In a pretty major piece of gambling news, It’s rumored that Google could be about to launch a takeover bid for massive gambling operator bwin. The news apparently involves a bid of 200p per share, almost double the current share price of 109p.
The news comes as Bwin prepares for the launch of an online casino in America. The New Jersey based operation is due to go live on November 23rd, according to New Jersey lawmakers. Indeed, that launch could see share prices in the company gain a major boost – should the launch be successful, of course – so Google will be keen to tie up any deal before that point.
The move into the US comes after the major American gambling law changes earlier this year. The changes allow for online gambling to make a return to the US market on a state by state basis, and New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware are battling it out to be the first state to roll out a fully fledged casino.
While Delaware’s Facebook casino has gone live, New Jersey now seem in pole position to launch the first legal, real money US online casino. Search giant Google’s involvement, therefore, could be a signal that they believe the model has potential, unlike Delaware casino operators.
The potential bid comes after Bwin have experienced some pretty major teething problems after the rebrand and relaunch of their Party Poker service. Indeed, the new website has been beset by problems, and the news that they will be charging for eWallet withdrawals from now on is another mark against the poker site.
This news will provide a boost to Bwin, no doubt, but it remains to be seen if it will go ahead. Perhaps it signals the start of another square up between Google and Facebook as the social giant enters the gambling market. We will all have to wait and see.