888 Holdings is about to flip the script on its live dealer online casino product and service provider. The Gibraltar-based online gambling company will use Playtech for live casino and random number generator (RNG) games in 888casino New Jersey.
Playtech-hosted 888casino live dealer games will follow in other states. This partnership “is part of both companies’ strategic expansion into the US market,” according to Playtech.
Indeed, 888’s brand name is primarily out front in New Jersey, where it has market access through Las Vegas-headquartered Caesars Entertainment. In other states, 888 powers online gambling through brands like the Delaware Lottery, SI Sportsbook in Colorado and Virginia, and WSOP in Michigan.
PTEC stock dropped nearly 6% between July 28 and yesterday. However, that’s still more than 9% above where it was after Playtech announced a bid to acquire it fell through on July 14.
What Does This Live Dealer Online Casino Deal Mean for Evolution?
It’s unclear if the new Playtech deal means 888 will forsake Evolution entirely or simply add Playtech’s products to its site. Other Playtech partners at the moment do not also offer live dealer games from Evolution (or its subsidiary Ezugi). However, they didn’t have a pre-existing relationship with Evolution as 888 does.
Back in June 2018, Malta-based Evolution helped 888 debut live dealer offerings in New Jersey.
According to the 888casino site today, the New Jersey online casino operator now has “40 dedicated live tables.” Those branded tables are more expensive than Evolution’s standard services, with 888 logos on the tables. The logo is also on the studio walls behind the blackjack, baccarat, Dream Catcher, and roulette games.
Evolution is the primary live dealer products and services provider to US online casino operators.
An Evolution representative didn’t immediately return NJGamblingSite.com‘s request for comment.
Playtech Gains Market Share
Playtech, an Isle of Man-headquartered business primarily known as an online gambling software supplier, has been trying to nibble away at Evolution’s market share. For now, the latter remains the dominant force in live dealer games, in the US and globally.
Before the 888 deal Playtech announced on July 28, the company had one partnership in place in New Jersey and one in Michigan:
- Bet365 in the Garden State
- PlayGunLake in the Wolverine State
Playtech CEO Shimon Akad said in his company’s announcement:
I am thrilled that our trusted partners, 888, have chosen to take our Live Casino and RNG games across multiple states, marking another exciting step in our expansion in the US. Live Casino is Playtech’s newest proposition to the US market and it is giving operators the opportunity to diversify their offering, resulting in great demand for our industry-leading software. We are proud to be supporting 888casino in delivering the very best online entertainment experience to its US audience and we look forward to continuing this successful partnership with a market-leading operator.
888 US President Howard Mittman said:
We are pleased to expand our partnership with Playtech and offer its unique Live Casino and RNG content to players of 888casino in the US. This agreement will enhance the overall player experience by offering more entertaining and dynamic games, which is a key part of our content and product leadership strategy. We look forward to welcoming Playtech’s content and growing our partnership together.
Playtech Modifies Its Operator Plans
The 888 announcement came a day before Playtech decided to modify its plans to offer its online gambling tech to itself. Playtech was going to own half of a US online gambling brand.
Up until July 29, Playtech had a game plan to launch a jointly owned site, Caliplay. It was working with Tijuana-based Caliente Interactive on a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) to launch Caliplay in the US.
In April, the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) approved an online-only license for Caliplay to launch.
Playtech said on July 29:
Playtech has been exploring a possible transaction regarding an agreement with Caliente which would allow Caliplay to penetrate the US market with Caliplay being acquired by a US-listed special purpose acquisition company (“SPAC”). Capital market conditions have deteriorated significantly since the transaction was initially contemplated and, accordingly, this transaction is no longer being pursued in the same manner.
However, the Company continues to explore alternative opportunities with Caliplay management to build a standalone US gaming business under the Caliente brand focused on the Hispanic community in the US. Both parties also continue to have discussions with the SPAC and its associates regarding this alternative opportunity. Discussions are at an early stage and further updates will be made, if appropriate.
That seems like enough updates from Playtech for now, though.