Better late than never for Playtech's US debut

Playtech To Enter New Jersey Via Bet365 Online Casino Deal

Playtech, one of the world’s largest online gambling suppliers, has secured approval to launch its casino products in New Jersey.

The company said Monday it has obtained a transactional waiver from the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) and will provide its products to bet365.

“This is a major milestone for Playtech,” said CEO Mor Weizer. “We are delighted to have met the stringent regulatory requirements of the DGE and to be launching in New Jersey with our long-standing strategic partner bet365.”

The two companies have an existing partnership for casino and poker in other jurisdictions around the world.

Playtech said it expects to launch with more NJ online casino operators in the “near future,” and it has also started the licensing process in other US jurisdictions.

First step in Playtech US expansion

Weizer said the company aimed to follow up the casino launch with other products, including platform, sports, and live-dealer casino games.

“This is the first step for Playtech in the US and we are very excited about the long-term opportunity,” he added.

It’s been a long wait for Playtech’s first US license. The company was already talking up the US opportunity back in August 2018 and fielding questions about its lateness to the market in February 2019.

“I don’t think we are too late,” Weizer said at the time. “In New Jersey the vast majority of operators are a partner of Playtech in some way. That includes GVC, PokerStars, 888, Paddy Power Betfair.

“We will become an important partner to operators, providing them with software. Given the market is more advanced, we will be focused on software and the traditional B2B model rather than JVs and white labels.”

One eye on US sports betting

The company has also talked up its prowess in US sports betting thanks to existing operations in Mexico.

In an interview with industry news outlet EGR, Playtech’s director of corporate development Jonathan Doubilet said: “We have essentially adapted our trading operations to cater to Vegas lines and US trading methodologies.”

Playtech’s share price was up nearly 5% on the announcement, giving it a market cap of just under $1 billion.

The New Jersey announcement comes after a difficult week for Playtech. A UK Gambling Commission investigation found several responsible gambling failings from a subsidiary in a tragic case in April 2017. The firm agreed to pay $4.3 million to a gambling charities.

- Brad has been covering the online gambling industry in Europe and the US for more than four years, most recently as the news editor at EGR Global.
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