Mor Weizer has been CEO of Playtech for more than 15 years after starting his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers and software developer Oracle, and with years as CEO of Playtech subsidiary Techplay Marketing. During his time at Playtech he has grown the company to be the leading B2B provider for iGaming and sports betting in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Now setting his sights on North America, Playtech has quickly won major clients and extended its reputation for innovation and dependability.
GGB: You’ve been involved with Playtech for more than 20 years. Tell us how that journey started and how you’ve created such a vibrant and creative company.
Weizer: First and foremost, I want to say how fortunate I feel to have been part of the Playtech family for so many years—and part of a pioneering group of colleagues who have been instrumental in shaping and powering the online gambling sector from almost its inception.
Our journey started in Estonia in 1999 as small tech startup. Over the years, we have been fortunate to attract and retain some of the best and brightest in the industry who have created the industry’s leading B2B platform, content and services offering. Our tenacity to build a strong industry offering, coupled with our commitment to innovation and collaboration with licensees alongside our M&A growth strategy, have helped us become the vibrant company you see today.
Today, B2B is the heart of our model and the B2B division is a diversified, higher-quality and collaborative business which has broadened in scope both by geographic exposure and product offering.
Playtech started at the dawn of iGaming. How did you adjust to the many changes that have come about over the years?
I think that our constant investment in our people, in innovation, as well as collaboration with our customers together with our continuous development of new models and technological capabilities have been important factors in staying ahead of the curve, and helping to shape the changes in our sector.
I am proud to be part of a company that was an early pioneer of online gambling technology. As we know, technology continues to have a profound effect on the gaming world, as the development of tools and software, and today, new forms of artificial intelligence and machine learning provide new and innovative ways for the sector to enhance player experience. Meanwhile, the need to be a trusted, responsible and secure technology provider becomes increasingly crucial for the entire sector.
What’s different about entering the American market as opposed to your international base?
Most notable is the regulatory and licensing environment. Each state has its own rules and regulations regarding gambling, making it necessary for companies to navigate a complex web of laws and obtain individual licenses in each jurisdiction. Another unique aspect in the U.S. market has been that states licensing and regulating iGaming have been far slower than in sports betting. As a result, entering the American market as a gambling company requires careful consideration and adaptation to the distinct regulatory, cultural, competitive and demographic landscape.
Playtech is a full-service supplier, with platforms, content and other technology. What is your strategy for the American market?
Let me first reiterate that accelerating our presence in the U.S. and the Americas is a key strategic priority. In the U.S. we are now well established at over 160 employees strong, currently licensed in 10 states, operational in five, and we expect to be operational in at least six or seven by the end of 2024.
While the market is still in its early stage, the competition at the operators’ level is already fierce, and requires Playtech to focus on specific content, new concepts, and tools to support their focus on marketing and market share. Over time I believe that operators will focus more on retention tools and players’ value, where we excel. Currently, we are focused on distributing our iGaming content and live dealer offering, as well as our platform and engagement center and retail sports offering.
Playtech takes social responsibility very seriously. Why is that such a core value for Playtech?
For us, being a sustainable and responsible business is simply smart business and part of our DNA. It is an intrinsic part of our strategy to grow Playtech in a responsible way and achieve our long-term commercial ambitions.
We have created a set of commitments and targets under four priority areas: Protect, People, Planet and Partners.
Of course, one of the most impactful contributions that Playtech can make to society is to advance safer gambling and player protection solutions through technology. By bringing safer gambling technology solutions to market, we are helping the industry strengthen player protection measures while also helping our licensees succeed in regulated markets. We are pioneering safer gambling solutions for our customers—principally through Playtech Protect, which brings together our groundbreaking technology, services and evidence-based research under one digital roof.
When it comes to our people, we are also committed to building an equitable workplace, which includes our efforts to achieve gender equity and equally support our people in all dimensions of well-being.
We also recognize that climate change is an urgent concern for everyone, including our people, investors and local communities. This is why we are working hard to reduce our carbon footprint within our operations and supply chain.
Finally, one of the areas I am also most proud and passionate about is our efforts to drive positive impact in our communities through collaboration and partnership. By working with a wide range of organizations, we are helping people to live healthier lives online as well as supporting our employees to give their skills and time to a wide range of charitable and volunteering activities.