Online Casino Shares Decrease
Shares in online casino firms that rely heavily on U.S. customers for revenue have plummeted following reports that legislators are investigating new ways of clamping down on the online casino industry. The drop in the online casino market came following the publication of a warning on a gambling website that Republican Senator Bob Goodlatte is preparing to present a new bill proposing the prohibition of the industry to the House of Representatives in early March.
As a result, large online casino firms 888 and Party Gaming saw their share prices drop substantially on the London Stock Exchange. Party Gaming shares dropped four per cent while 888 shares decreased by five per cent. A number of sports betting sites also felt the implications of possible U.S. legislation when their share prices fell. However, while some brokers are of the opinion that shares in online casino firms are hugely overvalued, others report that fears of U.S. legal action are overblown, pointing out that several large online casino firms have been making strong efforts to reduce their dependence on U.S. gamblers recently.
Senator Goodlatte’s bill is closely related to that put forward to the U.S. Senate last year by renowned anti-gambling lobbyist Senator Jon Kyl. A long time advocate of banning online casino gambling, Kyl’s bill proposed to make the payment of internet gambling sites via wire transfer or credit card illegal. While the bill was subsequently rejected by the U.S. Senate, Kyl has vowed to continue his fight to outlaw all forms of online casino gaming.