Up the Ante
By philip, market leaders in the lucrative world of online poker, is believed to planning to float on the London Stock Exchange, according to The Times newspaper this morning. The company is currently understood to be in talks with investment banks to discuss the wisdom and timing of such a move.

Much may depend on the legal issue of gambling in the US, where the vast majority of custom is based, currently so complex and ill defined, particularly for poker. It is currently illegal to offer American citizens fixed odds betting, but poker do not fall into this bracket, as they merely take a rake of the pot.

It is not yet clear how much PartyPoker is worth, but estimates suggest profits are somewhere in the region between $100 million and $200 million a year. At peak playing times, the site has had more than 50,000 people playing at more than 5,000 tables.

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