Page last updated at 15:40 GMT, Tuesday, 7 April 2009 16:40 UK

Partygaming reaches US agreement

Playing cards

Online gambling firm Partygaming has reached a legal settlement with authorities in the US.

The agreement ends an issue that has dogged Partygaming since 2006, when the US passed laws that in effect made online gambling illegal there.

Shares in the Partypoker website operator jumped 14%, to 250 pence, after it said it would pay a charge of about $105m to settle the claims.

Other gambling stocks gained on the news. 888 Holdings rose 7.8%.

The settlement was reached with the US attorney's office for the southern district of New York.

Gambling act

In October 2006, President George W Bush signed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, criminalising the transfer and handling of payments from online gambling.

The move caught the industry off guard, and set in motion sweeping changes which saw Gibraltar-based Partygaming withdraw from the US market, where it collected most of its revenue and profit.

Since then, shares in Partygaming and other gambling stocks have dropped sharply. Partygaming's shares have fallen for the past three years and were down 32% last year.

Partygaming said revenue in the first quarter fell to $100.1m, from $129m in the same three-month period last year.

Poker revenue declined to $53.6m, from $80.7m.

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