Finance news sponsored by SBTech

In the first month of 2010 it was business as usual for Italy's Big 3 gaming companies as they continued to dominate the sports betting market with almost 65% share, but foreign operators did have more success in January within the online poker business, gaining over 40% of the market.

With an improved performance from its consumer facing business during the fourth quarter, 888 Holdings plc has reported total operating income of US$247 million for the year ended December 31st, a fall of 6% versus the same period last year, despite strong growth from the company's Dragonfish B2B business during the year.

Buoyed by the strongest quarterly performance yet from its growing online casino product, PartyGaming plc has reported a 32% increase in revenues to £132.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2009, with revenues for the full year falling 6% to £446.2 million following disappointing results in poker. PartyGaming's casino product now accounts for 44% of total revenues, just below the contribution from the company's traditionally core poker product.

Following a strong finish to the year, Sweden's Net Entertainment AB said Friday that total revenues for the full 2009 year amounted to SEK300.1 million (€29.6 million), an increase of 46% versus the previous year, as a result of growth from existing licensees as well as the launch of new customers.

With total revenues falling by more than a quarter during the 2009 fiscal year, Canada's Chartwell Technology Inc has announced the closure of its Chartwell poker community, PokerNexus, as the company looks to devote its resources to the advancement of its core casino gaming system and the recently launched Chartwell Games Platform.

Benefiting from a solid performance from the company's wagering division despite the uncertain economic conditions, Australia's Tabcorp Holdings Limited has reported a 3% increase in revenues to AUD$2.19 billion for the half year ended December 31st.

Online lottery provider Tipp24 said this week that its insurance company is refusing to pay out on a claim filed in connection with the €31.7 million winning payment which it made last September, causing Tipp24 to again restate its consolidated EBIT forecast for the 2009 fiscal year to €21 million, a drop of €22 million on the previous forecast.

In a record year for the Norwegian state-controlled gaming operator, Norsk Tipping has reported its highest ever annual turnover with NOK10.9 billion (€1.34 billion) for 2009, following strong growth in its interactive channel which saw internet and mobile turnover soar by more than a third versus the previous year.

Leisure & Gaming plc has reported a 12% increase in total net winnings to €6.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2009, following strong growth in the company's Italian poker offering.

Shares in Webis Holdings plc fell by nearly a quarter in London yesterday after the company reported a 21% decline in group turnover to £56.4 million for the half year ended November 29th 2009, following a significant reduction in turnover from its fixed odds sportsbook.

Despite a disappointing end to the year with a 3% fall in revenues during the fourth quarter, Playtech Limited has reported total revenues of €114.8 million for the year ended December 31st 2009, an increase of 3% over the previous year, buoyed by strong growth from the company's poker product which saw revenues increase by 12%.