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  • The surge in popularity of online casinos over the past two decades has sparked a massive financial boom in the software development industry.

    From extremely small beginnings many of the industry’s leading developers are now huge multi-million dollar businesses that are enjoying rapid year-on-year growth.

    Playtech is undoubtedly the leading developer in the world, with the company currently listed on the London Stock Exchange and part of the FTSE 250 Index.

    The firm enjoyed huge growth in 2018 and it is a trend that seems certain to continue over the next few years. Read on as we look at how gaming has influenced online slot developers like Playtech.

    From humble beginnings

    Playtech is a public-listed company that provides a wide range of software for online casinos across all of the different game genres.

    Founded in 1999, Playtech released its first casino product two years later and has since grown into the world’s largest developer of web and mobile based software to the digital gaming industry.

    The company was successfully floated on the AIM market back in March 2006 at a value in the region of £550 million.

    Sites such as slots.info now rave about the best Playtech slots and other game types as the firm continues to go from strength to strength.

    Playtech currently employs around 5,800 people across 17 countries and it reported revenues of more than €1.2 billion in 2018.

    That figure represented a massive year-on-year increase, with revenues of €807.1m reported by Playtech for the previous financial year.

    A strategy of acquisition

    The popularity of gaming has created opportunities for developers like Playtech to become a hugely important part of the online casino industry.

    The company’s financial muscle has seen it mop up other online casino product manufacturers and platforms over the past few years, strengthening its grip on the market.

    Brands such as PokerStrategy.com, Aristocrat Lotteries, YoYo Games, Quickspin, Best Gaming Technology (BGT), Snaitech and Bet Buddy have all been acquired by Playtech in recent times.

    Playtech’s success has made founder Teddy Sagi a rich man, with Forbes estimating him to be worth around $3.8bn earlier this year.

    Sagi sold his final shares in the business in November 2018, ending his 19-year association with the company.

    The Israeli entrepreneur raked in around £68m for offloading his last batch of shares, highlighting just how lucrative the online gaming business has become.

    Prestigious partnerships

    Every leading software developer in the online gaming industry is reliant on partnerships with other brands to be able produce some of their best titles.

    Playtech is no exception to this rule, having signed a multi-year branded games deal with Warner Bros Consumer Products to license DC Comics content.

    This included the DC Comics 1960’s Batman Classic TV Series, as well as Warner Bros Pictures’ feature films, Man of Steel (2013), Green Lantern (2011), and Superman I (1978) and Superman II (1980).

    The deal allows Playtech to use movie titles such as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, The Dark Knight Trilogy, Suicide Squad and Justice League to create exciting slots games.

    Playtech also recently agreed a multi-year contract extension with News UK to operate Sun Bingo, one of the UK’s largest and most popular bingo sites.

    These types of prestigious partnerships will help to keep Playtech at the forefront of the online gaming industry for many years to come.

    A bright future ahead

    Playtech reported a 54% increase in Group revenue during 2018 and their growth looks set to continue for the foreseeable future.

    The boom in the online casino industry has reaped huge rewards for the company and their acquisition of other firms has significantly strengthened their position as an industry leader.

    Alan Jackson, Chairman of Playtech, believes 2018 could prove to be a landmark year for the business and predicted a bright future in the company’s annual report.

    “This has been an extremely important year in the growth and development of Playtech,” he said. “The year has produced many challenges for Playtech and the industries we operate in, making our achievements this year all the more critical to our longer-term success.

    “Playtech has continued to improve its quality of earnings, has delivered strategic progress in fast growing markets, has an improved financial profile and continued to develop its corporate governance through the evolution of the Board.

    “This progress lays the foundations for long term, sustainable growth and shareholder value in 2019 and beyond.”

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