There are companies which are jacks of all trades – own soft, casino, poker, bets… Two most famous companies of this nature are presented in the market. In June, 2005, PartyGaming (LSE: PRTY) entered the market – the owner of the known to all PartyPoker plus several casinos (later betting, bingo, financial trading were added). With a starting price of shares at £1,350, they gained in price up to £1,730, which resulted in the total company cost of over $10 bln – a record which will be doubtfully beaten soon! But after bouncing the Americans in 2006, the cost dropped many times; now the share price is only £230 with a total company cost of about £1 bln (or $1.5 bln). The world greatest on-line casino (also with its own soft, plus poker-room, and later other games of chance were added) – wm casino on Net, and to be exact, it’s 888 Plc. Company, was corporatized only a few months later. First, the shares also increased in prices from £170 to £230, but 2006 did not spare it either, though the impact was not that severe, as for Party. Strange as it is, the company experienced a serious drop-down in the spring of 2010; now the shares cost £44, which gives the capitalization of only £150 mln (and it was over $1 bln).
Factually, there are not many companies, specialized in on-line casinos, listed in the stock-market. There are two of them, to be precise; and both entered the stock-market in 2005, the year popular for taking on-line companies to the stock-exchange. Both suffered from bouncing the Americans (though they had been specializing in European markets), and the cost of their shares were comparable. In general, the first online casino to be corporatized was Gaming VC company (LSE: GVC), better known as Casino Club, one of the leaders in the German-speaking market, and also among the roulette fans. Like with many others, after the issue of shares, their growth was witnessed (from £450 to £870), but the notorious 2006 and the ban for the Americans to gamble have dropped the shares many times – to £100. After that, the shares have been slowly growing, reached past £200, but the decline in the last months has again dropped the price to £110. At that, the company capitalization amounts to £35 mln.
Our second hero is 32 Red company (LSE: TTR), owning a 32Red casino online under the same name (then they have acquired several more casinos, and also, lately, presented the stakes). Starting from £130, in 2006 the shares fell to £26, and after a rise, the world crisis arrived, and there were new drop-downs, and now the shares cost about £15, and the whole company – £10 mln.
Finally, let’s see the major diversified players at a glance. They are mainly being European off-line bookmakers with a strong presence on-line, offering not only wagers, but also online casinos, poker, bingo rooms, lotteries, etc. I’ll point out several most meaningful names in this subgroup: William Hill (LSE: WMH), Ladbrokes (LSE: LAD), BWin (Vienna: BWIN), Paddy Power (LSE: PAP). All of them cost the order of 1.2 bln, only the first pair is in pounds and the second one in Euros (now, the pound is by 20-30 percent heavier than Euro). Such companies as SportingBet, Bettson, Unibet, etc. are valued at several hundred million. The price of these companies usually makes the order of several tens – a couple of hundred pounds or Euros, correspondingly. The price of these companies has been fluctuated considerably during the last years, though 2006 did not substantially affect the cost of these companies’ shares, since they were initially focusing on Europe, and the prevailing element of the cost in any case is represented by the off-line part of the business. For some time, Paddy Power and Bettson have been showing not very bad results among the mentioned companies, despite the crisis.