It may not be the biggest online poker site around anymore, but EGaming Review (EGR) Magazine believes that it is the best. The popular online gaming trade magazine recently named Party Poker the Poker Operator of the Year as part of its recent EGR Awards.
This year’s EGR winners were announced at a ceremony Monday night at London’s Old Billingsgate Market and more than 900 people were in attendance as the publication doled out 18 awards in a host of categories ranging from Poker Operator of the Year to Casino Operator of the Year to Rising Star of the Year.
Party Poker was the winner of the Poker Operator category with PKR earning a special commendation in the same category. PKR also had an outright win for its online marketing campaign. Others on the short list for the poker award included Ladbrokes, 888Poker and Gaming Media Group, but it was Party Poker that walked away with the title. The publication cited Party’s, “resilience in 2009 in the face of the market onslaught and reach of US sites,” as well as the company’s recent acquisitions and elaborate plans for re-entering the US poker market.
PartyGaming acquired World Poker Tour Enterprises (WPTE) and settled with the US Department of Justice, prompting many poker insiders to suggest that Party Poker is setting up for an immediate re-entry into the States should the legal standing of online poker change in the future. While Party Poker has not actively confirmed those rumors, PartyGaming CEO Jim Ryan has mentioned the company opening back up to the US in the future in some of the company’s quarterly reports.
Another one of PartyGaming’s recent acquisitions also earned kudos at the EGR awards. The company’s latest addition to its online bingo holdings, Cashcade, merited top bingo honors for its Foxy Bingo site. During 2009, the company launched a free bingo site, Cheeky Bingo and made extensive efforts to heighten their profile outside of the online gaming world. One such example of Cashcade’s efforts is the company’s sponsorship of the popular charity event Red Nose Day.
Two other poker sites were also commended by EGR as “rising stars” in the online gaming community. Gaming Media Group, the operators of online poker room Poker Heaven, won the award while Chili Poker received a special commendation in the category. Gaming Media Group had a breakout year for its online poker room, growing revenues by 65% according to a report from EGR.
PartyGaming poker director Moshe Davidovich accepted the trophy at Monday night’s ceremony and told the magazine, “we work hard to try and stay ahead of the game, and it’s great to be noticed for that.” Last year Party Poker lost out to Everest Poker for the honor, but PartyGaming was named 2008 Operator of the Year and lauded for the company’s social awareness. This year, the top honor of Operator of the Year went to bwin with a special commendation going to bet365.

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