vague speculation” at this point, it’s big enough news to excite the industry.
William Hill is also reported to be considering buying out Bwin.Party. And, as that company is UK-owned, it’s probably the more likely scenario.
Bet365 temporarily shuts down Aussie gaming sites
Meanwhile, Bet365 has frozen part of its Australian customer base as it pursues official licensing in the land down under.
“We’re in the process of applying for a Sports betting licence in Australia,” the company recently announced to select Australian customers. “As part of our preparations for this, we regret to inform you that our Casino, Poker, Games and Bingo sites will no longer be available from week commencing 22nd August.
“Any funds currently in your Casino, Poker, Games and Bingo balances will be transferred to your Sports balance. Our Sports site will continue to work as normal.
“Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.”
Aussie affiliates impacted?
Bet365 Affiliate Operations Manager James Woods clarifies the situation for affiliates over at GPWA. “This will not affect your earnings for non-sports products in terms of withdrawals,” he writes.
“However, unfortunately from this date you will not be able to earn off of those Australian players that only play gaming products (nor will bet365), because gaming products will not be available.
“However, we will honour all payments for earnings generated before the date the gaming products are switched off for those that reside in Australia. When you withdraw these earnings is up to you, but we aren’t going to hold anything back for non gaming products after we switch them off.”
Australia suffers under similar scatterbrained online gambling and betting regulations as the U.S. and many European countries pre-regulation. Rabid anti-gambling Senator Nick Xenophon is fighting to outlaw the activity altogether, though with little success.
And lately, major Aussie online betting companies are even offering customers free bets in an effort to amp up their business. Read about that here.