London Evening Standard, market report column
Feb 08, 2013 (London Evening Standard - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
The Governor of New Jersey has dealt a winning hand to online gambling outfits. News that the US state of New Jersey is close to allowing internet gambling has got the City betting it is the first step to other states relaxing their legislation.
Shares in Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment and 888 Holdings cleaned up today on the news. Mid-tier dweller Bwin.Party jumped more than 18 percent -- gaining 21.4p to 138.2p -- and small-cap 888 totted up 15.25p to 131.4p.
Numis' gambling man Ivor Jones said: "This is much better news than we had expected." Jersey has a population of around nine million and Jones thinks it will be a "mid-ranking online gambling market" but says the move by Governor Chris Christie will "encourage some other States to license online gambling... and will... encourage Federal legislators, even those who oppose gambling, to pass legislation in an attempt to control the development of the US market."
Christie had previously opposed the Bill and it was expected that he would veto the move outright.
This time he set out the parameters within which he would sign the Bill after amendments -- viewed as a mid-term green light.
The news was enough to send US casino operators shares sky high with Caesars a notable beneficiary.
Caesars and 888 have a joint venture agreement whereby the internet firm provides online casino and poker systems to Caesars in return for royalty payments. Bwin also has its own American partnership; it works with Boyd Gaming which includes a venture for its poker brands which are operated under Boyd's licences.
The City was betting on a recovery today after strong trade data from China lifted Asian equity markets. The benchmark index suffered at the hands of eurozone concerns yesterday and lost more than 60 points. But today the better global economic data helped the FTSE 100 to recover 21.97 points to 6250.39. The boost from the Chinese data helped miners build up positions toward the top of the blue-chips and Chilean copper miner Antofagasta was 19p better off at 1143p.
UBS ran the numbers on credit checker company Experian and rated it a Buy, up from neutral with a 1300p price target. The shares responded by rising 22p to 1104.5p.
Back on the mid-cap index Cable & Wireless Communications reported trading in line with expectations and said they are increasing investment and cutting costs as part of their planned turnaround but the shares dipped 0.3p to 40.41p.
On AIM, Sheffield and California-based tech group WanDisco has launched a big data product platform and the shares climbed 50p to 722.5p.
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