BWIN.Party Making Significant Changes

As the U.K. based BWIN.Party continues the process of consolidating it’s operations, their stock price has been taking a significant hit. The struggling economy is considered a major contributing factor as the company’s market cap rate has contracted by approximately 40% under the current management team.

Controversial New Executive Bonus Program
Bwin PokerDespite the outcries from over one-third of shareholders, the company announced on March 31 its intention to institute a new bonus program for executives. The new bonus packages were approved by stockholders in February. Three top executives, CEO Norbert Teufelberger, CFO Martin Weigold and non-executive director Manfred Bodner were all awarded significant stock bonuses. The bonuses were issued under two plans, the Bonus Banking Plan (BBP) and the Incentive Plan (BIP). Under these two plans, Teufelberger’s bonus equated to 1.735 million euros. From a public relations standpoint, this may not be a prudent move. However, management asserts that this is the only way the company can adequately compensate these executives.

Deal Inked with Williams Interactive
In an effort to offer customers a more diverse selection of slots and casino games, BWIN.Party signed a content deal with Williams Interactive, a subsidiary of Scientific Games Corp. The deal will allow integration of Williams Interactive’s remote game server. Customers in Europe and New Jersey will now have a larger group of games from which to choose.

PartyPoker Platform
In a final bit of news, BWIN.Party is in the process of moving their poker platform from the Ongame network. In 2012, BWIN.Party sold the Onegame platform to the Amaya Gaming Group, and began migrating their English based sites to PartyPoker. Over the next quarter, the will continue the migration by moving French and Italian sites onto the new platform. Eventually, BWIN.Party would like to have all their sites operating on the same platform. The PartyPoker brand is one of the most popular platforms across Europe.

IGT All-In on New Jersey

Gamble-OnlineIn anticipation of the legalization of online gambling in New Jersey, IGT has announced a plan to offer its massive catalogue of casino games to gamblers throughout the Garden State.N.J. Poised to Allow Online Gambling

New Jersey has long been home to Atlantic City, one of the largest casino destinations in the world. Like in most of the U.S., however, online gambling has been often limits due to the UIGEA and other factors. That, however, is about to change, and that’s largely because the local casinos are suffering due to increased competition from local states and due to the recession.

IGT Ready to Flex Muscle

International Gaming Technology (IGT) is a Nevada-based company and one of the largest companies in the gambling industry. It has a strong presence in brick-and-mortar casinos, and it develops many of the most popular slot machines, including the spectacular Dark Knight. IGT also has a strong presence in online casinos catered to the European market, and this will make their transition to NJ very easy. The products and services are all ready to go.

NJ Gamblers Rejoice

For NJ gamblers who don’t live in close proximity to Atlantic City, this is an exciting time. Slot machines and other casino games will now be available from the comfort of their couch. Sure, it has been possible to gamble with European-facing online casinos, but that’s a risky proposition for Americans. Now, customers get to deal with companies that have proven track records and get to be protected by the law.

International Gamblers Will Benefit Too

The effects won’t be immediately felt, but this expansion will make a difference for European gamblers as well. The world market is about to get bigger. That will entice companies like IGT to port brick-and-mortar games to the online arena faster and with greater frequency. Companies like IGT will eventually combine networks, too, which will mean significant increases for progressive jackpots and participation in community games.

IGT Leads the Way

Changes to online gambling in the U.S. have been expected for a long time now, but this is the first time we’ve seen a major player react to those changes, and that has created excitement. IGT has its machines on more than 50 percent of casinos in Atlantic City, so this is no small step. It’s worth noting that NJ requires gambling sites to be backed by b&m casinos, and that’s sure to be a good thing for the consumer.