PartyGaming Ready to End US Online Casino Dispute

PartyGaming Ready to End US Online Casino Dispute
PartyGaming executives are optimistic the company is close to resolving its longtime feud with the US government over gambling play the company accepted from US citizens. PartyGaming’s US operations were mostly based on online poker and shut down after the passage of the UIGEA in 2006. Still, the US Department of Justice persists in investigating the online casino operator, creating the necessity for a settlement.

US law, as set by court decisions, holds that only Internet sports gambling is illegal, while no statutes address online casino gambling or Internet poker. But the DoJ insists that all online gambling is illegal, and has harassed PartyGaming executives and other online gambling operators.

While PartyGaming never engaged in US sports wagering, the company has found the pressure from DoJ efforts to be quite wearying. Company co-founder Anurag Dikshit paid an astounding $300 million fine and is awaiting a possible prison term because he could no longer handle the US persecution.

Still, no criminal charges have been filed, and PartyGaming CEO Jim Ryan says no present company personnel will admit criminal activity. Martin Weingold, PartyGaming finance director, expects to settle for roughly $150 million.

Despite never having broken laws, PartyGaming officials feel the resolution with the US is the best move for the company’s future. Stock value has rallied since the announcement of a possible deal with the US.

Further, by clearing their company name now, PartyGaming management positions the online gaming operator to better handle a re-opening of the US market. Companies in good standing with the US government are expected to receive favorable treatment when licensing of Internet casinos is underway.

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