PartyGaming, better known for their online poker room Party Poker, has agreed to buy World Poker Tour Enterprises (WPT) for an estimated $15.3 million. PartyGaming will pay an initial $12.3 million up front followed by 5% of future gaming revenues for 3 years, which is expected to reach an extra $3 million taking the total cost to roughly $15.3 million. The deal has not yet been closed.
President and CEO of WPTE, Steve Lipscomb, released a statement suggesting that the new deal with PartyGaming is an important move for the WPT brand. “PartyGaming has been an important partner for a number of years, and we are confident that they will be an excellent manager of our brands in the future,” said Lipscomb. This statement is because Party Gaming had sponsored international broadcasts in previous seasons.
Lipscomb, then released another statement suggesting like the Gamynia deal, the PartyGaming deal is far from sealed. “The Board of Directors has determined that PartyGaming’s acquisition proposal is financially superior,” said Lipscomb. “We look forward to working with one of the pioneers and leaders in the poker and online gaming markets to provide a strong vehicle for the WPT brand to continue its global expansion and return to online gaming. Just like the Gamynia agreement, however, this deal is not set in stone. Either side can opt out of the deal if it has not been closed by Feb. 24, 2010. The deal must also be approved by WPTE’s stockholders.”
PartyGaming is the company behind Party Poker. Party Poker once the largest online poker room before it was forced out of the U.S. market, with the introduction of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). However, Party Poker is still the fourth largest online poker room and network online. Only PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and the iPoker network still have more traffic.
If PartyGaming do purchase the WPT, it would suggest that PartyGaming is setting itself up for a return to the U.S market, if and when the UIGEA is overturned.
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