Israeli entrepreneur Teddy Sagi founded gaming software development firm Playtech plc in 1999 in Estonia, together with partners from the multimedia, software engineering and casino industries.
In the years since, Playtech has become a leading global developer, designer and licensor of web-based and mobile software for the online gaming industry. Today headquartered on the Isle of Man, the business bills itself as a one-stop-shop for gaming operators, and describes itself as:
- Leaders of next-generation content and technology, and in responsible gaming and regulated markets
- Omni-channel gaming pioneers
- Game design innovators
- Providers of complete solutions for some of the biggest names in the industry globally
- Offering software as a complete business solution, in both instant-play and/or download modes, or via multi-platform integration, either in batches or per single game
Steady growth since the company’s launch, with multiple acquisitions of smaller software operators or specialist software firms, has allowed this rapid expansion in recent years. This growth appears to have been a smart and successful strategy – Playtech has made its presence felt in just about every corner of the online gambling industry.
What Playtech offers
Its more than 600 games, offered across multiple channels, include slots, table and card games, poker, live dealer games, bingo, scratchcard and lottery offerings plus sports and virtual sports betting.
Meanwhile, the live dealer offering is among the biggest across the Asian and European markets. Native-speaking dealers are available for the Romanian, Spanish, Italian and British markets, while ‘the biggest next-gen live casino’ launched in the Latvian capital Riga in early 2017.
Among the land-based products developed are solutions for pubs and restaurants, bingo settings, plus betting shops and arcades as well as casinos, adding to the variety and choice of what Playtech offers.
Mexos is Playtech’s e-marketing solution, allowing clients to manage affiliates, CRM and more while creating campaigns and commission structures.
Meanwhile, the company believes every gaming experience should be the same, whatever the content and whenever and wherever it’s played, no matter the device used.
Its Playtech ONE solution allows players to enjoy any game on any platform or device with a single wallet and account, anywhere at any time.
Finally, the company also takes care of clients’ hosting needs and promises that firm measures are in place to keep players safe and prevent fraud.
Playtech in numbers
Here are some key facts and figures about the company:
- There are 5,000 members of staff
- Playtech has an office in 17 different nations
- It has 140 licensees worldwide
- It operates in 20 regulated jurisdictions
- Mobile platforms include iPhone, Android and Windows Phone
- Classic and HTML5 compatibility on almost all games, helping to ensure mobile accessibility
- Playtech offers a choice of 50 payment methods
Key dates in Playtech’s history
- 2001 – Launch of the company’s first casino product
- 2004 – World’s largest poker network, iPoker, founded
- 2006 – Floated on the AIM market on the London Stock Exchange, valued at around $950m
- 2006 – A one-day fall in Playtech’s stock of more than 40%, following the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in the US
- 2008 – Online gaming software licence agreement signed with William Hill in the UK
- 2011 – Long-term deal signed with Gala Coral (operators of Gala Bingo), as Paddy Power migrates to the Playtech casino offering
- 2011 – Listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange
- 2013 – Partners with Ladbrokes
- 2014 – Acquires Aristocrat Lotteries
- 2014 – First multi-channel product, Coral Connect, launched
- 2016 – Acquires Swedish online game developer Quickspin
Among Playtech’s best-loved slot game are the following:
- Great Blue
- Pink Panther
- Age of Gods (series)
- Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
Playtech Turnkey Services
Through this division, the company offers product design, internal and external marketing operation management, customisable apps and live support 24/7 so that both operators and players enjoy a fully optimised gaming experience.
Playtech: the cons
By this, we mean the disadvantages as opposed to confidence tricks! But one respected reviewer has said that “some licensees withhold or stall winnings from progressive jackpots” and that Playtech was often “associated with rogue operators”.
Indeed, the same reviewer has previously said that “players were not safe playing a number of casinos associated with the firm”. Since then, there has been a change of chief executive after Mor Weizer took the reins in 2007.
Playtech has become a massive operation and they consider themselves to have a hands-off attitude towards their clients. There are many upstanding and reputable Playtech casinos, but there have been some bad operations, and they still have operators who have withdrawal limits on their progressive jackpots. I won’t be able to increase their rating until they drop this.