Merger March 2011

Coming up for a year after the merger of Bwin and Party Gaming I wanted to look at whether Sports betting customers are getting a better deal. In a couple of months it’s the year anniversary of the two betting giants getting into bed together, an event that was proceeded by much public spats and speculation, kind of like an internet gambling Brangelina!

After much discussion in the gambling press the merger was announced, speculation was rife on the choice of name, with “Pwin” being an early favourite before “Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment” was decided upon.

Brangelina Bwin and Partybets

Brangelina!

History of Bwin and Partybets

Bwin began as Betandwin in 2006, originally only having a dozen employees. After some phenomenal success they floated on the Austrian stock exchange and began a series of aggressive aquisitions.

Party Gaming began nine years earlier than Bwin and formed in the Carribean, their flagship brand PartyPoker launched in 2001 and they floated on the LSE in 2005.

In the mid 2000′s it was far from plain sailing for both companies with the seismic blow of the US going offline, and key players such as Dikshit (founder of Party) left the business.

The whole history of the two companies could fill a book, and I wanted to look at the service for sports betting customers.

Bwin and PartyBets Sports Betting

Bwin and Party brought different things to the table, Party being the dominant partner for poker and casino, with Bwin being the big player in sports betting. Post merger there was speculation that the sports betting products would be amalgamated, not least to cut down on duplication of the workforce. At this juncture this doesn’t appear to have happened.
I have always personally tended to overlook PartBet’s product and when set against Bwin there is little to dissuade me from this direction.

Real Madrid Bwin

Bwin Sponsor Real Madrid

Bwin currently offer betting on 37 sports, PartyBets only 19 sports. Over-round percentages (bookmakers margins) for both brands are similar. At the time of this blog they bet to the following on the two sample 1X2 markets, one for Premiership, one League Two:
Norwich Vs Chelsea , Bwin 107%, PartyBets 108%
Aldershot Vs Accrington, Bwin 110%, PartyBets 109%.

In terms of product Bwin wins hands down for variety, and it is a wonder that they don’t provide a white-label for PartyBets. They offer significantly more markets, and the website comes across as the more advanced of the two. Perhaps plans are a foot for the future, I’m not privy to that information. It would be suspected that the transition to dovetail the two companies will take less time than Coral and Eurobet’s long product integration.

Bwin Real Madrid Sponsors

The dominance for sports betting seems to be illustrated by the sponsorship spend that the group balance massivly in the favour of Bwin, with the giant sponsoring Real Madrid, Portuguese League Cup, Moto GP, Euro Basketball and other high profile events.

Bwin Screen Shot

Bwin Screen Shot

PartyBets Screen Shot

PartyBets Screen Shot

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

I have been involved in the betting industry since the late 90’s and have in that time worked for a on course bookmaker (at now much missed Catford Dogs), spent time at a leading spread betting company, and worked for Betfair in their two year start-up phase.

In 2007 I co-founded iGaming supplier Hyperion Gaming with long suffering business partner Alex Lafferty.

Being involved in the industry for so long has given me a good understanding of the wonderful world of online gambling, and I put effort into giving honest opinions, that remain my own!

Chris Denny+

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