Founded in 1999, at time the internet and PCs were becoming commonplace in homes around the globe, Playtech quickly became one of the world leaders in casino software solutions. Over the last two decades the company has covered all bases in the industry, providing games and software for online casinos, poker rooms, bingo games and a variety of other tech solutions for the online gaming world.

A company at the forefront of software development and a large player in the creation of games in the gambling industry, Playtech has been a huge success story. In fact, its founder Teddy Sagi, an Israeli entrepreneur who partnered up with big players from the casino, software engineering and multimedia industries to help turn his vision into a reality, listed the company on the London Stock Exchange in 2006, with Playtech now a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index. Moreover, its customer base now contains many of the biggest online casino operators in the UK, Europe and Canada.

Branded games have been source of success for Playtech

One of the company’s calling cards is to create casino games based on various elements of pop culture: movies, television shows and so on. Everything from Rocky to the Flintstones to Top Gun has been turned into an officially licensed casino slot. Indeed, one of Playtech’s biggest coups was the agreement with DC Comic’s parent, Time Warner, to create dozens of superhero themed slot games based on the likes of Batman and Superman.

Playtech is not the only software company to create games in such a manner. For example, you can find different versions of a Baywatch online slot game made by both Playtech and rival gaming developers. Yet, Playtech is arguably the developer that has perfected the art of bringing movies and pop culture figures to online casinos. The games are big, bold and brash, with many having interconnected progressive jackpots.

US market is seen as ‘holy grail’ for casino software developers 

Today, Playtech’s share price on the LSE is less than half of what it was a couple of years ago. Yet, could it be an opportune moment for investment in Playtech stocks, and perhaps in other casino developers’ stocks, such as 24/7 Gaming? There are a number of reasons why they should interest investors, but the continuing push to open up the gambling laws in the United States seems to be looming above the rest. Several states have pushed to legalize gambling, and there has been some headline moves of late with the likes of Fox entering the sports betting market.

The point is that there is potent, potentially a very big market in the United States, which could help companies like Playtech and Microgaming outstrip what they have achieved in Europe and Canada. Playtech has a sound business model, one where it often signs exclusive deals with online casino operators to stock its games alone. But it is also a boundary pusher, always looking to steal a march on its rivals when it comes to developing new technology for casino platforms.

The current CEO, Mor Weizer, has recently signalled that the company has designs of building its presence in the US gaming market, which was backed up by the fact it acquired its first casino licence in New Jersey last year. If a dynamic, ambitious company like Playtech really flexes its muscles in the US, investors could benefit by getting on board early. It’s one to keep an eye on.

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