by Anton Johan
Following months of exhaustive negotiations, two of the biggest gambling giants in the industry, Party Gaming and Bwin, have announced that they will merge.
The news means that the egaming industry will see its biggest listed gambling company to date.
The potential merger was announced to the London Stock Exchange where both companies are listed.
Bwin is the the biggest publicly listed company, followed by Party Gaming in second place.
Shares of both groups were up immediately following the announcement, with Party Gaming's climbing 30% and Bwin 12%.
Under the terms of the merger agreement, Bwin will become the majority shareholder, owning 51.64%, while Party Gaming will own 48.36%.
The CEO's of both groups, Jim Ryan and Norbert Teufelberger, will share the role of co-chief executives.
Speaking about the merger, Party Gaming's Ryan said: "This is a transformational opportunity for both our companies to create the world's largest listed online gaming business."
"With market leading positions in poker, sports betting, casino and games (in particular bingo), the enlarged group will have a winning formula to exploit the growing online gaming market, supported by a strong balance sheet, significant cash flow and generation and a highly experienced management team," he added.