Playtech pursuing European takeover

London (Reuters) – Internet gaming software firm Playtech said on Friday it was planning to buy up European rivals to increase its dominance and boost the number of poker and casino players on its network.

The UK-listed, Israeli-run Playtech provides gambling Web sites around the world with online games like poker, blackjack, roulette and spoof.

Avigur Zmora Playtech’s Vice Chairman told Reuters that the firm was looking to buy up rivals to bolster its position in Europe.

„We are looking for the opportunity and when the opportunity is there we usually move very quickly,“ Zmora told Reuters by phone from Israel.

„We think that this is the right time to prepare the company to be almost the only alternative out there,“ he said.

In Europe Playtech competes against Swedish firm’s Boss and Net Entertainment, while it also comes up against Cryptologic and privately owned Microgaming.

„I don’t think there will be a financial problem, our competitors in Europe are now relatively small in market value and are usually cash rich,“ said Zmora.

„We haven’t yet concluded what should be the right opportunity or who should be the first target for us.“

He added that tumbling global stock markets were making potential deals cheaper.

„What is happening at the moment in the markets is working in our favor… People see there shares slumping whether it’s related to their business or not.“

He said the Playtech would also look to added sports betting software to its product offering as it looks to make itself a one-stop-shop for online gambling technology.

„We want to have a sportbook offer to give the whole suit of services to our licensees.“

„We want to be ready for the change of regulations and when that happens all the key players (gambling firms) will go to shop for software.“