The Irish casino news seems to be full of mergers and takeovers with the ongoing battle for Bwin/Party between 888 and the combination of GVC and Amaya. 888 is an online casino and gambling group based in Austria although listed on the UK Stock Exchange and has been in the business for a number of years. Bwin/Party is a fairly recent organisation formed in 2011 by the combination of Bwin and Party Gaming where it was thought that the sports gambling strength of Bwin might supplement the online casinos and poker operations of Party. Whether that has worked or not is a question mark that the suitors themselves must answer. Amaya is a Canadian group who have bought into online casinos and other online gambling but it is GVC who were heading up the bid and they are in principle venture capitalists. Latest reports in the Irish casino news suggest that although 888 placed a lower bid Bwin/Party thought that the longer term prospects for shareholders would be better served by 888 providing more synergies which include overlap of offices in such places as Gibraltar and Israel and the fact that the online bingo business of Party uses 888 technologies. This news resulted in a share price surge for 888 holdings but very recent reports in the Irish casino news suggest that GVC is not yet finished and although Amaya may not partner a new bid GVC may go it alone. Other news about online casinos suggest that deal be imminent or even concluded between Ladbrokes and Gala Coral. As well as the online business this group would be the largest number of betting shops in the UK placing it ahead of William Hill. Strangely enough Ladbrokes first tried to buy Gala Coral back in 1988 but it was blocked on competition grounds but there is far more competition around these days.