Last week saw many of our favourite online casino operators featuring in casino news reports for a variety of reasons. 888 Holdings announced the permanent appointment of Brian Mattingley as chief executive after he had guided them to a much improved performance in 2011, in which earnings almost doubled to $55.6 million. Meanwhile Ladbrokes confirmed a multimillion deal with Openbet, the gaming software supplier, as further commitment to their investment plans aimed at the technology side of the online casino business. Another online casino operator, Bwin Party celebrated if that is the word, their first year since the merger of Party Gaming with Bwin. This was a merger which immediately ran into difficulties following changes to the regulations in Germany, and first year results now show that these problems led to a reported pre-tax loss of 422.9 million Euros. Analysts generally recognise that this was due to a non cash write off of goodwill which was felt to be necessary at the time for accountancy purposes, and many now feel that this merger has in fact been relatively successful with planned cost savings from the merger now expected to exceed original estimates. Bwin Party still has a long way to go but many feel that if and when the American online casino market opens up again, they will be well placed to take advantage of this massive market. Away from online casino news, the Rank group have announced that talks to buy Gala Coral’s casino division have surprisingly broken down, but they now plan to press ahead with their own plans to expand their G casino format with twelve new venues. Many analysts believe that the Gala Coral deal, which would have added 24 land based casinos to Rank’s existing 35 casino estate, may still go ahead, so this piece of casino news could well have some way to run. All in all a busy week of casino news.