Wednesday September 19,2012 : MORE DETAIL ON IGT PULL-OUT FROM EUROPEAN ONLINE POKER (Update)
Business “shifted from dot-com to dot-country,” says chief exec
International Game Technology chief executive Patti Hart expanded on her company's withdrawal from the European online poker market in an interview with the Bloomberg business news agency Tuesday.
Hart explained that the business shifted from dot-com to dot-country, commenting: “There’s less profitability and the product becomes less interesting.”
The IGT decision came after the company spent $115 million last year on acquiring Entraction Holding AB , and is attributed to national regulatory changes in Europe that effectively killed the business model.
Various countries barred their residents from playing with customers in other nations, Hart said.
She opined that Europe provides a lesson for the United States, where the legalization of online poker is developing on a state-by-state basis rather than at the federal level.
Companies planning to offer online poker in the U.S. will “have to look at their own economics,” she said. “It’s much more challenged when it’s a single state.”
IGT stock has declined 25 percent this year.
Bloomberg reports that online gambling generated Euros 24.6 billion ($32.1 billion) in revenue worldwide last year, with Japan, the U.K. and Germany the largest contributors, according to researcher H2 Gambling Capital.