Another day, another international gambling firm looks set to make their entry into the increasingly crowded US market.
The Australian firm Aristocrat, known for their slots and table games, will be looking to make a splash Stateside following their needle-moving acquisition of Playtech.
Playtech are widely regarded as one of the finest slots and casino game developers on the planet, delivering innovative features and immersive gameplay for more than two decades. They have also diversified into sports betting software, and it’s believed that Aristocrat wants to tap into this all-encompassing portfolio.
Playtech had already made moves in New Jersey, and with more states expected to green light legal online gambling in 2022, the takeover move from Aristocrat is nicely timed to say the least.
It’s expected that the necessary 75% of Playtech shareholders will sign off on the deal, and that could spell an end to their time in a number of unregulated markets – Aristocrat are believed to want to bring an end to such activity. The takeover is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2022.
“The business will be ideally positioned to unlock sustainable shareholder value by seizing opportunities in the fast-growing global online segment as they continue to open up, particularly in North America,” so said Aristocrat’s chief executive, Trevor Croker.
Aristocrat’s footprint will grow in the American sector but also in Europe, too. Playtech had a strong market share on the continent, while Aristocrat themselves made inroads into a greater European presence when they acquired the Italian firm Snaitech in 2018.
The chief executive of Playtech, Mor Weizer, claimed that the takeover will create ‘one of the largest B2B gaming platforms in the world’, and remarked that the deal ‘has the potential to enhance our distribution, our capacity to build new and deeper relationships with partners, and bolsters our technological capabilities.’
It’s not the first time that the paths of these two companies have crossed. Back in 2014 the shoe was on the other foot – Playtech acquiring Aristocrat’s lotteries division for €10.5 million. That enabled them to supply the firm’s vaunted video lottery terminals (VLT) across Europe and Latin America, tapping into a market that had been somewhat neglected in the wake of the online explosion.
But it’s their expertise in online software development that has secured Playtech’s position as one of the most sought-after acquisition targets in the industry. The new venture will mark a new beginning for their 6,800 staff, for whom it’s not yet known what role they will play. The founder of the firm, Teddy Sagi, sold the remainder of his stockholding in 2018 – little over a decade after Playtech were floated as a public company with a valuation of £550 million.
Aristocrat are one of the largest producers of physical slot machines in the world, and they entered the online sector in 2017 – firstly via an acquisition of mobile game developer Plarium, and secondly when they expanded with the purchase of Big Fish Games.
They are most famous for their Lightning Link games, which are so popular that some land-based casinos in America have sections on their gaming floor dedicated exclusively to Aristocrat’s titles.