Sportingbet And Unibet May Join Forces In 2011
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The new trend in online gaming is to merge some of the biggest companies in the world to create one mega-company. Already this year, PartyGaming and Bwin created a stir when they merged this summer, and now it appears to more companies are preparing to join forces.
Sportingbet is one of the largest online gambling companies in the world, and they have a specific rival, Unibet, based in Sweden. Reports have now surfaced that the two companies have begun discussions that could lead to a merger, although that is not expected to take place until 2011.
The laws in the US may have a lot to do with the jockeying for power that is going on in Europe. The European companies would love to be in a position to enter the US market if it is opened up to outside companies, and by merging, the new companies being formed will be in a strong position to gain licensing in the US.
A proposal has already been approved in the House Financial Services Committee earlier this year. The legislation, however, is not expected to be voted on by the full House before the end of the year. If the lawmakers do not vote on the bill, Representative Barney Frank would have to start the process over again next year.
The chances of legislation passing next year are slim with the Republican Party taking control of the House. Rep. Spencer Bacchus has been a long-time opponent of online gambling, and he likely will become a major voice in the Financial Services Committee moving forward, at least for the next two years.
Sportingbet has seen revenues jump in the past fiscal year by twenty-seven percent. That figure was aided, according to the company, by a large increase in betting in live sporting events. The 2010 World Cup was a driving force behind the sports betting this summer.
Sportingbet recently reached an agreement with the US stemming from bets they accepted from US citizens back from 1998 to 2006. That agreement not only helps Sportingbet avoid prosecution, but also eases the strained relationship with the US, which could result in licensing in the country in the future.