An old saying goes like this: “You want to win from the casino – buy it!” In practice, everything is not that simple. On-line and off-line casinos do go bankrupt and close, but we are about to talk of other things. I won’t tell how to start your own casino (though, maybe, I’d write of that either, but later). I would like to discuss, how one can become a co-owner of major well-known gambling companies. I presume, you’ve already guessed that we’ll talk of the companies, which are being joint-stock societies and whose shares are traded in the stock-exchange. By and large, a whole number of major casinos (poker-rooms and more often bookmakers) get listed in the stock-exchange, and, hence, their shares can be purchased by the interested parties.
Certainly, historically, the first to be listed are the well-known companies owning the off-line casinos (such as American Wynn, Las Vegas Sands, MGM and others firms), European gambling monopolies specialized in lotteries (Tipp24 – Germany, OPAP – Greece, SNAI – Italy), major European, mainly British, book-makers (William Hill, Rank group etc.), renowned suppliers of the equipment (IGT). The cost of biggest industry players even now, in the heart of recession, comprises up to several billion dollars. Many of these companies look at the on-line market (such as American casinos) or actively operate in it (European book-makers).
That is why let’s talk in more details about the shares of namely these companies, which are well-known to us by the on-line casinos.
Let’s start from the software suppliers. Among the leaders, Microgaming and RTG are not corporatized, that is, you can’t become their co-owners, but you can buy a couple or more shares of Playtech (LSE: PTEC – hereinafter indications of a stock-market and a share are given in the brackets, i. e. LSE – London Stock Exchange, PTEC – Playtech shares ticker) and Cryptologic (LSE: CRP or Nasdaq GS: CRYP). Playtech shares cost quite a lot – up to 500 pounds per share, and what is curious they are one of the few which have survived the current recession nicely. In 2006, the shares were first issued at the price of about 300 pounds; after bouncing the Americans they dropped down to 170, but on this moment, they’re on the rise again. Today, the overall cost of the company exceeds a billion pounds! And Cryptologic endures problems with clients hence the price is not that encouraging. Since 2000, the shares have diminished more than by 10 times, from $30+ to $2. The cost of the company now comprises only $40 mln.
Several second echelon companies are also presented in the market: Net Entertainment, Chartwell, Parlay (specializes in soft for online bingo rooms), Probability (software supplier for the mobile casinos and mobile poker), Entraction (poker network).
When I saw the cost of Net Entertainment company (Stockholm: NET-B) – over two billion, I got a bit dizzy, but then noticed they were Swedish kronas, meaning, in Euros it would be 10 times less. By the way, the company entered the market in the early 2009, and ever since it’s been mainly gaining in price, and its shares are not that costly – the order of 6-7 per share.