Playtech predicts further ‘wave’ of partnerships after Ontario launch

| By Daniel O'Boyle
Gambling technology provider Playtech has confirmed its launch in Ontario after the Canadian province’s legal and regulated online gambling market opened for business last week.

Playtech said that its RNG casino and live offerings, followed by its full platform, went live on the first day of the market opening through various partnerships.

Playtech said that “a further wave” of deals in Ontario will be announced in the coming weeks.

Playtech was previously active in the province through the provision of data analytics technology and other services to the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation.

In January, the company announced that its IMS platform, casino, live casino, poker and bingo technology would be rolled out for NorthStar Gaming’s launch in the newly regulated province.

“This is a significant market in size and a major milestone for Playtech in North America,” Playtech chief operating officer Shimon Akad said.

“We are thrilled to have launched with multiple licensees on day one and we are looking forward to continuing to launch with more of our partners in the coming days. We also expect Ontario to be at the forefront of responsible gambling, where our technology and ability through artificial intelligence to analyse certain player behaviour will be particularly relevant and important.”

The launch of Ontario’s regulated market followed almost three years of work after the provincial government revealed plans to end the lottery’s online gambling monopoly in April 2019.

The government introduced legislation to allow for a licensing regime back in 2020, and final standards for online betting and gaming were published last September.

Charmaine Hogan, Playtech’s head of regulatory affairs, added: “As we continue to enhance our efforts on sustainability of the gambling sector in general, we wholeheartedly welcome Ontario’s igaming market launch.

“An efficient regulatory framework brings operators and suppliers under local oversight and, as is the case in Ontario, with a strong emphasis on the protection of players from the outset.

“At Playtech, artificial intelligence is being used to enable the analyses of player behaviour and flag signs of problematic play early on, and to engage with those players, in-play, and in a personalised way, using automated tools and customised messages.

“We offer our technology, tools, as well as experience to all, and although the uptake is with operators, we want to see a more responsible and sustainable entertainment industry in the long run – and we aim to continue engaging, wherever we can, with all interested parties and sharing good practices as well as our research findings.”

Last month, Playtech posted €112.3m (£93.4m/$123.3m) in adjusted net profit for its 2021 financial year amid ongoing talks over a potential acquisition of the business by TTB Partners.

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