Insurance Giant in Prudent Move for Online Casino Operator
By Marianne Lambert
M&G Investments, fund manager for UK insurance giant Prudential PLC, has invested heavily in Sportingbet. An additional 1.35 shares were bought yesterday, bringing Prudentialís total holdings to 21.31 shares, or 4.92 percent. The shares were purchased at £0.60, and are trading at £0.66 this morning.

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) closed off the US market by making it illegal for financial institutions to handle money from US residents. This brought Sportingbetís share price to its knees: from £451.75 to just £0.31.

There have been four major boosts to gaming stocks recently, particularly those of Sportingbet. The most specific was Bwinís announced takeover plans which comes on the back of rapid growth of the European online gambling market. Additionally, European Court of Justice rulings that a license obtained in one EU country is valid for business anywhere in the others, has, in theory, simplified operations.

In the US, recent moves to repeal the UIGEA have also created optimism. This is further reinforced by Nevada lawmakers Shelley Berkley and Jon Porter, backing a study to determine whether online gambling can be regulated.

As parent of Sportingbet Poker and Paradise Poker, Sportingbet is a particularly attractive company with respectable market share.

 
 
 
 
 
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