Q&A: Martin Weigold on PartyGaming’s withdrawal from US market

You’ve reported above consensus for the first half. Tell us about the

It was a robust performance from continuing operations. Revenues were up 42%
to $212.5m (£104.1m), and clean EBITDA from the continuing operations was up by
29% to just under $37m. I think that’s a very impressive performance from a
business that, at the end of last year, lost 75% of its revenues overnight when
the UIGEA Act was passed in the US.

On a segmental basis, how are online poker, casino, sports betting
and other emerging games faring?

Poker remains the largest segment. It was 66% of our revenues, and 61% of
clean EBITDA. In poker we saw top-line growth of 8%, and at the clean EBITDA
level we saw growth of 2%. That reflects the investment we made in growing new
player sign-ups in the first quarter.

But with the loss of the US and other high-rollers, presumably yields
are down?

Yields are down if you look year-on-year, because in the final quarter we saw
many of the high-rollers move on to sites that continued to accept US players.

But if you look at the trend since then ­ for example, between Q1 and Q2, ­
you will see it’s been reversed. We’ve seen a 10% increase in the yield per
active player day. That reflects some changes we’ve made to the business,
including increased deposit levels and some changes to the rate structure.

How do you see yourself financing future expansion? Do you have the
financial flexibility?

As you would have seen from the numbers, the business is naturally
cash-generative. We generated more than $32m in operating cashflow in this

To the extent that we might want to make any further acquisitions, we can of
course use our paper, like we did with Empire Online and Intercontinental Online
Gaming earlier this year, and we also believe that other financing options are
available to us.

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