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Playtech Outlines 2011 Plan

By: Adam Richards, Wednesday November 3rd 2010
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Alongside announcing strong third quarter results, the leading online gaming software provider Playtech outlined its plans for the year 2011. Mor Weizer, chief executive of Playtech, said that the focus would be on partnering with local operators and former monopolies in newly regulated markets. Italy and France have already established a regulatory regime that is expected to mature and grow. Other countries, which are currently in the discussion mode, would establish regulatory mechanisms in 2011. Playtech already has 10 new licensees lined up. Most of them are for its online poker network, but there are some for casino and bingo games as well.

Weizer explained the rationale of this policy. He said that in regulated markets local companies are being given preference and Playtech aims to tie up with the local companies to increase its customer base and revenues. He also stated the Playtech would continue to develop quality software because that would automatically lead to quantity. In the French regulated market one Playtech operator has already gone live. Three more are expected to be launched before 2011 in partnership with known names. Others are waiting for regulatory approval. In Italy Playtech is the largest software provider with 16% market share. In the bingo sector its market share is 25%, with one licensee expecting to go live soon. Weizer pointed out that Italy was launching casino games early next year and Playtech would play a role there as well. However, Weizer was most bullish about Finland, where Playtech has already signed a deal with monopoly operator RAY. The online gaming potential in Finland could not be underestimated. Though Finland is about 10% the size of the United Kingdom it has more than 50% the number of slot machines. Weizer also explained that Playtech had completely withdrawn from these presently regulating markets and therefore the total revenues earned in these markets will be incremental.

Playtech's gross income for the quarter was up 30% compared to Q3 last year, while total revenues were up 17%. For the nine months to 30 September this year, gross income was up 31% to €129.2 million total revenues up 25% to €105.4 million. The bulk of this growth has come from Playtech's share of profit in William Hill Online. This was up 111% to €8.8 million from €4.2 million. The growth has continued in October. Weizer said, "We indicated that current trading in the first 31 days of the fourth quarter is more than 25% ahead of the fourth quarter of last year and 7% quarter on quarter. These are strong numbers."

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