Noam Lanir, the Israeli online poker and gambling entrepreneur and marketing expert has sold his remaining shares in Empire Online to Party Gaming for $40 million, according to the Y-news site.
More than eighteen months after the company listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), the indications are that Lanir is heading out of the online gambling business altogether, after revealing that he will use the revenues from the sale of Empire, which total $300 million, to invest in real estate.
The deal with PartyGaming, the world’s largest operator of gambling Web sites, is expected to be finalised by the end of the week.
Some (Israeli) experts interpreted the move as a signal that the two remaining Israeli online gambling companies traded on the LSE, 888.com and Playtech, may be making similar moves following the enactment of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.
Empire was worth $928 million when first traded on the LSE, but its shares have fallen drastically in recent months. The company has an estimated value of $244 million today after its shares fell by 80 percent.
Online Gambling Records Increase Traffic
Online Togel gaming and casino sites enjoyed an increase in traffic in recent months despite the passing of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in the US in October, according to Alexa.com report.
The increases have occurred over a three month period from September 20 to December 20, 2007.
PokerStars has witnessed a three month rank increase of 2,037. The online poker site assumed much of the online poker player customer base left behind by poker sites that abruptly fled the US market such as PartyPoker and Paradise Poker.
Other sites to have fared well in the period include PinnacleSports, which saw a three month increase of 2,032; Bodog, (2,413); Sportsbook.com, (3,116) and VIP Casino, (1,740).
Meanwhile, online gambling websites that have pulled out of the US market have seen some drops in rankings. Bet365 has experienced a decrease of 1,015, whilst CanBet, which only left the US market last month, moved up slightly by 425. Paradise Poker fell 6,935 ranks.
GoldenPalace Casino, which has not left the US market, has fallen 3,497 rankings.
Reports say that an average real money ring game player counts for PokerStars jumped from just over 6,000 to 8,000 heading into November, whilst Full Tilt Poker has seen an increase from 2,000 to 4,000.