Online gaming software leader Playtech is positioning for new online gambling markets even before they are available. Playtech made a number of announcements on Tuesday, January 24th, when its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2011 were released; the acquisition of a U.K. sportsbook firm and partnerships with companies in Germany and South Africa were part of the news release.
Playtech CEO Mor Weizer said in a statement: "Growth from our existing business has created a solid platform for 2012."
"Taken together with today's other announcements, I believe Playtech is well positioned to take advantage of market opportunities wherever as and when they appear. It is clear that there is continuing momentum towards regulated gaming in Europe, with Denmark recently launched in regulated form, and both Spain and Belgium due to regulate this year," Weizer said.
Weizer told Reuters that Playtech was encouraged when the U.S. Department of Justice released their statement regarding the Wire Act and Playtech is in talks with numerous potential partners in the U.S. The belief is that the U.S. is preparing for the opening of an online gambling market and Weizer says the company is preparing itself for all new markets.
"We have lots of potential customers that approached us or that we approached that would like to have us as their suppliers of online gaming products when the market opens up," Weizer told Reuters news agency.
Playtech has entered into a 49.99 percent joint venture with Merkur's (German gaming machine business) owner Gauselmann. Offering broad-based sports betting, gaming products, and services, the joint venture has been formed ahead of German regulation.
Casino and resort operator Peermont, based in South Africa, has also formed a 50-50 partnership with Playtech. This partnership will begin by offering sports betting and moving forward by adding a broad-based platform once the new regulation has been introduced.
Playtech also purchased U.K. based sportsbook developer, Geneity, for an initial cash consideration of £11 million. Playtech's existing sportsbook will be replaced by Geneity's sportsbook.