Back on the Market

17 December 2003

One of the industry's most prized possessions, the domain, is back on the market.

Graeme Levin of confirmed to Interactive Gaming News this week that a proposed deal to sell the site to Interactive Gaming Holdings fell through.

Other offers, he said, are being evaluated

The site came back on the market after the IGH group missed a payment deadline as part of the deal. Levin didn't rule out the reworking of a deal with IGH, although he said it was unlikely.

IGH had agreed to purchase the popular portal site for £2.5 million.

The deal called for IGH to pay £500,000 in cash for the site up front, with the additional £2 million coming from equity or profit sharing in the site after it was floated on London's Alternative Investment Market (AIM). IGH had hoped to raise an additional £8 million through its listing on the AIM. It was then going to use the extra revenue to acquire more sites and create a "one-stop network" of sites for the interactive gambling industry.

That plan now appears a long shot, and the future of the company is in serious question. The Financial Times reported in October, when the deal was announced, that the business model was to capitalize on high-profile domain names to attract advertising revenue.

When the deal was announced, IGH Managing Director Thomas Taule said the acquisition was the first step in creating a successful empire.

"We've created a prime vehicle to move forward and embark on consolidation within the sector," he said.

IGH's business plan also included the licensing of white-label gaming software., one of the first portals in the interactive gaming space, had early success in large part because of the URL. But the site was able to incur long-term success as well. Last year alone, it earned £1.6 million.

Although IGH was a little known entity prior to the announcement of the deal, the company is made up of recognizable names from the industry.

Chairman Craig Marshak worked in the industry as the director of Schroders and was the co-founder of CV Holdings. While at CV Holdings, Marshak played an integral part in the development of the "Be The Dealer" label of online gaming software.

Taule, meanwhile, was co-founder and CEO of, a popular search engine company listed on the Nasdaq.

Officials with IGH did not respond to numerous attempts by IGN to contact them.