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Gambling giants strike deal on reporting rules

The most powerful companies in the online gambling industry have agreed to
undertake a collective overhaul of their company reporting in a move aimed at
standardising the sector’s disparate accounting.

At a special summit held in Gibraltar last week, PartyGaming, 888 Holdings,
Ladbrokes, Sportingbet, CryptoLogic and Carmen Media Group agreed to implement a
universal set of key performance indicators (KPIs) that will provide comparable
reports in the sector.

The largest groups will now disclose their cost per player acquisition, real
money sign-up takings, unique active players and yield per unique active player.

Analysts said the move from the leading internet gambling companies marked a
huge stride forward for the industry.

‘We have been striving for sometime to get online gaming companies reporting
on a similar basis. It is good for the industry that the biggest groups have
agreed,’ said Andrew Lee, a PartyGaming analyst at Dresdner Kleinwort

Lee said the most important outcome of the summit was that the companies
would not only use the same KPIs but also calculate these KPIs consistently.

‘The KPIs have to be done on a comparable basis. We don’t just want
disclosures of revenue per customer, but revenues per customer across all the
products,’ Lee said.

The host of the KPI summit, Martin Weigold, the group finance director of
PartyGaming, said that the agreement would enhance ‘understanding of the

‘This will improve transparency and remove any confusion over reporting
differences between online gaming companies,’ said Weigold.

BDO Stoy Hayward partner John Barker said the initiative showed that the
industry was ‘maturing’.

‘The industry is developing rapidly and it is important that the reporting is
in place so that people know what is going on,’ said Barker.

BDO Stoy Hayward, which audits PartyGaming, Sportingbet and 888 Holdings,
took part in the summit, helping to bring the major players together.

The industry is now hoping to get smaller players to report under the new KPI
regime. Lee said that despite the highly fragmented nature of online gaming,
smaller companies were likely to follow the example of the industry leaders.

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