Saturday, June 04, 2005

Part 3(b), More economic impact outside of the online poker industry news;
In the wake of making wlo's float official

I truly meant to leave the online gambling/economic impacts on financial markets alone and forge ahead, but wlo's official float press release has the UK media aflame, with some pretty juicy facts and figures... (how much for that doggy in the window?)

Analysts estimate that revenues from the [online gambling] industry globally have doubled over the past three years to US 9 billion (£5 billion). Some predict that within a decade it could be worth US 125 billion (£69 billion).

[Wlo] said it chose London for its listing because "London is the stock market which bets understands the online gaming marketplace." Sceptics who fear that a second round of hysteria is descending and that online companies are a shaky bet will be noting that the CFSB yesterday raised its target price for internet research leader Google's shares -- which many said would not reach $200 -- to $350. Shares in [fartingbet] have nearly trebled in the last year to value the owner of the [lost/found] Poker site at £900 million.

The online poker market grew by a staggering 466 per cent in 12 months to reach $1.4bn (£770m) last year. Industry sources believe it will double again this year, to $2.9bn.

A rash of other companies are also attempting to tap into the online poker boom, and London is attracting most of them mainly because of strict U.S. regulations in contrast to Britain, even though most players are in the United States. "London is one of the key financial centers and also through the passing of the UK Gambling Bill it is a jurisdiction that warmly embraces gaming and online gaming," Segal said.

The IPO roadshow will not visit the United States.

On one hand, its a given that UK markets should open up naturally to the online gambling boom (both FTSE index/LSE & AIM), since according to research group Forrester, 76% of the UK's 29 million adult internet users admit to regularly placing a bet either online or offline. Gambling is obviously a generally accepted pastime in the UK, even though the sheer numbers of American online poker players dominate the market.

On the other, the UK Gambling Bill was wedged thru by making large concessions in regards to the number of "super" casinos to be constructed (eventually whittled down to one). The UK isn't absolutely laissez faire about the gambling it allows for... BUT it does recognize the potential in revenues that the industry can provide for non-gambling markets (specifically banking & boosts to the stockmarkets; Party's official announcement yesterday bumped up the stock valuation of Cresseid's Testament and the Footsie100 as well) ... and has thus taken a huge step in becoming *the* place to list gaming stocks and headquarter and churn revenue back into the economy... (although, looks like UK is having a hard time convincing Med based ops to relocate from sunny shores to foggy London-- stay tuned for those updates...)

There is one other huge consideration to what these stock floatations truly mean. As many have speculated their potential value and "paving the way" for other ops to do the same, some reflective pundits have noted that:

1) Porn princess Parasol et al lose nothing and gain billions by floating.
2) It may be being rode hot and put away wet: A rush to ipo may be a preemptive strike against any possible repercussions from the hirsute doj arm. By establishing themselves on UK markets and tying up lots of poundage, it becomes a stickier situation if the doj decides to crack the wire act whip -- either by falling in line with Kyl's attempt to simply and obviously make internet gambling illegal, or by pursuing ops without a definite mandate from US citizenry ivorytowered politicos.

By digging in and selling 23% of its soul to UK & worldwide investors, wlo is buying blood protection money... 10 billion dollars is a lot to protect, even against the US' moral minority. Prediction: Clash of the titans, money vs morality style.

And in other, non wlo but economic impact news... 2 NY ad agencies have withdrawn from Gallstone's $20 mil ad campaign for fear of doj reprisals (which resulted in companywide policies to not take up any online gambling ad campaigns). So, next time you see Coproliteman et al hawking your 2nd favorite poker room and wonder why the ads suck SO much, ask the doj why they think they should muscle out mediamakers from profiting on the online poker boom via their (ad) industry and make you watch the dreck left in the wake. (I didn't think Mean Girls was dreck once I watched it, either ;) ...)

That's enuf online poker/"economic impact outside of 20-tabling four skins at a time" news.

Next in asia's rant series... something about hypocrisy and winking ;) Til then, good luck on your search for asia carrerra and puerto rico fairies :)


12:49:22 AM  
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