|Four founder members of online gaming company PartyGaming have seen £1.8 billion wiped off the value of their holdings since news broke at the weekend that US Congress had passed the Internet Gambling bill.|
The company’s biggest shareholder Anurag Dikshit, saw his 29% stake nosedive from £1.24 billion to £467 million, a loss of £773m in the space of three days. Dikshit recently stood down from the board of the Gibraltar-based company to take on a role as head of research and special projects, with responsibility for creating games.
Two other founders, Ruth Parasol and Russ DeLeon, who each have 14.9% of the gaming group, have seen the value of their stakes fall by £397m since Monday to £239.4m at the close of play yesterday. Vikrant Bhargava, the fourth founder, has also seen his 7% stake tumble in value by £230m to £138.8m.
PartyGaming also moved to dismiss a report claiming it must negotiate a new loan facility with its banks within 30 days of the bill gaining approval. The Financial Times said the move was prompted by a clause in a $500m loan agreement allowing its lenders to call in the loan in the event of an alteration in US law that affects PartyGaming's position in the country.