Glorious History of Party Poker - From Zero to Multinational PLC
Ten years later, Party Gaming is a world leading online gaming operator, running its own software since 1998. The Party Poker site was launched in 2001 - it's now one of the biggest poker sites in the world.
Party Poker as a huge, stock traded company
In 2005, the company was floated on the London Stock Exchange, at an amazing total value of £4.5 billion.
With the launch of Party Casino, Party Gammon and Party Bingo in 2006, players can now move between hundreds of games using the same user account and the same cash account.
The addition of graphical links to blackjack and casino games at the poker tables wasn't appreciated by all poker players. However, with the option of not showing them, that criticism has probably gone quiet.
Hard blow from the US legislators
On the "fatal day" of October 13, 2006, the US Senate passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), thereby in actual fact making it against the law to offer online poker games to US citizens. A few international gaming company managers were detained.
This lead Party Gaming, and many other poker sites, to quickly block US based players from playing at their site. This step was carried out long before the new law was actually in force, in order to avoid any legal uncertainties.
When waiving goodbye to the Americans, Party Poker lost more than half its customer base overnight, and the stock price took a dive. Staying in business after such a blow is a sign of great strength, and to remain in the absolute top among the biggest poker sites - well the word miracle may seem a bit inappropriate in the gambling context, but nevertheless.
Exploring global markets
Other parts of the world are getting onboard the online poker train all the time, like big parts of Europe and Asia, which in itself is a huge market. The yearly Party Poker Million week-long cruise is a hugely popular attraction.
At this writing, the legal status of online poker in the US is under hard debate. A possible return to poker of millions of US players is obviously bound to take Party Poker toward new all-time highs in online poker player volumes.