PartyGaming's flagship site
PartyGaming's flagship site PartyPoker.com, was launched in 2001. Its primary shareholders were Parasol, Group Operations Director Anurag Dikshit, Marketing Director Vikrant Bhargava (who joined the company in 1998 and 1999, respectively), and Russ DeLeon (Parasol's ex-husband, Harvard attorney and serial entrepreneur). In the 1990s, Las Vegas consultant and actuary Michael Shackleford ran a computer trial of the first blackjack and roulette games offered by the company. Shackleford stated that the "results clearly showed they (the games) weren't fair". Ruth Parasol's spokesman Jon Mendelsohn acknowledged that the chances had "tipped too much toward the house", but attributed the problems to "software flaws", not rigging. It led to the development of their own proprietary software rather than using external platforms.
The IPO The foursome sold over 23% of their combined shares to take the company public on the London Stock Exchange in June 2005. The initial offer price of 116p valued the company at £4.64 billion ($8.46 billion). Within a month a rising share price rose saw the value of the company exceed $12 billion. In early September 2005, a cautious statement about future growth prospects saw the shares fall by a third in a day, but the same week the company was promoted to the FTSE 100 Index. By the end of November 2005 the stock had regained its original IPO value. During the IPO, no new shares of PartyGaming were issued, so all of the net proceeds went to the four original shareholders selling shares and nothing to the company itself.