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The Real Source of Success

Playtech is looking to repeat its European success to become a preeminent supplier for North America’s embryonic iGaming market

The Real Source of Success

Playtech was established by Israeli entrepreneur Teddy Sagi in 1999 and has grown to become one of Europe’s most notable names in iGaming, with its software being utilized by a raft of prominent operators including the likes of Ladbrokes, William Hill and Bet365.

The firm’s innovations today run to an ample selection of web and mobile-based digital gaming applications that encompass everything from casino, poker and bingo entertainment to live-dealer and sports betting.

The London-based company released its first casino product in 2001 before going on to inaugurate its highly successful iPoker network some three years later. This was followed in March 2006 by its floatation on the London Stock Exchange with a valuation just shy of $1 billion and the subsequent appointment of former Oracle and PricewaterhouseCoopers professional Mor Weizer as chief executive officer.

The promotion of Weizer saw Playtech further ramp up its efforts at developing best-in-class gaming products and content that encompassed strong partnerships with a large number of iGaming licensees as well as the acquisition of multiple smaller software operators and developers. These endeavors resulted in rapid expansion to give the innovative company a presence in just about every corner of Europe’s flourishing online gambling industry.

“Playtech was established at the inception of the online gambling industry, and its offering has been developed with over 20 years of investment and experience in the iGaming sector,” says Weizer.

Accommodating Awareness

The firm highlighted quality and flexibility as other important factors in its growing success with the modular capacity offered by its Information Management Solution (IMS) platform serving as a prime example of these differentiators.

This cutting-edge advance provides licensees with all of the tools necessary to successfully manage and run an iGaming operation, while its modular construction means that distinct capabilities can be broken down into a set of easily identifiable services with distinct integrations for the more agile delivery of technology.

For iGaming operators with their own platforms, Playtech furthermore offers a software-as-a-service (SAAS) proposition for access to its vast range of innovative content. The company revealed that this plug-and-play advance gives licensees the chance to benefit from its entertainment while simultaneously taking advantage of low implementation costs and quick times to market.

Adding to its offer, Playtech runs a structured agreement model for partners who may lack the necessary technological expertise to succeed online despite having a strong retail brand. This configuration comes complete with a platform-based solution alongside a range of marketing and operational services, and has already been successfully rolled out with the state-owned Holland Casino in the Netherlands in addition to a number of iGaming operators in Latin America.

Playtech disclosed that its forward-thinking data analytics offering is furthermore helping iGaming operators to improve player experiences and increase lifetime values. The firm asserts that this overture gives licensees all of the tools they may need to effectively evaluate “big data” and leverage real-time automated insights into players’ behavioral patterns so as to create a personalized gaming experience.

Determined Direction

Playtech today possesses a premium listing on the London bourse’s respected main market while moreover sitting as an established member of the equally impressive FTSE 250 Index. With offices in 20 countries, the company has 180 partners operating in more than 40 regulated jurisdictions, and recently recorded adjusted EBITDA for the six months to the end of June 2022 of nearly $217 million, which equated to an increase of 64 percent year-on-year, driven almost entirely by online growth.

The firm described its initial float as “a significant milestone” that allowed it to begin raising capital to pursue “an ambitious growth plan” that continues to be aimed at a multitude of regulated and soon-to-be-regulated markets across the globe, including those in the United States, Canada and Latin America.

“Our mission has always been to empower our customers and partners to be successful,” says Weizer. “This continues today via our ‘source of success’ motto while delivering shared and long-term value for all of our stakeholders.”

With experience in the fields of online gambling, technology and finance, Weizer says he is now focused on continuing to discover ways for Playtech to “grow and innovate,” even as the world continues to come to terms with the war in Ukraine and the lingering impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I have an unwavering and steadfast commitment to safeguarding our people and their families,” says Weizer. “I also have an ambition for this business to have a positive impact on people, communities, the environment and the wider industry.

“As such, we have established our five-year sustainability strategy with commitments and targets covering safer gambling, climate and diversity and inclusion alongside a broader contribution to the communities in which we operate.”

As part of this strategy, Playtech has detailed that it is committed to investing in responsible gambling technologies to build a safer and sustainable industry. This effort has so far included the 2017 acquisition of responsible gambling analytics solution provider Betbuddy alongside the integration of safer gambling solutions into the company’s IMS platform.

American Adventure

Playtech entered the budding iGaming market of the United States in Q3 2020 via its Playtech USA arm. The company initially followed a content-first approach by exploiting existing relationships to launch with New Jersey’s BetMGM, Party Gaming and Borgata brands before subsequently rolling out its online casino software in the Garden State with Bet365.

Weizer says the strict regulatory regime attached to New Jersey’s iGaming environment presented its teams with the “perfect litmus test,” as its initial expansion phase encompassed a focus on entering as many states where iGaming is legal before going on to grow its market share.

Playtech has since secured multi-product relationships with the likes of Parx Casino, 888 and Pokerstars, and is now licensed in eight American states, including Ohio, where it recently introduced a range of Class C retail sports betting kiosks via a partnership with Gold Rush Gaming.

Playtech’s American presence furthermore stretches to content and live-dealer studios for iGaming domains in Michigan as well as New Jersey, where the BetParx service is utilizing its IMS platform. The company noted that “further live facilities are progressing in Pennsylvania among other locations and where iGaming is most popular,” while it has recently grown its local operational and back-office teams “in order to accelerate its presence in the region.”

The company admits that it entered the U.S. iGaming market later than many other European firms, but nevertheless believes that its success will be assured by the wide range of high-quality technology and capabilities it offers. It describes this portfolio as instrumental, as it looks to accelerate market penetration and deliver compelling and entertaining experiences that will simultaneously help partners to grow their businesses responsibly.

Canadian Capacity

In Canada, Playtech describes the province of Ontario as “an exciting new iGaming environment” where the regulatory framework has been designed to maintain high standards across a number of areas including responsible gambling.

The firm inked a wide-ranging software and services agreement with NorthStar Gaming in December 2021 before going on to extend this relationship so as to allow the Toronto-headquartered operator to utilize its Playtech Protect advance alongside its live-dealer, poker, bingo and casino innovations.

Prominent Pursuit

When it comes to what is popular in the nascent iGaming market of North America, Playtech asserts that while sports betting states continue to outnumber iGaming compatriots five-to-one, official state reports surprisingly reveal that igaming accounts for some 40 percent of aggregated online and sports betting GGR in the U.S.

Playtech now employs over 130 people in the United States, and

declares that it is “well-placed to serve and support the needs of American iGaming clients” across a wide range of critical areas from sales and information technology to project management and compliance.

Playtech also has noted it will only seek to deploy its retail sports betting technology “where and when this is financially and strategically viable.”

Admirable Ambition

When it comes to what would constitute success for Playtech in the U.S. and Canada, it is intent on “replicating its success by becoming a leading supplier in the Americas” and “securing a significant market share” as well as a “presence in all states where iGaming is legal and competitive.”

The firm furthermore notes that it is consequently hoping to develop even more strategic projects that will help it to open up new revenue streams and further increase its standing while deploying safer gambling technologies and its “almost unparalleled library of top games” to a large club of American and Canadian partners.

“Our team’s depth and breadth of expertise forms the foundation for delivering the quality technology, must-have engaging content and reliable service that will make us a partner of choice as we expand across the United States and Canada,” says Weizer.

The Playtech USA Bench
Jerry Kadir
Playtech USA Customer Success Director

Jerry Kadir joined Playtech USA some 15 months ago after nearly 18 years with Gaming

Laboratories International (GLI), and he is now focused on delivering Playtech’s wide range of content to its growing list of American and Canadian clients. Kadir has a large amount of experience in the world of gaming, having previously worked across numerous states and managed multiple projects for a plethora of suppliers.

Playtech states that Kadir moreover has a detailed understanding of different regulatory agencies and the world of compliance alongside an in-depth knowledge of many casino products. The New Jersey-based professional expresses his belief that “customer satisfaction is the primary key to a successful business,” and that he looks to aid this process by “delivering what customers want on time without sacrificing quality.”

Looking ahead, Kadir says he is excited to be launching casino and live-dealer products from Playtech to partners in the United States and Canada, so as to drive the company’s expansion and further develop its relationships with licensees and operators.

Charly Jackson
Playtech USA Live Studio Michigan Office Coordinator

Charly Jackson is responsible for managing Playtech USA’s live-dealer studio in Michigan while additionally coordinating travel for all of the company’s American employees. Alongside these duties, the enthusiastic Southfield-headquartered figure is tasked with assisting in the design and production of the uniforms worn by all of the company’s customer-facing staff in the Wolverine State.

Before joining the ranks of Playtech USA in July 2021, Jackson worked as a customer service representative for a firm in the logistics sector. Although this post represents her first in the world of iGaming, the former teacher admits to being thrilled with an immersion in the culture of gaming and Playtech.

“We have exciting new offerings for our licensees based in the United States, such as our Fireblaze series, and I am excited for new licensees to join us as we showcase new games and tables for our American partners,” says Jackson.

Gia Reece
Playtech USA Live Studio Michigan Operations Manager

With nearly a decade of experience in the iGaming sector, Gia Reece serves as the operations manager for Playtech USA’s live-dealer studio in Michigan. Reece joined the company’s ranks in March 2021 to help it build a first American live-dealer studio in New Jersey before being tasked with helping the firm to secure regulatory approval for its games and tables from the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

Reece says she is “proud to have been an essential part” of the team that brought Playtech live-dealer gaming to the American market, and is now looking forward to “contributing significantly to the growth and success” of her company’s Michigan endeavor. She furthermore expresses excitement at Playtech USA’s future prospects in the United States, and is now dedicated to “tirelessly working to create unique games that will provide an engaging entertainment experience.”

Chris Applegate
Playtech USA Customer Success Director

With a decade of experience in the gaming industry covering a range of information technology, field operations and sales engineer roles, Chris Applegate now serves as a customer success director for Playtech USA.

Las Vegas-headquartered Applegate held a senior technical role with online gaming software supplier GAN Limited before joining Playtech in January 2022. He says iGaming is “the next big step” in his career. He is now responsible for managing Playtech USA’s BetParx accounts in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Michigan and Ohio while simultaneously handling its retail sports betting kiosk accounts in the Buckeye State with Gold Rush Gaming.

“I feel like I have finally found a home with Playtech USA,” says Applegate. “I am excited about what we have accomplished in the first year, including the launch of live-dealer solutions in multiple states and a state-of-the-art sports betting solution in Ohio. We have some exciting solutions planned, and I look forward to introducing these solutions in the near future.”

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