PartyGaming Founders Face Big Loss
By James Mc
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.

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