Posted 3/9/11 : Bwin subsidiary Ongame may be impacted by merger with Party Gaming
David Yu, chief executive officer of online gambling group Betfair, had some interesting observations on the Bwin- Party Poker merger and its likely impact on Bwin subsidiary Ongame this week when he spoke to reporters following the release of his company's third quarter results.
Betfair switched its poker interests to the Ongame Poker Network mid-2010, and posted a 20 percent decline in revenues from the online poker vertical in its Q3 2010 report.
The prospect of Ongame being affected by the merger between Bwin and Party (which has its own increasingly successful internet poker network) has been widely discussed in the industry, although the situation is at present unclear.
It is something that Yu admitted was of concern to his company, saying that he was not yet sure how the issue would pan out once the merger became effective at the end of this (March) month and beyond. He nevertheless remained satisfied with Betfair Poker's involvement with Ongame and said that his company would stay engaged with the network and its owners and monitor their intentions.
During the merger announcements last year, the Bwin-Party Gaming team was candid that decisions would have to be made about Ongame once the merger was effective, and that possible options included selling the subsidiary off.
Betfair is noted for its professional and thorough approach to business, and it is doubtful that the group does not have contingency plans in place. However, Yu was not expanding on these, merely saying that his company has ample experience in the field, always considered possibilities and would take appropriate action once the future of Ongame was clearer.
Regarding the 20 percent decline in poker revenues in the third quarter, Yu said that it was disappointing that some of Betfair's high rollers had not opted to follow the company into the Ongame network, but that the company continued to work on enhancing both product and promos in a bid to entice the players to make the move.
"We need to get the right message across as our poker is now a better product with better liquidity post-migration,” Yu said.