Each December we pick three Winners and three Losers to summarise the year just gone. The second instalment in our week-long series sees bwin.party saddled with the unwanted tag of loser. The company has had a pretty bad time for most of the last three years but 2013 took it to new lows.
To name bwin.party a loser in 2013 seems a bit like a case of stating the obvious. If 888 was our most obvious winner, bwin.party was clearly the most obvious loser. With revenue and profit slumping to new lows with each successive quarter, the continuing uncertain regulatory environment in its largest market, the much-delayed relaunch of its flagship product and the CEO due in court on criminal charges, it is difficult to see how much worse it could get. bwin.party chief executive Norbet Teufelberger believes not much worse, describing the company's third quarter performance as "the floor in what has been a transitional year".
bwin.party declined the opportunity of an interview to address the points made in this article but if it had not it might have pointed out a silver lining. Because, believe it or not, it could have been worse. The company managed to get US operations off to a solid start in New Jersey and currently leads the poker war there, and will be hoping, nay... praying for a German licence in early 2014. Both represent potentially huge markets for bwin.party and a route back to its former glory. The company has also managed to launch a series of new products although none of them seem to have had a noticeable effect on the figures as yet.