bwin has applied for a gambling licence in New Jersey and the couple would have faced scrutiny from the US state’s regulator because they would have been required to submit individual licence applications. Analysts said the move indicated that bwin was moving closer to starting internet gambling operations in New Jersey.
“We believe that if this preliminary step is being announced it is more likely that bwin.party will be eligible to start operations in New Jersey [in November]” said Ivor Jones, analyst at bwin’s house broker Numis Securities.
Ms Parasol and Mr DeLeon, both from California, set up PartyGaming in 1997 and the company merged with Austrian business bwin Interactive in 2011.
Ms Parasol previously ran businesses in the adult entertainment industry. As well as potentially signalling the beginning of bwin.party’s operations in New Jersey, the stake sales could also fuel bid speculation.
bwin has in the past attracted takeover rumours and Mr Jones of Numis said yesterday that “if any potential corporate bidder didn’t know that 14pc of the shares are for sale, they certainly do now”.
The shares closed up 0.3pc at 122.8p yesterday.