SHARES in online gaming firms that have avoided the US crackdown surged yesterday, with European firms set to be the big winners.
Shares in Bwin.Party, the firm formed by the recent merger between Bwin and poker site PartyGaming, jumped by almost 30 per cent.
888 recouped losses suffered after merger talks with Ladbrokes broke down last week. Software provider Playtech also made big gains after the shock US action, which claimed gaming firms PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker had tricked banks into committing “elaborate criminal fraud”. The sites’ founders could face 20 years in prison if found guilty.
Execution Noble analyst Geetanjali Sharma said: “The US facing operators have been a drain on the profitability of the European operators.
The closure of the main competitors’ operations and the US legal proceedings initiated against them should benefit European listed operators.”