PartyGaming hits back at critics

Martin Weigold, the CFO of online gaming giant PartyGaming, has hit back at
detractors who have criticised the group since its listing on the London Stock
Exchange in June.

In his first full interview since PartyGaming’s IPO, Weigold told
Accountancy Age the company had endured unfair criticism since it went
public, and backed the FTSE100 group’s decision to operate out of the tax-haven
Gibraltar and appoint mid-tier firm BDO Stoy Hayward as its auditor.

‘I was disappointed that critics always wanted to focus on the negative
messages when they could have focused on the fact that here was a business that
was the European equivalent of a Google or an eBay,’ Weigold said. ‘This is a
fantastic company with fantastic opportunities.’

The PartyGaming CFO said the appointment of BDO Stoy Hayward as auditor,
making it the only mid-tier firm with a FTSE100 audit client, was because BDO
was the ‘undoubted industry expert in this area’.

He also defended the move to operate from Gibraltar. ‘Gibraltar has a good
licensing regime for online gaming, which did not exist in the UK when the
company was taking a position. Gibraltar is a well-respected offshore centre and
it’s not just online gaming companies that are based there,’ Weigold said. ‘The
amount of bandwidth available in a location is an issue, as is the tax regime so
it is not driven by one factor.’

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