Monday, September 28, 2009

Emilio Gomez Steps Down from Party Gaming Board of Directors, by Jessica Welman - 27th September 2009

PartyGaming lost a member of its Board of Directors last week, when Non-Executive Directors Emilio Gomez stepped down from his post for personal reasons. The official statement from PartyGaming announcing his resignation made no mention of a future replacement and noted a balance between Executive and Non-Executive members of the Board in the wake of Gomez’s departure.

Now that Gomez has moved on, the Board consists of seven members, including Chief Executive Officer Jim Ryan, Non-Executive Chairman Rod Perry, and Finance Director Martin Weigold. Gomez first began his tenure as one of the group’s Non-Executive Directors in December of 2007 and served as the representative for Party Gaming co-founder Anurag Dikshit.

In December of 2008, Dikshit became the first online gambling mogul to face legal action in a U.S. Court when he agreed to forfeit $300 million in earnings from the company after admitting to breaking laws related to the Wire Act in conjunction with Party Gaming. In exchange for the monetary settlement, Dikshit avoided jail time until at least December of 2010 and continues to reside in Gibraltar, where Party Gaming is based. Dikshit stepped down from the Board of Directors in 2006 to serve as the company’s Head of Research and Special Projects. There has been no announcement as of yet as to how Gomez’s departure will influence Dikshit’s influence on the Board. PartyGaming can be found on the London Stock Exchange under the symbol “PRTY.” It is the parent company of the popular online poker site PartyPoker.

Gomez’s resignation is just the latest in a long list of changes for PartyGaming this year. The company’s purchase of World Poker Tour Enterprises (WPTE) in August as well as numerous business-to-business ventures like the purchase of the online bingo company Cashcade and the launch of an Italian online poker site in tandem with Intralot have headlined a busy 2009 for PartyGaming. In its mid-year financial report, Ryan said the company would continue to pursue these profitable business-to-business deals and invest more time and effort in PartyCasino, its online casino business.

In the week following Gomez’s announcement, PRTY shares have seen a slight drop in value, falling from a high of $282 on September 23rd to a low of $263.80 towards the end of day on the 24th. At the close of the business day on Friday, shares were trading at $267.60. Despite the slight drop this week, PartyGaming stocks have been on a rise as a whole in 2009, increasing in value from $195 in January to a high of $283 in May to its current trading price of $267.60. (Credit: Poker News Daily)


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