The Business On...Jim Ryan, co-chief executive, Bwin.Party

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The Independent Online

So the Brits and Canadians are going to storm America!

You would be referring to the fact that is a British company (it's listed here) run by a Canadian "co-chief executive" who was yesterday crowing about joint venture deals with two Las Vegas based casino companies – Boyd Gaming and MGM Resorts – that will position for an expected relaxation of the ban on internet gaming stateside, whether nationally or state by state.

What does Mr Ryan know about storming America?

Well, he got his (first class) degree in business from Brock University in his native Canada. His alma mater is named for Major-General Sir Isaac Brock, who commanded the British and Canadian forces during the War of 1812 with, ahem, the USA. Party, of course, made peace with the US by shelling out more than $100m over its former US business and is now handily positioned for a return.

And what are his chances?

Not bad. Mr Ryan took over as chief executive of PartyGaming in 2008 and has always said he wants to see the company back in the US as soon as possible.

Why co-chief executive? And can it last?

It dates from the merger: the two companies rather needed each other, with Bwin stronger in fixed-odds betting while PartyGaming specialised in poker and internet casinos. In these situations much depends on whether the two men at the top want to work together. Mr Ryan and his fellow co-chief executive Norbert Teufelberger haven't been at it for a year yet, so the jury's still out.