PartyGaming has officially announced that they will be acquiring the World Poker Tour WPT. Now one of the biggest online gaming companies in the world, PartyGaming, has gotten a little bigger, as they’ve bought one of poker’s most familiar and sought after brands. PartyGaming recently acquired WPT Enterprises, the gaming company controlling the World Poker Tour.
Party gaming paid out a whopping $12.3 million down payment plus $3million each year for the next 3 years. The World Poker Tour package included the WPT brand along with all company interests as well as intellectual property in the WPT tour events that were staged in Europe and the United States. One crucial part of this deal is the worldwide broadcasting rights that were assured to the new owners with the ownership of the WPT club.
The WPT was clever at getting around online gambling laws in the US, while PartyGaming had backed out all together. When players subscribe to club WPT, they provide their registrants with benefits such as commercial discounts and a chance to play for prizes in poker tournaments. The tournament system is based on points that are purchased by players from their subscription, not actual cash money, so it doesn’t fall under the illegal sector. They offer a wide range of tournaments and cash games available in exchange for the tournament points players acquire by playing on the site. The gaming website operates under state sweepstakes laws, which are permitted in most states. In fact, the 16,500+ customers within club WPT reside in a total of 37 US states.
The combination of WPT and Party Gaming will create a massive database with over 12 million US players that will now be back under the supervision of PartyGaming. These players will be the focus to promote club WPT, as the plan is to get PartyGaming back into the US online gambling industry and to introduce a WPT casino site and a WPT poker site in Europe, where PartyGaming rules the roost.
This puts PartyGaming back into a very powerful position, close to that of which they walked away from three years ago following the enactment of the UIGEA. Even if the US government fails to regulate online gambling, PartyGaming is back in the US, even if covertly.