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21% Drop in Third Quarter Revenue for bwin.party

Online gaming company bwin.party made headlines several times over the last few months for very positive reasons.

It signed sponsorship deals with a number of top level football (soccer) clubs throughout Europe and relaunched its poker service PartyPoker in September. However, its latest news is not so good, with the company having released third quarter revenues that show a 21 percent year-on-year decrease.

Total third quarter revenues for bwin.party were 145.7 million Euros, which was down from 184.4 million Euros in the same quarter in 2012. The financial news was even worse for the company’s poker service, with third quarter year-on-year revenues falling by 37 percent to 23.3 million Euros. It was the bwin.party service with the biggest decline for the third quarter of 2013.

Bwin.party CEO Norbert Teufelberger said that a number of factors contributed to the overall decline, but was not concerned that they would have a negative impact on the company’s long-term future.

“As we expected, our underlying Q3 performance appears to have represented the floor in what has been a transitional year for the Group,” he said. “We now expect to exceed the €70m target for 2013 that was communicated at the beginning of the year and this will help us to mitigate some of the impact from Greek ISP blocking which began during August.

“In the US, we received our transactional waiver from the Division of Gaming Enforcement in New Jersey on 8 November and are on-track to launch poker and casino as soon as we are cleared to do so.”

Teufelberger may have a point. The blocking of its services from Greek ISPs caught the company off guard and its revamped PartyPoker service took place midway through the quarter, which could have also been a hiccup for bwin.party. That could help explain why the poker area of the company was hit the hardest in the third quarter.

While the company signed sponsorship deals with a number of high profile European football clubs, including Italy’s Juventus, the current football seasons of most European leagues did not begin until the late stages of the third quarter. That means that the full intended impact of the sponsorship deals on bwin.party will likely not have been felt by the company during that time.

It will be interesting to see what future financial revenues will be like for bwin.party, however, its services remain relatively strong going forward. According to PokerScout, PartyPoker is currently the fifth largest poker service with regards to online traffic, with a seven-day player average of 2,200. That puts it slightly behind 888poker, which currently has a seven-day average of 2,300 players.

That means even a slight improvement in player traffic for PartyPoker could prove a big for bwin.party, something the company is hoping will happen.

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