As the mainstream business press ooh’s and ahh’s at the merger of Bwin and PartyGaming, analysts are falling over themselves to figure out the motivations behind the move. Collectively, Bwin & Party appear to be assuming that it will be no time at all before Charlton ‘Moses’ Heston rises from the dead, lifts up his Ten Commandments staff and commands the Atlantic Ocean to part, allowing ‘PartyBwining’ to simply walk into the US market, and that the resulting boost in business will offset the inevitable decrease in shareholder value that results from such ill-advised unions.
If the above scenario is truly what these companies are thinking, they should expect shareholders to revolt much in the same way the Israelites revolted against Moses, because it may take 40 years of wandering in the desert before US officials see fit to give anyone else but Americans the full legal blessing to operate in this market. Clearly, the chief execs of both companies really do enjoy gambling, especially with minority shareholders’ money.
On an individual level, industry insiders are convinced that Bwin’s main interest in merging was to link their own brand with the multi-million dollar payoff PartyGaming bigwigs gave the U.S. Dept. of Justice to forget that Party offered services to American customers pre-UIGEA. Hard to fathom why Bwin would think this ‘innocence by association’ schtick is going to fly in the country where ‘nobody rides for free’. Read more.