As shares in one of Europe’s biggest sports betting firms fell by more than 10% this morning, beleagured bosses put the blame on FOOTBALL!

The company behind PartyPoker.com and PartyBingo.com said takings were down since April 28 partly because people were watching the Euro 2008 football championships.

Cost-cutting

PartyGaming — which last year claimed more it had more than a MILLION active players — said its online casino was still doing well, as was PartyBingo.com which was “gaining traction” in a sponsorship deal for ITV’sinteractive Bingo Night Live.

But “under-performance” in poker and sports betting meant turnover was “slightly lower than expected”.

PartyGaming said it planned a cost-cutting drive and reductions in marketing to help first-half profit margins  come in “substantially higher” than a year ago.

The replacement of its Canadian chief executive Mitch Garber had also cost it around £2.1m. Garber was a 0.2% shareholder and had been with the firm for more than two years. He has been replaced by Jim Ryan, formerly boss of internet gaming service firm St Minver.






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