Playtech eyes US opportunities following difficult 2020

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Playtech has continued to be ‘severely impacted by COVID-19’ but has maintained a positive outlook for its US and Latin American strategies in 2021.

Publishing its results for the year ended 31 December 2020, Playtech declared a 25% decline in revenues to $1.29 billion which the company attributed to the worldwide cancellation of sporting events and closure of its land-based units.

Playtech’s B2B gambling segment incurred a 10.6% drop in revenues to $5.96 million, down from $6.62 million in 2019.

Despite this, Playtech is continuing to execute its simplification strategy in order to focus on core gambling businesses, and remains in discussions regarding a potential sale.

Mor Weizer, CEO of Playtech, touched upon moves made in a bid to ensure the group is in as strong a position as possible in the exit from the pandemic: “Against a challenging backdrop, Playtech delivered a resilient financial performance in 2020 with swift management actions limiting the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on overall adjusted EBITDA.

“More importantly, Playtech continued to make significant strategic progress, which positions the group strongly to benefit from the recovery and to capture the exciting market opportunity. Playtech made excellent progress in the highly strategic US market, launching with bet365 and Entain in 2020.”

On a group wide basis, adjusted EBITDA dropped 32% to $3.03 million, missing its previous estimation in January which suggested a figure of at least €300m.

Despite this, Playtech’s digital segment saw a 30% growth when compared to 2019 – with casino, live casino, bingo and online poker highlighted as stand-out performers.

Looking forward to 2021, Playtech disclosed that it would be continuing to execute a simplification strategy, enabling the provider to focus more on core gambling businesses.

Playtech reported a strong start to 2021 in the context of ‘ongoing lockdowns in certain markets’, with B2B and B2C online businesses expected to perform strongly.

In the medium term, the group is focused upon emerging strongly from the COVID-19 period, as well as positioning itself to take advantage of emerging opportunities in key territories, with the US and Latin America pinpointed as crucial areas of opportunity.

“The scope for further progress is significant, and the group recently announced agreements with the Greenwood companies to license our products in four states. Alongside this, Playtech has continued to build on its position in Latin America,” Weizer concluded.

“Caliente continues to go from strength to strength, and the group added new structured agreements in Guatemala, Costa Rica and Panama. Playtech also added more than 100 new brands to its SaaS offering in 2020.”