April 13, 2010 / 7:26 AM / 9 years ago

Bwin plans S.American entry, U.S. re-entry - paper

VIENNA, April 13 (Reuters) - Austrian Internet bookmaker bwin Interactive Entertainment BWIN.VI plans a presence in up to four South American countries within the next two years, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The online operator also intends to retry its luck in the U.S. gaming market when the market is liberalised again shortly.

“We are in talks with possible partners from the casino and media areas; we want to start by 2011 at the latest,” Chief Executive Norbert Teufelberger told Austrian daily Kurier.

Bwin’s previous attempt to enter the United States market was scuppered when it bought Swedish poker operator Ongame in 2006 for almost half a billion euros ($680 million) just before the U.S. outlawed online gambling later that year.

“We have received offers (for Ongame) of in and abouts its purchase price, but we are not interested,” said Teufelberger.

Bwin will release fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday. Analysts polled by Reuters expect average core earnings of around 41 million euros for the quarter. (Reporting by Fiona Flanagan, editing by Will Waterman) ($1=.7354 Euro)

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