In the wake of numerous announcements from PartyGaming, including their non-prosecution agreement with the US Attorney’s Office and the release of their annual earnings report, the company has disclosed yet another piece of news about the direction of Party Poker. The online gaming site will be partnering with the company Intralot to expand the Party brand into Italy.
Intralot is a Greek-based gaming systems company that provides integrated gaming systems as well as transaction processes for both lotteries and sports betting entities around the world. On Monday it was announced that they would also be the first member of Party Poker’s Italian poker network. As such, PartyGaming will be promoting Intralot’s online poker service through its already existing retail network under the banner Intralot Poker.
Within the press release announcing the strategic partnership PartyGaming Chief Executive Officer Jim Ryan offered his thoughts on the matter, stating:
“Our agreement with INTRALOT represents another significant step for us as we aim to create a strong business-to-business operation. We are excited about exploring opportunities with INTRALOT, a leading global gaming technology and services provider, which has a presence in more than 50 countries worldwide, an extensive business-to-government operation, as well as an established and high growth presence in the Italian market. This is our third business-to-business deal in 2009 and we are confident of continuing to build our portfolio over the coming months.”
Intralot CEO Constantinos Antonopoulos also has lofty aspirations for the new partnership, adding:
“We are very excited about our partnership with PartyGaming, one of the world’s leading operators that offers high quality online gaming solutions. We are confident that our first cooperation in Italy will set the basis of a fruitful partnership in various markets globally and will enhance INTRALOT’s own online gaming solutions and services.”
The country of Italy has a long and somewhat tumultuous history with online poker. The country that once attempted to ban online poker altogether eventually decided that legalization and regulation of online poker was a viable idea instead. The Italian system is based on a similar government-controlled setup in Britain. The success of government licensing in those two countries have led other European countries like Spain to consider implementing their own regulatory systems as well. Since the legalization of poker in Italy in 2007, the popularity of poker there has grown tremendously and other major online poker rooms like PokerStars have already expanded their brand into the country.
PartyGaming and Intralot are both publically traded companies on the London Stock Exchange and are listed under PRTY and 0HFO respectively.