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PLAYTECH seek a listing on the London stock exchange. Does this mean they'll ensure that all players are paid first?


Tuesday, September 20, 2005

PLAYTECH seek a listing on the London stock exchange. Does this mean they'll ensure that all players are paid first?


Online casino software provider Playtech are seeking a listing on the London stock exchange:


Cyprus-based software firm Playtech has begun plans for a possible listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

Playtech has met with advisers in London over potential exit plans with an initial public offering (IPO) believed to be a favoured option.

One City source said the firm was looking at a possible listing on the LSE as soon as November.

But a spokesperson for Playtech played down the rumours saying the firm had no plans to list before the end of 2005.

A seperate source close to Playtech said a trade sale was also a possibility.

He added the firm will be closely watching the market reception of casino firm 888 Holdings, which started marketing for a September listing this week.

The 888 flotation will be viewed as a bellwether for the egaming industry, and could potentially delay or cancel some IPOs being considered for later this year.

It will be the first significant test of market appetite for egaming stocks following the share price tumble of PartyGaming last week.

Shares fell by a third following the firm's revised forecasts for growth in the poker sector.

Software firms have also suffered share price wobbles in recent months, with CryptoLogic's value falling during 2005.

But Playtech is likely to present a strong growth story with the firm adding several major clients in the past year, most notably the recent addition of Empire Online.

Analsyts said the firm could potentially claim a valuation in excess of that attached to rival software firm CryptoLogic of £195m.

(Source: Egaming review.)


I'm not too stock-savvy myself, but I believe that a LSE listing requires the passing of some kind of corporate fitness test at the very least. In the case of an online casino software provider, this presumably includes resolution of player issues.

Playtech licensees African Palace Casino and Indio Casino are currently sitting on player debts in the region of $80,000 - see my African Palace / Indio post of earlier this month.

In another matter, Joyland Casino are also sitting large unpaid debts: it came to light recently, in the extremely long Joyland Casino thread at Casinomeister, that a comp points mis-set on the part of the casino, giving players a big advantage, had resulted in casino debts of approximately $100,000, most of which have not been paid - including a player who hit a $20,000 royal flush.

This gives an overall current total of close to quarter of a million dollars withheld by Playtech licensees.


The response to one player, from Playtech, on the African Palace matter?


Unfortunately, after consulting with our management as well as our legal department, there is nothing more I can do to assist you with this complaint.

I want it to be clear that we do not support their decision, but as you know, there are many Playtech licensees and not all of them follow the same terms and rules but as long as this was clearly stated in the terms we do not have a way to force them to make a different business decision and the final decision is theirs, regardless if we support it.


Playtech, seeking a listing on the LSE, operate an entirely hands-off policy regarding the operators to whom they license their software; if a player is in difficulties, they will not help. This in spite of the fact that Playtech hold the keys to the door for all their licensees, can revoke their licenses and put them straight out of business any time they choose, and as such, are completely omnipotent in this regard.

Far from there being "nothing" they can do, they can in fact do EVERYTHING.

Why do they then choose to do nothing?

The assumption is that it's more profitable for them to let their licensees behave in any way want. Forcing them to pay players would cause them to lose money. This is the bottom line.

I very much doubt Playtech will achieve a LSE listing in the current climate. It's out of the question that the powers that be will allow it to go through when the facts are brought to their attention.

Other discussions can be found at Winneronline and Casinomeister.



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