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Playtech Makes a Move on the US Market

Dec 21, 2011
Playtech emerging on US Online Gambling market

Playtech announced yesterday that they have formed a joint venture with Scientific Games, a US company that has strategic ties with state lottery operators. Through the new partnership, Playtech will provide online gambling software for use in gaming terminals currently offered by Scientific Games in the UK. The venture places Playtech in a prime position to re-enter the US online gambling market should it open in the future.

Financial Times: Playtech gets ahead of the game

Playtech made a huge step forward in the global lottery market by sealing a deal with Scientific Games, a gaming services provider in the US. The deal gives Scientific Games access to government contracts, and provides a boost to its Videobet machines business.

As US state governments begin to legislate for online gambling, their local lottery operators need online casino, poker, bingo and other online gambling products to remain competitive.

Fortunately for Playtech, Scientific Games supplies lottery systems in 31 US jurisdictions. This gives Playtech a direct route into a market that it was forced to exit back in 2006, when the Bush administration closed the doors to online gambling in the US.

Playtech’s chief executive Mor Weizer said: “This secures our position in the US and provides a great opportunity if and when the US market is regulated.”

After the announcement, Playtech shares jumped 18% to 515p, bringing it back to levels last not seen since August 2008.

Wall Street Journal: Playtech Signs Joint Ventures With Scientific Games

Playtech Ltd., a designer, developer and licensor of software for the online and land-based gambling industry, recently announced the creation of a strategic partnership with New York-based Scientific Games Corp. The partnership will see the companies jointly develop and market next-generation online and land-based gambling products and services to regulated gaming operators in the US and abroad.

MAIN FACTS:

  • The partnership will combine Playtech’s gambling software and portfolio of products with Scientific Games’ ability to provide services to government-sponsored gaming operators in regulated (and soon to be regulated) jurisdictions.
  • An exclusive joint venture called ‘Sciplay’ will focus on the global online gambling market. It will use software Playtech’s technology together with Scientific Games’ global infrastructure and experience.
  • Playtech will develop gambling terminal software for Scientific Games and its subsidiary The Global Draw, including upgrades to of existing terminals in the UK currently using the Videobet platform.

Reuters: Playtech forms joint venture with Scientific Games

Online gambling software provider Playtech just announced the formation of a strategic partnership with US-based lottery operator Scientific Games.

The joint venture is called Scriplay. A statement released yesterday by Playtech Chief Executive Mor Wizer and Scientific Games Chief Exectutive Mike Chambrello described how the venture will combine Playtech’s technological expertise with Scientific Games’ experience and strong relationships with US state lotteries.

The statement further explains that the companies will “jointly develop and market next-generation internet and land-based gaming products and services to regulated gaming operators in the U.S. and other countries”.

“We have highly complementary skill-sets allied with a global reach and this partnership provides the opportunity to leverage off this combined know-how to maximum effect.”

After the announcement, shares in Playtech were trading at 475.5 pence, up 9%, valuing the business at 1.14 billion pounds ($1.86 billion).

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Multi-Million Dollar Win at Bet365 Bingo Progressive Slots

Jan 03, 2011
Clover Rollover progressive win at Bet365 Bingo

Online casino games are digital versions of those familiar games found at every brick and mortar casino. Endless varieties of video poker, slots, roulette, baccarat, blackjack, craps, and other games designed specifically for the online gambler are found online. Internet casinos are at the frontline of inventing unique combinations of games which offer players more ways to win bigger prizes.

One such game combination made Christmas extra special for one lucky online bingo player at Bet365 Bingo who hit an incredible jackpot of £3,922,736 ($5,884,104) at a progressive mini-slot game. The player named ‘taaloo1’ was spinning the Clover Rollover mini-slot game while waiting for the next bingo ball to be announced. To his complete shock, five shamrocks popped up on the spinning wheels, instantly turning him into the largest progressive jackpot slot winner in Bet365 Bingo online history.

According to an interview with the lucky winner, who was still in a state of bliss, he plans to throw a ‘crackling party’ and celebrate his win in style. He also mentioned that along with Clover Rollover, he played other progressive slots at Bet365 Bingo including Big Top Tombola, Snow Queen’s Magic and Pirate Plunder. Similar progressive games can be found at Bet365 Casino, which is powered by the popular Playtech software.

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Want $750,000? Ask Spiderman!

Nov 09, 2010
Spiderman Marvel Slot

Playtech online casino software runs some of the most unique casino games on the internet: the Marvel Heroes slots. These slots, all officially endorsed by Marvel Comics, are attached to a series of four progressive jackpots, the largest of which is now sitting at over $750,000.

Marvel was founded back in 1939 as Timely Comics, and has grown over the years into one of the most prominent comic book publishers in the world. Their superheroes, some of the most recognizable fictional characters in the entire world, have been syndicated into video games, feature films, cartoons, and endless other media.

Marvel Heroes online slot games started coming out a few years ago, and were an instant hit. Today, there are 17 different slots in this series, featuring all the popular Marvel comic book superheroes including Spiderman, Thor, X-Men, Captain America, Blade, Elektra, and many others.

The four progressive jackpots attached to these games are awarded at random, with the odds of winning a jackpot decreasing with its size. The jackpots, ranked from smallest to largest, are Marvel Jackpot Power, Marvel Jackpot Extra Power, Marvel Jackpot Super Power, and Marvel Jackpot Ultimate Power. The biggest jackpot now stands at $759,666.25, and it grows bigger every minute.

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$174,084 won on the Queen of Pyramids at PKR Casino

Aug 05, 2010
PKR Casino

PKR Casino player ‘PaulTuscan’ just hit the jackpot for the second time in the past 9 months, winning $174,084 on the Queen of Pyramids progressive slot game. Last November, PaulTuscan hit a similar jackpot, winning $88,000 on a game called ‘Fruit Mania’. This brings the man’s winnings up past a quarter of a million dollars in the last year alone.

The Welsh gambler took notice of Queen of Pyramids slot when he saw that its progressive jackpot had climbed above $90,000. “Then it topped $174,004.01 and it was the most I have seen it at,” said Paul. “The rest is history as they say.”

The lucky slot fan is considering spending his winnings on an Aston Martin, or maybe a couple of long holidays.

PKR Casino is a sister site to the famous PKR Poker. The casino runs on software designed by Playtech which operates one of the largest networks of progressive jackpots in the world. Their progressive games can be played for as little as $0.50, and 1% of each bet made on the game is added to the jackpot, which grows and grows until a lucky player like PaulTuscan comes along and wins the whole thing.

Right now, two of Playtech’s progressive slot games have jackpots that are more than a million dollars. Beach Life is sitting at $1.2 million, while Gold Rally is just behind at $1.1 million. These prizes can pay out at any time. Who will be the next lucky jackpot winner?

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Which casino runs the top online blackjack games?

Jun 29, 2010
Blackjack Games

There are hundreds of casinos scattered all across the internet, and it would take even the most dedicated player months to try them all out in a quest to find the top online blackjack games. Fortunately, this is not necessary, because there is an easier way to find out which casinos offer the best games – the key is to look at the software.

Each online casino runs on specific gaming software, and since there are just a handful of different casino software providers out there, looking at the software a site operates on can give players a good idea about what games that casino will offer. Of course, there is still the problem of deciding what games are the best, because every player will have a different opinion! To solve this, here are a few different ways of looking at things.

Biggest variety
Players who live for variety should look at Microgaming casino games to satisfy their online blackjack cravings. Microgaming offers more games than any other casino software (over 450 at the last count), and included in this massive game selection is a tremendous selection of more than 40 different styles of blackjack! Microgaming casinos are sure to keep blackjack fans busy for a long, long time.

Most realistic games
This is a tie between two different casino softwares: Cryptologic and and WagerWorks. Both of these software producers focus on realism, with lifelike tables, natural looking cards and chips, and visual embellishments like brass card shoes and polished wood table rims. These games also incorporate animations and sound effects to add to the realism.

Most unique games
The blackjack titles offered by RealTime Gaming casinos are very special. They don’t aim for realism, but instead they try to look smooth and classy. A cool blue and black color scheme sets the stage, while bold cards and chips make the games easy to follow. The games are fast-paced and intense, making for exciting online gameplay.

Biggest jackpots
Most casino software companies offer at a progressive blackjack game. These games usually require a special side bet to enable the progressive payout, so they’re more expensive to play, but the jackpots can grow to enormous sizes, making them worth going for. The biggest progressive blackjack jackpots tend to come from the games offered by Playtech and Vegas Technology.

By now, it should be clear that choosing the best online blackjack games is not an easy task. It really depends on what features a player values in a game, whether it’s variety, realism, novelty, or big payouts. The best way to make a final decision is to just try one or two casinos from each software provider – only then can a player truly know which internet blackjack games they like best.

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Best online casino games for World Cup time

Jun 23, 2010
World Cup Games

More than one Internet gambler has succumbed a little bit to World Cup Fever, with the big tournament now being watched all over the world – and promoted all over Internet casinos. Everyone has football-themed games, and the following are just a sample of some of the best online casino games for World Cup time.

In old-fashioned pub slots, Rival has the brand new Global Cup Soccer. It’s a one payline, three reel game with all the symbols of football present. Top payout on this game is 2,500 coins. Global Cup Soccer may be found at any Rival Gaming-powered online casino.

Microgaming-powered casinos have installed an online video slot in time for the big tournament as well: Soccer Safari blends cartoon animals with World Cup action and to further appeal to a wide audience has a big 60,000 coin jackpot.

Best of the lot in video slots has got to be Playtech’s Top Trumps World Football Stars and Top Trumps World Football Legends. In Football Stars, choose the teams you want to face off and players from those teams become high-paying symbols on the reels – the most popular choices are reportedly England and Brazil. World Football Legends is also a five reel 15 payline slot game in the football theme, but with set images on the reels of Zidane, Carlos and Jairzinho.

There are some specialty video games for the World Cup out there, too. The Casino Rewards group of Microgaming casinos has installed its World Cup Koala Game along with an exclusive promotion. Players use the koala bear goalkeeper to stop as many penalty shots as possible for Australia while thrilling to the roar of the crowd. The player with the most saves at the end of June 30 will win the top prize of $500.

Finally, Virgin Casino offers an interesting instant win scratch card game entitled Goal! Three2Win. Simply choose from the covered spaces until you match three of a kind. In standard play receive between 1 and 50 coins with a winning combination, but in the random “Mystery Round,” win up to an amazing 500,000 coins.

No matter how you feel about the World Cup, any of these games make for a fun online casino experience. Enjoy them while they last, because the World Cup will be over before you know it – for another four years.

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Playtech Software has now 10 years of Online Gaming Excellence

Apr 27, 2010
playtech

Playtech is one of the world’s largest producers of online gaming software. For a decade, the company has been creating electronic games and online casino platforms for gambling providers all around the world. They have remained on the cutting edge of the industry throughout their tenure, and have developed a reputation for creativity and innovation that up-and-coming gaming software producers strive to match.

Playtech was founded in 1999, during the early years of the internet. They were not the first software company to enter the world of online gambling, so they spend a couple of years getting their feet wet before jumping in completely. In 2001, after two years of research and development, the first Playtech-powered internet casino was launched. Their software began to receive rewards right from the start, which was a huge incentive to continue their efforts.

By 2003, Playtech was already working to broaden the horizons of online gambling with the release of the world’s first Live Game system. This unique take on internet gambling made use of live video feeds of real dealers manipulating real gambling equipment. The video was then digitally incorporated into electronic casino games, creating a unique meld of online and offline gambling.

In 2006, Playtech was made public, and its shares were admitted to the London Stock Exchange. This was a time of great expansion for the company, despite complications introduced by the new UIGEA bill in the United States, which forced Playtech out of the American market. The company took the blow in stride, and simply continued to expand, branching out into related markets like online bingo and internet poker. Today, Playtech stands as one of the forerunners in the field of online gambling.

Playtech’s software gives players access to more than 140 real-money casino games. These range all across the board, from casino classics like poker, blackjack, and roulette to dozens of different video poker slot machines, each with its own theme and style. Some of their more unique games include Progressive Jackpot titles with collective prize pools that can grow into the millions, and Live Games that put a unique twist on the concept of online gambling. Playtech also hosts what might well be the most expensive slot game in existence – their 50-payline Thrill Seekers slot comes with a colorful carnival theme, and costs up to $50,000 for a single spin.

While Playtech-powered casinos cannot currently accept US players, legislation regarding online gambling in the US is on the verge of change, so things may look very different a year from now. Playtech has not suffered from the lack of exposure in the US, and is likely to embrace any changes that may come along.

In the meantime, Playtech stands as the world’s largest publically-traded provider of online casino software. Today, a full 80% of their employers work in research and design – a strong testament to their desire for innovation. The company’s motto is “Source of success” – it’s bold, and maybe even a little bit pretentious, but it certainly is appropriate.

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Playtech acquires Virtue Fusion

Feb 17, 2010
Playtech

The online gaming software giant Playtech has purchased the internet bingo company Virtue Fusion in a deal worth up to £36 million. Virtue Fusion currently supplies more than 20 groups with online bingo services. The deal is expected to push Playtech to the forefront of the international online bingo industry.

Reuters UK: Playtech buys online bingo firm Virtue Fashion

The internet gambling software giant Playtech just acquired the online bingo company Virtue Fashion in a deal worth up to £36 million. Playtech aims strengthen its presence in the international bingo market.

Playtech will make an initial payment of £29 million pounds in cash, with an additional performance-based payment of up to £7 million in early 2011.

The company says that bingo is one of the fastest growing facets of the online gambling world, and that the the deal will provide them with cross-selling opportunities.

Virtue Fashion currently has more than 20 licensees, including well known brands like as William Hill, Ladbrokes and Paddy Power. They saw a turnover of £12.3 million in 2009.

Playtech’s shares have lifted 21% in the last three months. Shares were up 2.1% to 477 pence after the merger was announced, valuing the company at about £1.15 billion.

London Evening Standard: Bingo king Al Haig sells Virtue to Playtech for £29m

Land-based bingo halls in the UK might be struggling, but millions of pounds are pouring through online versions of the game, where bingo is one of the online gaming industry’s fastest growing markets.

Internet bingo entrepreneur Al Haig recently became £25 million richer after selling his Virtue Fusion bingo business to Playtech for an upfront cost of £29 million, with more cash to follow if the business does well.

Virtue Fusion creates online bingo platforms for household names such as Ladbrokes and Sky. Playtech also works in the online gaming business, putting together software for internet casinos, mobile phones and TVs. Virtue Fusion had turnover of £12 million and saw a profit of £3.8 million last year.

Bob McCulloch, Virtual Fusion’s chief executive, is also expecting a pay-out from the deal, and intends to stay with the business for at least two years.

Playtech’s chief executive, Mor Weizer, said the acquisition will make his company a leading player in the international bingo market.

Proactive Investors UK: Playtech snaps up online bingo developer Virtue Fusion for £29 million

Online gaming software company Playtech is acquiring Virtue Fusion, a developer and licensor of internet bingo products, for an initial price of £29 million in cash, up to a potential £36 million depending on the performance of Virtue Fusion in 2010.

Playtech said the acquisition will transform it into a global leader in online bingo market, complementing its current position in the internet poker and casino industries. The deal is also expected to be earnings accretive in 2010, and will generate “additional cross-selling opportunities”.

In 2009, Virtue Fusion generated £12.3 million in revenues and adjusted EBITDA of £3.8 million, marking a significant increase compared to 2008 revenues of £8.1 million and adjusted EBITDA of £2.3 million in 2008. Playtech is paying a premium price to gain a firm position in the bingo sector, which according to the company is one of the fastest growing online gaming segments.

Virtue Fusion typically sees more than 6,000 concurrent players on their platform. They licence their online bingo products to more than 20 groups, including Paddy Power, Vigrin and William Hill.

“For Playtech, the acquisition significantly enhances its own bingo offering, brings new licensees and enhances its relationships with a number of existing licensees. It also positions Playtech as the leading supplier in all of the key product segments in the online gaming industry, with very substantial liquidity in each of its player networks,” Playtech stated this morning.

“As with poker, network player liquidity is an important element for bingo operators. By linking the operator’s bingo rooms across the network, Virtue Fusion can facilitate more frequent games being offered and higher prize values and jackpots for the same individual stake. Both Playtech and Virtue Fusion’s existing licensees will therefore enjoy the benefits of increased liquidity when their networks are combined.”

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Sportech to Buy US-Based Scientific Games Racing for $83 Million

Jan 28, 2010
Sportech Playtech Football Pools

UK-based football pools operator Sportech today struck an acquisition deal with Scientific Games Racing (SGR) worth as much as $83 million. SRG is a subsidiary of Scientific Games, which itself recently combined forces with gaming software provider Playtech. This three-way partnership will make the newly-enlarged Sportech one of the world leaders in pari-mutuel betting.

Times Online: Football pools operator gambles on $83m US deal

Sportech, a football pools operator, today sealed an $83 million (£51.4 million) acquisition deal with SGR, a US-based pari-mutuel betting company.

The new deal will allow Sportech to provide technology to the tote-betting operators at half of America’s racetracks, and will give them a direct window into tote betting operations in the state of Connecticut and the Netherlands.

Sportech is buying the business from Scientific Games Corporation for an initial sum of $65 million. Half will be paid in cash and the rest in Sportech shares issued at 50p. In the end, Scientific Games will hold a 19.99 per cent stake in the newly enlarged company.

Gaming software supplier Playtech also just announced a partnership with Scientific Games, and intends subscribe for shares as well. Playtech will emerge with a 9.99% stake in Sportech.

The acquisition comes shortly after Sportech’s entry into the Indian market by means of a joint venture with the country’s biggest gambling group.

Some are suggesting that the presence of both Scientific Games and Playtech together on the share register might spark merger speculation in upcoming years.

Sportstech chief exec Ian Penrose said: “If anything happens in the future, then we’ll deal with it, but at the moment we’ve got our hands full making all of this work.”

Financial Times: Sportech to buy US pool better

Sportech, a football pools and gaming business, just announced that it will soon be giving up close to a purchase one of the main providers of pool betting on horse racing in the US.

Liverpool-based Sportstech is paying $75m in cash and shares deal to acquire Scientific Games Racing (SGR), a division of the New York based gambling services provider Scientific Games.

SGR is the provider of pool betting systems for half all racetracks in North America, and is also the equivalent of the UK’s Tote in the US state of Connecticut and Holland.

The deal involves a $32m cash payment along with the placing of $33m of new shares that will be purchased by Scientific Games, which will come out of the deal holding a 20% stake in the expanded Sportech.

Playtech, an online gambling software provider which last week forged a joint venture deal with Scientific Games, is also contributing £10m. This will give them a stake of just under 10 per cent.

Sportech hopes that through the deal, they will become a major player in pari-mutuel betting across the globe, with the help of the technologies and networks that its new partners provide.

Ian Penrose, chief executive, said: “The transaction leaves us as a leading business in the global pari-mutuel marketplace, with representation in Europe and in North and South America.”

Mor Weizer, chief executive of Playtech, says: “We share many of Sportech’s goals in growing our business in regulated markets.”

Sportech shares dropped 2½p to 54p on Wednesday. Playtech shares fell marginally to 514p.

Reuters: Sportech buys SGR betting unit for up to $83 mln

British gaming company Sportech is to buy US racing and venue management business SGR from Scientific Games Corp for as much as $83 million in cash and shares as part of their drive to become a world leader in pari-mutuel betting.

Sportech will an initial $65 million in cash and shares, followed by $10 million in 2013, and up to $8 million more if SGR meets its targets over the next three years.

Pari-muteul or Pools betting is a sports gambling system where all bets are placed in a pool, and then payout odds are calculated by sharing the money in the pool with all winning bettors.

Piers Pottinger, chairman of Sportech, says: “This is a transformational transaction for Sportech. It catapults the business onto the international stage.”

Internet gaming software company Playtech intends to buy a 9.99 percent stake in the enlarged group, and has already signed a letter of intent to provide gaming products and services to the SGR business.

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