PartyGaming Sues Former Owner of Empire Online

PartyGaming Sues Former Owner of Empire Online Over 2006 Sale, by James Lumley - 5th January 2009
(Credit: Bloomberg)

Jan. 5 (Bloomberg) -- PartyGaming Plc, the owner of the brand, sued investment company Livermore Investments Group Ltd. over the 2006 purchase of Livermore’s Internet gambling business.

Livermore “failed to deliver a certain amount of income under an acquisition made three years ago,” John Shepherd, a PartyGaming spokesman, said in a telephone interview. The suit was filed in London Dec. 23, according to court records.

Livermore used to operate as the online gaming company Empire Online until Gibraltar-based PartyGaming bought its gambling business in 2006 for $38 million. It changed its name and became an investment business following the acquisition.

Shepherd said the value of the claim is “six figures.” He declined to give more details.

Livermore is run by Chief Executive Officer Noam Lanir, who also founded Empire Online. Fran Read, the company’s spokeswoman, declined to comment.

PartyGaming is in talks with the U.S. Justice Department to resolve allegations over the company’s past activities in that country, where offshore Web gaming is illegal. The company’s founder, Anurag Dikshit, pleaded guilty in the U.S. to illegal Internet gambling and agreed to forfeit $300 million on Dec. 16.

At the time, the company said it was in talks with the Justice Department on a settlement, adding that any payment it makes would likely be “significantly below” the amount paid by Dikshit. The U.S. banned offshore Internet gaming in 2006.