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Is a Playtech Takeover Imminent?

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Founded in Estonia in 1999, Playtech is without a doubt one of the early internet’s success stories. Playtech is one of the biggest gambling software development companies out there and they have agreements with some of the most successful gambling companies and online casinos. The software developer creates games for online casinos and mobile gaming, and software for live online games, online poker, live dealer games, bingo and even sports betting. If you enjoy the odd flutter or a relax of an evening with some online casino games then you’ve probably used Playtech software, even if you’ve not heard of the company before.

A Quick Look Back at the History of Playtech

It seems that in recent years Playtech has been going from strength to strength. The company’s share prices have seen some of the best increases in the market – in the past year the share price has almost doubled (up 99.87%) and it’s continuing to climb at an explosive rate. Playtech had an incredible turnover of €1.078 billion last year and has a current valuation of £1.41 billion. The company’s bingo games alone see 100,000 players daily across one of the widest selections of bingo games in the industry – 23 main bingo games and more than 300 bingo side games.

Who Wants To Takeover Playtech?

These impressive numbers make Playtech a very attractive company to own – so much so that two firms are currently in talks to make a takeover bid. Aristocrat Leisure are an Australian company that focuses on creating Fixed Odds Betting terminals and slot games in-store. They are an incredibly successful company with a turnover last year of almost AUD 4.4 billion and an ever-growing share price. Earlier this year the company offered £2.7 billion to buy Playtech. The offer was approved by shareholders in October 2021, but just weeks later Playtech received more interest from another firm that may potentially submit a takeover bid.

The second firm to show interest, Gopher Investments, are a Hong Kong based venture capitalist and investment firm. Their portfolio is kept quiet but from previous news articles that the investments they’ve made are incredibly varied – from tech and robotics to co-working spaces and dental technology. Currently, Gopher Investments have only asked for due diligence documents so they may not make an offer, but if they do it’s rumoured to be around £3 billion. The companies are currently working to agree on a date that Gopher need to submit an offer or walk away by.

Now another party has joined the bidding war too – former racing mogul Eddie Jordan is rumoured to be interested in the igaming firm and is also weighing up a bid of around £3 billion. 

The company that buys Playtech could have a huge impact on the future of the company, as they each come with their own specialisms.

Aristocrat has a long history with gambling, with interests worldwide and a huge turnover, and most importantly profit, to back up their history of success. Aristocrat are a major player in fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) and slot machines, so a merger with Playtech could see an advancement in the software in FOBTs and user experience in slot machines. Additionally, the merger would likely see Playtech’s software reaching new areas of the industry that the company hadn’t yet explored.

It’s much harder to pinpoint how Gopher’s takeover would affect Playtech, as there’s so little information about their other companies publicly available. However, as the venture capitalist firm has shown an interest in technology companies, it’s likely that Playtech software could make use of the latest tech to enhance the user experience. Things like virtual reality could become a part of mobile gambling, and the takeover could see cryptocurrency rolled out as another way to pay in future.

Is A Sale Likely To Go Ahead?

Realistically, it’s likely that a sale will happen – the question is to who. Aristocrat had already had their offer accepted and the board had approved the sale when Gopher showed an interest. If Gopher decide not to offer then the sale with Aristocrat would go through unless Playtech kept them waiting too long and they decided to pull out. There’s currently no way of telling how serious Gopher are about buying Playtech, so for now, it’s a case of watching this space. Whichever company ends up buying Playtech, it’s sure to lead to some interesting advances in the technology and software being utilised to enhance the player experience.

What Do Playtech Offer The Industry?

Many of the best bingo sites use Playtech software, which is some of the most advanced software that the industry currently has. Although you might assume bingo is a relatively simple game, in order to keep up with customer demand the online version has to be pretty extensive. In fact, even land-based bingo halls are starting to introduce smart devices and games to help make an afternoon at bingo a bit more interesting!

Over recent years bingo has gone from something that is mostly enjoyed by the older generation to a game that all ages enjoy. A big part of this is thanks to the technology introduced by the likes of Playtech which has helped to make the game much more interactive and fun. Many online bingo platforms now have integrated chat rooms, so as well as having the chance to win some money you can be sociable; which will have certainly helped to increase the popularity of the game.

In fact, bingo has become such a popular game throughout the UK that there are now themed nights based around the game. Of course, a splash of alcohol and some dancing is thrown in, but bingo is definitely the main theme of the night. A few years ago many of the younger generation would have cringed at admitting they liked a night of bingo but advances in technology and the game becoming much more accessible thanks to the likes of mobile apps means that more people are enjoying it than ever. With the game growing so much in popularity is it any wonder that companies are keen to take over Playtech, one of the main names behind the technology that has helped the world of bingo grow to such vast numbers.