Posts Tagged ‘playtech’

Playtech Posts Impressive 2010 Results; Online Casino Product Still Strong

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

What can I say, Playtech Software has been making some news this past week. Well, let’s face it, Playtech likes to make news all the time – and why wouldn’t they? Being one of the top, white label online casino software developers in business today, Playtech has no choice but to keep broadening it’s reach across the many, vast sectors of the online gambling industry if they are truly serious about staying on top of their game, not to mention procuring the profit margins necessary for continued expansion.

Well, that’s exactly what has made Playtech such a successful software developer…Err, I take that back. Playtech is not just a software developer for online casinos and poker rooms – they’re more like an online gaming solutions B2B supplier.

Case in point is Playtech’s first-half financial results for 2010, which compared to many of it’s top competitors, is quite impressive. Gross income was up a massive 31% from last year, tallying in at €87.9 Million, while total revenue was up by 29% with a price tag of €72.9 Million.

Much of Playtech’s growth has come from B2B partnerships with leading online betting companies, such as William Hill, as well as acquisitions of up-and-coming niche B2B gaming companies, such as Virtue Fusion. Regarding the William Hill partnership formed in late 2008, which gave Playtech rights to power online casino and poker software solutions for Will Hill Casino Online and Will Hill Poker, cash revenue generated from Will Hill doubled to €60.8 Million from 2009. The fruits of Virtue Fusion’s acquisition in February of this year are yet to be fully realized (generating over €4 Million in less than six months), however, future activity looks promising, with Playtech reporting there are several online bingo licensee prospects in the UK and abroad in development currently.

Elsewhere in the world, Playtech says it will be gaining a foothold and expanding in newly regulated internet betting markets, including Italy, Spain, Finland and perhaps, France. Due to a turn in regulatory policies in France, Playtech’s revenue generated from online casinos will be impacted, however, counterbalanced with new licensees and growth in Playtech’s French online poker network. In the U.S. (if and when regulation opens up here), expansion will manifest via partnerships with Scientific Games and Sportech (see previous article: Playtech Sets Sights on U.S. Market).

Playtech online casinos, which are the company’s principal product offering, has continued performing strongly, increasing revenue by over 30% (€49.1 Million) from 2009. The only area in which Playtech saw a revenue loss, which has been in line with the rest of the industry, was online poker. Down by 5%, poker revenue came in at €15.8 Million, which Playtech’s Chief, Mor Weizer, attributed to the World Cup. FYI, anyone familiar with Playtech’s iPoker network knows the World Cup isn’t entirely to blame. If there has ever been an area where Playtech has lagged behind, it has been online poker.

As for the remainder of 2010 and beyond, Playtech says a launch of Betfair’s Flash online casino is on schedule for September, while the launching of RAY in Finland is set for the fourth quarter and Casino Gran Madrid will go live in early 2011.

Playtech Sets Sights on U.S. Market Minus Competition With Local Casino Operators

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Shortly after Cryptologic Software’s CEO stepped down from his post because of a very ugly 2nd Quarter financial report (and perhaps some other things…dunh, dunh dunh!!!!!), one of the longtime online casino software developer’s major competitors, Playtech Software, has revealed that things continue to go well for the former U.S. facing gaming giant, and that the company is biting the bit to get back in the U.S. market.

Or perhaps I should quote Playtech’s CEO, Mor Weizer, who more CEO’ish put, ““The timing is not clear but we see a genuine and positive momentum towards the regulation of online gambling,” said Weizer. “We see a lot of interest from operators in the U.S., and we are in discussions with various local groups.”

The timing that Mr. Weizer refers to is regarding just exactly when the United States government gets their fingers out of their butts and passes legislation to regulate online casinos, poker rooms and other popular forms of internet betting in the States.

Regarding these “discsussions”, Weizer revealed in a Dow Jones Newswire article that his company has already formed several strategic alliances with U.S. companies standing to benefit greatly from U.S. online gambling traffic. One such company is the New York based Scientific Games Corp., which one would presume to have a foothold on the software development activities and licensing partnerships in the States.

As for Playtech, they seem to grasp the fact that local casino brands will likely dominate online gambling traffic in the U.S. As such, Playtech has not showed any moves to broaden it’s cadre of online casinos to include U.S. themed betting destinations. On the contrary, Playtech is choosing to abstain from direct competition with operators, and is currently fielding interest from U.S. based gaming operations looking for B2B services, including the licensing of Playtech’s online casino software platform.

Playtech-Powered Euro Partners Online Casinos Integrate Fifteen New Casino Games

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

When it comes to the best Playtech-powered online casinos catering to the European online gambling scene, there is hardly any network better than Euro Partners. At one time some of the leading U.S. facing online casinos in business (pre-UIGEA), Euro Partners has managed to develop a large and varied clientele throughout all of the European online gambling hotspots.

One might think that after dropping out of the U.S. market, Euro Partners had to change its course in terms of the overall gaming package available for European online gamblers. And while there may be a few more versions of European Roulette than what might have been had the UIGEA online gambling ban not been passed into law, nothing has really changed other than geo-targeted marketing and advertising.

Euro Partners has simply continued doing what made them successful in the first place – offering a great overall gaming package. FYI, some of their online casinos, such as Casino Tropez, have been around for almost a decade. Other properties, like Europa Casino and Casino Bellini, have been enormously successful catering to specific European countries, such as Germany, Italy and Spain.

One of the qualities befitting a top online casino is the selection of games. While this is largely because of software developer, Playtech, Euro Partners has always been amongst the first to integrate new games into their Playtech online casinos. And with Summer at hand, which is apparently a “great time to introduce new games to players”, according to Euro Partners Marketing VP, Marc Kenigsberg, Euro Partners now has fifteen more titles to add to its repertory of 100+ casino games.

True to form, Playtech has come out with some uniquely themed, entertaining and loaded slot machines, including two movie themed games, “Pink Panther” and “Rocky” (yes, the guy who yells Yooooooo Andrieeeeeene!), as well as “Penguin Vacation” and for the more action inclined players, “Punisher: War Zone”. As alluded to earlier, there is also a series of Premium Roulette games available, including Premium American Roulette.

For more information on the gaming package offered through Euro Partners online casinos, please see the OCS Playtech Software page.

UK Online Bingo Room, Mecca Bingo, to Offer Branded “Blockbusters” Bingo Game Shortly

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

blockbustersDepending on how old you are (if you’re reading this, hopefully old enough to gamble online), you may or may not remember the game, “Blockbusters”. A bingo variant that stormed the gaming scene back in the 80’s, “Blockbusters” gained enormous popularity – namely in Britain – due to a quiz game show of the same name being aired for nearly twenty years straight.

Bringing “Blockbusters” back – well, to the world of online gambling, that is – is leading European facing online casino and gaming software developer, Playtech. Bridging the gap between Playtech and the British online bingo community is Virtue Fusion – the leading licensor of online bingo products in the UK. As part of a licensing agreement with MeccaBingo.com, Virtue Fusion and Playtech have successfully brought another branded game to the masses.

If you are thinking that Mecca Bingo sounds familiar, that’s because it probably is. Owned by the Rank Group, which is one of the leading betting companies in all of Europe (operating Grosvenor Casinos and Blue Square), Mecca Bingo has some serious backing, and hence, it’s ability to team up with Playtech for the Blockbuster bingo game.

Rank Interactive Head of Gaming, Angus Nisbet recognized the impact of such a deal, stating, “Branded online bingo games are among the most popular on MeccaBingo.com, and I am sure that Blockbusters will be another success. Playtech’s Virtue Fusion Alderney has created a fantastic product and I am positive it will strike a chord with fans of the show and be well-liked by new players too.”

The Blockbusters deal shortly follows a partnership between Rank and Virtue Fusion, in which Virtue Fusion created the “Britain’s Got Talent” bingo game, which can now be seen on the homepage of Mecca Bingo – Official Bingo Partner of Britain’s Got Talent.

Boylesports Joins Playtech’s Virtue Fusion Online Bingo Network

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

As online bingo grows more popular with the online casino gaming sector, more big name online casinos are implementing bingo games in addition to their normal fare of table games, slot and video poker machines, and in some cases, a stand alone poker room. Now – yet another testament to the growing rise in popularity of online bingo – sports books and traditional sports betting sites are integrating bingo rooms for their members to get their bingo on.

One such sports betting site is the Ireland based, Boylesports, which recently inked a deal with Playtech Software to provide online bingo solutions courtesy of the Virtue Fusion platform – quite possibly the largest and most active European facing bingo networks in operation today. As their name implies, Boylesports main focus is on sports betting. However, in recent years, they have since expanded to every form of online wagering imaginable, including poker, skill games, arcade style games, lotteries and online casino wagering.

The deal marks an ongoing relationship between Boylesports and Playtech that began when Boylesports joined Playtech’s thriving iPoker network, which at the time of publication had nearly 19,000 players online. Obviously, Boylesports has been very pleased with Playtech’s services to date, and the decision to offer an online bingo package via Virtue Fusion is certain to bear fruit as well.

Virtue Fusion was actually acquired by Playtech last month, and is considered one of the world’s leading developers and licensors of the online bingo products. Generating over 100 Million Euros in stakes per month and with peak traffic of 7,000 players, it’s no surprise Virtue Fusion’s clients include big names like Mecca, William Hill, Ladbrokes, Virgin, Paddy Power, Bet365, Sky and Crown Bingo in addition to Boylesports.

The Unspoken Affair: Cryptologic and Playtech Privy to Online Sports Betting

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

Playtech Cryptologic Affair

Oh, how the days of online gambling do change. I remember when Microgaming and Cryptologic were like the only two online casino software providers in business – reputable one’s at least. The biggest bone of contention back then was who got credit with launching the first online casino (Inter Casino or First Web? or neither!) and who had the better security protocols. Later on, it was basically who had the most casino games. These days, there are practically too many casino games and software developers to even keep up with (but don’t worry, OCS still keeps up with all of them 🙂 )

While Microgaming has pretty much stayed the course over the years with their original product offering – online casino software – Cryptlogic and Playtech (who came out a couple of years after Microgaming and Cryptologic), have taken it upon themselves to diversify within the online gaming industry as much as possible. And it seems, these days, that whatever Cryptologic does, Playtech follows suit – and vice versa.

I remember laughing when Playtech announced it had obtained licensing rights to develop Marvel Superhero characters into slot machines, just like Cryptologic did a couple years prior. Whether it was coincidence or good timing, just shortly after that, Cryptologic seemed to one-up Playtech, announcing they had obtained exclusive rights to license DC Comic’s superhero characters, as well as several Paramount movie titles.

And how could one forget the drama that unfolded when Will Hill Casino left Cryptologic for a younger, sexier Playtech? It was like an episode of “Guiding Light”, minus the fake tans. On that note, goodbye “Guiding Light”. Apparently you were on the radio and T.V. for seventy-two years – and to think I never got to watch…err, chose to watch a single episode :(.

So, now that both Playtech and Cryptologic are making motions to enter the online sports betting sector, I can only help but wonder who will one-up the other first. Cryptologic is apparently very close to making a deal with French betting empire, Mangas, to partner up with European football focused, BetClic, while Playtech is working on launching a sports betting product as a result of acquiring Player2Player earlier in the year and figuring ways to maximize its newly acquired connections with Unibet and Bwin via a recent buyout of skill games provider, Gaming Technology Solutions.

If you ask me, I think it needs to come down to performing pranks on one another at all future online gambling conventions. Or, even better, seeing who can host the better party. What’s that I hear? Microgaming is giving away free cases of Stella at their next party. Oh wait, Playtech just announced they will be giving away free cases of Stella AND free back massages courtesy of this year’s Sports Illustrated swimsuit models. Now, we’re talkin’.

Beach Life Online Slots Bound to Bust at $4 Million Jackpot

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

Beach Life Progressive Jackpot at Casino TropezPlaytech’s Beach Life progressive jackpot video slot is about to reach the $4 million mark, now standing a good chance at creating another online millionaire. Gaming portals across the Web and gambling forums are rife with talk about the massive jackpot, which is not a far cry away from breaking more jackpot records.
Beach Life last paid out a noteworthy million-plus jackpot roughly eight months ago. It was worth €1.8 million, and went to a French player at Europa Casino. Approximately eight months prior to that (August of 2008) a player on Beach Life slots hit one of the largest progressive jackpots ever to be won at an online casino. It was worth over $4.2 million. This is very impressive, considering Beach Life was launched just three years ago.
Catching the attention of the online gambling community at large, Beach Life is now growing at an even faster rate as more players – mostly from Europe – open accounts at Playtech online casinos, which are currently not open to USA residents. The jackpot growth is currently at about $30,000 per day – up from the average of $23,000 per day, which has been accumulating from an initial reset jackpot of $50,000.
While Beach Life is available at fully licensed Playtech licensees, some online casinos offer their own in-house progressive jackpot for the game. In other words, just because an online casino offers Beach Life slots, doesn’t necessarily mean they will also offer the wide area jackpot. If you want the big numbers, i.e. the current $4 million jackpot, OCS highly recommends Europa Casino (which has a lucky track record with Beach Life), the long-standing Casino Tropez, or the Italian favorite – Casino Bellini.
That said, here’s a breakdown on the game itself:
Beach Life Progressive Video SlotBeach Life slots are a bonus video slot with 5 reels, 20 paylines and 35 possible winning combinations (2,000 coin minimum jackpot). The coin value is fixed at $/€/£0.50 with a max bet of twenty coins per wager resulting in a max bet of $10 per spin, which is necessary in order to be eligible for the progressive jackpot. Speaking of which, 3% of every wager is put aside toward the cumulative jackpot. When 5 Sun’s (the wild symbol) are hit on the 20th payline, the big jackpot pays!
Beach Life also offers a great second screen “pick-a-box” bonus game that is activated by three bonus symbols (Treasure chest). Additional winnings (2x) are activated by two or more Scatter Symbols (Sandcastle) on a single payline.

Playtech Acquires GTS, Expanding into Online Skill Gaming and Sports Betting

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

GTS Games at Playtech

In what appears to be a strategic move in several directions at once, Playtech Software will be acquiring reputable turnkey skill gaming software provider, Gaming Technology Solutions (GTS). Disclosed in a press release, Playtech will be purchasing all GTS assets for an initial price of €10.8 Million, with an additional consideration of €10.8 Million (€21.6 Million total), pending future incoming revenue generated by GTS’s established skill gaming network.
Playtech’s CEO, Mor Weizer, revealed the deal is a strategic move, stating the agreement with GTS “will enable us to work with a true open platform and integrate new games seamlessly. We have been looking to enhance our open content capabilities, and in effect become an aggregator of quality gaming content.” Furthermore, this particular foray will allow Playtech to quickly expand in newly regulated online betting markets, as well as soon-to-be regulated markets, such as France and Italy, albeit the aforementioned both have a ways to go in implementing effective protocols for regulating online gambling.
But this has always been Playtech’s Mode of Operation, so to speak – tap into burgeoning sectors of the online gambling industry before anybody else. They were able to do it in the mobile gaming sector (along with Microgaming), live dealer betting, and they were one of the only non-Asian company’s to get their fingers in the Asian betting market (although China is now looking to be less liberated than originally thought). Weizer reinforced this mission, stating, “The acquisition of GTS brings Playtech nearer to having a full complement of egaming solutions, supplying the major gaming verticals, and lacking only a significant sportsbook offering.”
But the lack of a significant sportsbook offering will soon be a thing of the past. Earlier this year, Playtech acquired the sports technology company, Player2Players, and is currently developing a software platform to market to clients in the not-too-distant future. This is precisely why the GTS acquisition is a strategic move in several directions.
Besides the fact that Playtech is expanding into the skill gaming sector, which offers increasingly popular online tournament style games like Gin Rummy and Backgammon, Playtech will be using the GTS acquisition to woo some of the largest European online sports betting companies who currently use GTS’s skill gaming platform. Having a relationship with operators like Bwin and Unibet, by default, Playtech’s likely strategy will be to expand their relationship with said betting operators by means of the comprehensive betting solutions offered by Playtech, including their mobile online casino games and live dealer gambling.

Playtech Software Joins World Lottery Association

Friday, November 27th, 2009
Playtech Going Lotto?

Playtech Software has long been known as a developer of online casino gaming platforms. The company’s first product launch in the nineties was a full suite of online casino games. Soon after, this was followed by a poker platform, arcade games, bingo, mobile gaming and live dealer casino betting – all helping to make Playtech the largest publicly traded company with extensive interests in the online gaming industry today.

One of the gaming sectors in which Playtech has not ventured into (as of yet) is online lottery. While Playtech has worked very closely with governmental lottery companies, such as the Serbian State Lottery, the gaming software giant does not actually provide a lottery wagering platform, per say.

However, most analysts agree that it’s only a matter of time before Playtech starts providing online lottery solutions to land-based lottery giants looking to tap into the internet. Case in point is Playtech’s recent approval to become an Associate Member of the World Lottery Association (WLA), which is an international association for professional State lottery and wagering entities.

Being an associate of the WLA means that Playtech qualifies as a “supplier or prospective supplier of goods or services to the lottery or sports betting industry”. As a member, Playtech will have a say in developing best practice standards, not to mention some great points of contact in the worldwide lottery sector.

Considering that State-run lotteries have been opposed to online gambling for the most part, Playtech has done a pretty good job at keeping a good rapport with the lottery folk. Feeling threatened by the internet, lottery organizations are now realizing that offering online services is the only way to stay in business. Of course, they are doing all they can to monopolize the internet as well – influencing legislation that bans offshore operators while protecting their own interests. In a way, Playtech is also doing what it feels is necessary to survive. What’s that phrase…”if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”?