June 11, 2009 (CAP Newswire) — As the fallout over the U.S. government’s attempt to freeze some $33 million in online poker money connected to U.S. companies PokerStars and Full Tilt continues, it's appearing more and more likely that the action probably won’t get too far. Reports hint at the fact that some of the money has already been unfrozen, and many legal experts are predicting the action won’t withstand legal challenge.
Nevertheless, the action has caused a bump to the share prices of those companies' overseas competitors. Leading European gaming companies 888, PartyGaming, Sportingbet, and Playtech are all reporting increased share prices, with PartyGaming boasting the biggest gains. (Some of that rise may come from positive buzz over the company’s recent announcement of a new partnership with U.K. broadcaster “Five” — read more about that here).
Meanwhile, the money freeze has prompted European Union officials to renew their request that the U.S. legalize online gambling, or at least cease its prosecution of gaming companies. The possibility that the issue may be taken to the World Trade Organization (WTO) still remains, although it’s likely that EU officials would first wait to see whether or not Barney Frank’s anti-UIGEA bill passes the U.S. Congress.