Internet gaming company Entain is reportedly looking to sell online poker room PartyPoker, this according Sky News. Entain has retained the services of Oakvale Capital to work on a possible sale.

Other than that, any details are few and far between, as it sounds like Entain is just in the preliminary stages of a prospective business move. Sky News’ source in the industry believe Entain could fetch about £150 million for the poker room.

PartyPoker, while still a recognized brand name in the world of online poker, is not nearly the player it once was. In the early days of the online poker boom, say 2003-2005ish, Party was the big boy on the block. The site had some of the best deposit bonuses, too, as that was back in the day of poker rooms trying hard to build a customer base and also not really knowing the best way to manage bonuses. Shuttling funds in and out of my Neteller wallet to grab bonuses (bonii?) was a heck of a lot of fun.

But those days are long gone. When PartyPoker and others left the US market in 2006 because of the UIGEA, PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker/UltimateBet rose to the top because they stayed in the US. PokerStars was the only one of that group to survive Black Friday in 2011 (Full Tilt technically did, but just as a skin of Stars).

PartyPoker has certainly stayed relevant, but the industry is dominated by GGPoker and PokerStars now. According to PokerScout, PartyPoker is just 11th in cash game traffic.

Entain has had a rough go of it as of late – its stock price is near 52-week lows, only about a third of its all-time high from September 2021. It has run into regulatory problems, part of the reason CEO Jette Nygaard-Andersen stepped down in December 2023. According to Sky News, activist investors have been building a stake in the company – the implication here is that they want to influence the direction of the business. Shedding PartyPoker, which is no longer core to Entain’s business, could be a way to appease said investors.

Entain’s focus in the United States is its BetMGM joint venture with MGM Resorts International, which has become one of the major players in the country’s sports betting industry. It does operate PartyPoker, BetMGM, and Borgata Poker sites in the US, though they lag behind the more popular platforms, and PokerStars. It is not known what would happen with those poker rooms if Entain sells PartyPoker.

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