PartyGaming, operator of PartyPoker.com, reported a large first half loss for the first six months of 2006, the result of the anti-online gambling legislation in the United States last fall.

In 2006, the company showed a profit of over $298 million for the first half of the year, but the loss of its U.S. customers showed in a net loss of $50.6 million for the same period this year.

It was not all bad news, however.PartyGaming’s non-U.S. customer base has grown by leaps and bounds, increasing by over 400,000 during the January through June period.That is an 83 percent jump from the first half of 2006.As a result, continuing earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization increased 29 percent to $36.9 million on revenues of $213 million, a 42 percent increase.

PartyGaming’s shares on the London Stock Exchange were up 23 percent to 28 pence on Wednesday.The share price peaked in July 2005 at 179.5 pence.

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