Gibraltar-based PartyGaming launched its PartyPoker website eight
years ago. At its busiest, it has 65,000 customers playing in games
involving eight players, such as Texas Hold’em.
The site lures players with promises of giant prizes. Entrants to
online tournaments pay as little as $32 (£17) for the chance to grab a
place at a $2m tournament on a luxury cruise liner.
Its success mirrors the huge growth in online poker in Britain, which
has alarmed pressure groups already upset by changes to gambling laws
that could herald a wave of mega-casinos.
PartyGaming has refused to commit itself to a public listing but most
City observers believe it is only a matter of time before it
rubber-stamps plans for an initial public offering in September.
The company yesterday announced the appointment of Sage Group
chairman Michael Jackson as non-executive chairman. Former 3i chief
executive Brian Larcombe is to be non-executive deputy chairman.