Although refusing to reveal his hand entirely, Playtech CEO Mor Weizer did admit that the company is negotiating with several partners in the U.S. in regards to entering that country’s online gaming marketplace, with New Jersey the likely starting point.
“If you ask me whether we can benefit from New Jersey regulation I’d say yes,” Weizer told eGR. “New Jersey presents a new incremental revenue stream for the company. Yes, we’d be disappointed if we didn’t get something signed there.”
Playtech owns a 10% stake in Sportech, which is one of the world’s leading operators of tote betting. It is one of a few European companies licensed to process bets in America and holds almost 30 licenses in several states.
“We enjoy a very good relationship with [Sportech]” Weizer admitted, “and [they are] uniquely positioned in certain states where they operate gaming operations for themselves or for others, so I would say this can definitely be a route into the U.S. market.”
Playtech has applied for a service provider license with the Nevada Gaming Control Board under the William Hill Online application. However, William Hill acquired Playtech’s 29% stake for a reported £424 million earlier this month, with a completion date set for April 30. It is not known at this time how that transaction will affect Playtech’s involvement in the Nevada licensing process. But Weizer did mention that competition in the Silver State is expected to be intense.
“We believe the right thing for us [in Nevada] is to work with our licensees,” Weizer said. “The number of licences is not restricted so competition is higher than other jurisdictions, so the best thing for us is to work as a software provider and help licensees with investment in U.S.”