Media Relations: What the papers say - Will poker boom be a new bubble?

The planned flotation of online poker site Partygaming.com raised the spectre of a second dotcom bubble.

The similarities were striking: high market valuation, likely FTSE ranking alongside bricks and mortar companies, and young techies set to become billionaires.

'Poker float rush revives memories of dotcom bust' noted The Independent (3 June), while The Times predicted 'a second round of dotcom hysteria' (2 June).

But the 'hysteria' was tempered by a dose of reality. Analysts were sceptical about the 'fashion fad that could turn into a tank top' (Edinburgh Evening News, 3 June).

Mutterings were heard about the quality of management, and its motive for floating: if not to raise money, why?

Dwarfing all other doubts was the legislative threat looming from the US, home to a large bulk of Partygaming's customers. 'Partygaming gambles on regulatory risk' (FT, 2 June) and 'Legality of online poker threatens flotation' (Observer, 5 June) ran the headlines, suggesting this potential bubble may have been popped before it has even floated.

Analysis conducted by Echo Research from data supplied to PRWeek from NewsNow. www.echoresearch.com www.newsnow.co.uk.

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