Global gaming markets are in a constant state of flux. Anyone who doesn’t believe should take a look at some of the recent moves made by Playtech, one of the world’s leading providers of gaming software.

Over the past few months they’ve made moves to shore up their standing in emerging markets like Spain and Asia, as well as with domestic investors. It’s a strategy that’s not without risk but, so far, Playtech’s strategy seems to be working out.

Spain

Just last week Playtech announced a number of licensees that are expected to make a big splash in the recently opened Spanish iGaming market. Spanish facing operators running Playtech include Bet365 casino, Bet 365 poker, William Hill casino and Poker 770.

Most of the sites are operating as part of the company’s newest poker network, iPokerSpain.es. According to a Playtech press release, this is Spain’s first multiple-licensee poker network. To keep within Spanish gaming law, the new network is affiliated with a land-based casino in the country.

Playtech expects to add more Spanish licensees in the near future.

Unregulated Asian Markets

Bisclosure filings associated with Playtech’s recent move from the London Alternative Investment Market (AIM) to the London Stock Exchange turned up an interesting nugget about the company’s involvement in unregulated Asian gaming markets. According to a report on CalvinAyre.com, Playtech licensees are operating unregulated sites serving Chinese and Malaysian gamblers.

Playtech officials estimate that as much as 3.9% of the company’s gross income came from sites serving Chinese bettors, while another 8.4% came from Malaysians. In the report, company lawyers claim that their lack of a physical footprint in these areas, as well as ambiguous gaming laws, inoculates them from legal problems stemming from these licensees.

Anyone who has been following Playtech news recently has to wonder how this type of semi-legal activity will impact licensees attempting to obtain Nevada gaming licenses. You’ll recall that Nevada gaming regulators were very interested in William Hill’s relationship with Playtech and their main investor Teddy Sagi. Whether this will impact future Playtech licensees has yet to be seen.

Moving to the Big Board

Playtech’s move from the London AIM to the London big board was completed on July 2 and company stock prices immediately dropped by 1.67%. A week’s worth of trading is not much to go on, so gaming industry players shouldn’t read too much into that initial drop.

What do you think of Playtech’s recent moves? Will unregulated Chinese gaming cause them problems in the American market? Share your thoughts on our Online Gambling Newswire Forum.


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