Poker Still Soaring for Sportingbet

Online gaming shares bounced back yesterday as record profits from Sportingbet proved there is still strong growth in the egaming sector. 
Pre tax profits jumped almost 500% to US$71.4m, while operating profit climbed 291% to US$105m.

And the strong showing pushed Sportingbet shares up 9.4% at the close of trading on Wednesday.Shares in rival firms also benefited from the feel good factor with PartyGaming and Empire Online both finishing the day up 9.8% and 8.8% respectively.And Sportingbet chief executive put aside talk of limited growth saying he saw no sign of a slowdown “in any area”.

The long awaited positive news day for the industry saw some faith restored in the embattled poker sector. The massive rise in earnings at Sportingbet was in part due to a US$49.7m contribution from Paradise Poker, which was acquired in November 2004. Paradise’s active customers rose by 88.5% to 212,000 during the period with average daily rake jumping 88.8% to US$283,824.

But Sportingbet showed strong growth across the board with profits from the non-Paradise part of the group growing by 54% compared to the same period last year. Sports betting gross win was up 9% to US$125.3m, but casino was the most impressive performer with gross win jumping 43% to US$79m. The European region also continued its electric growth, and finished the period with more active customers than any other part of the Group.

Nigel Payne, chief executive of Sportingbet, said he was delighted with the results and said current trading was also very strong. “New customer signups, sports bets and poker games are all at record levels," Payne said.

Editor, - 2005-10-13 11:27:02

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