World Poker Tour Bets on Web Gambling
WPT Enterprises (WPTE) reinvented televised poker when it created the popular World Poker Tour show, which debuted on the Travel Channel in 2003. Now, if the company is successful in revitalizing its struggling online poker gambling site, the stock could see significant earnings growth.
Early next year, WPT will launch a new version of its online site, which has been plagued in recent years by shoddy technology that led to frequent crashes.
The company recently purchased software to build a fresh site and take a stab at being a big player in the $13 billion worldwide online gambling business.
With the stock off more than 70% from its 52-week high last year, it could be a nice entry point for investors willing to bet on the future growth story.Currently, online gaming represents less than 10% of WPT's revenue; the rest is tied to television and licensing deals. The existing gambling site gathers a little less than $1 million a quarter in revenue. That's peanuts compared with the $245 million per quarter captured at PartyPoker.com, the world's largest online poker room, owned by Gibraltar-based PartyGaming. Under it new model, WPT has taken over the operations of its site, which it previously outsourced, and purchased a software program from CyberArts to build a new "state-of-the-art poker platform." CyberArts provided the technology for the poker site Mansion.com.
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