William Hill Casino and Playtech : end of the joint venture ?

End of the joint venture between Playtech and William Hill?In 2008 William Hill, the well known gambling group and Playtech the leading online gaming software provider formed a joint venture. This joint venture was put in place to set up William Hill Online which went on to become a major online gambling operation. However over the years since the joint venture has been in place there have been tensions between both groups.
The joint venture agreement in 2008 was based on Playtech taking a 29% stake and providing the software to drive the new William Hill online casino and poker games and also providing the staff to attract players to the William Hill websites. Playtech has a policy of expansion through joint ventures (See article: Playtech Joint Ventures in Germany and South Africa).
From the point of view of William Hill this joint venture meant that in 2008 it entered the sector of online gaming which it had not developed greatly before then. It also meant that with software from Playtech the William Hill Online website would quickly become a leading gambling site.William Hill is very well known for betting and gambling in its shops, online and on mobiles. It offers table and card games, slots and video poker among others. It continues to expand both with shops and also internationally through William Hill Online. It launched a site in Italy, Williamhill.it in July 2011. It is preparing for a launch in Spain and it is completing the licensing process for Nevada. Its net revenue in 2011 was up 6% on 2010.Playtech is the world’s largest stock exchange listed online gaming software provider. It works with the online gaming industry’s leading operators. Playtech offers casino games, sports betting, mobile gaming, live gaming, slots, poker, bingo and lotteries. So combined with William Hill’s expertise the joint venture should have been a great success (William Hill Casino) but now it seems that it is about to end.In February 2011 William Hill sought an injunction to stop Playtech selling its 29% stake in William Hill Online. Then it was claimed in September 2011 that Playtech had vetoed a decision by William Hill to buy Probability, a mobile betting operator. More tensions developed in October 2011 when William Hill Online staff in Tel Aviv walked out in protest at William Hill plans to move operations to Gibraltar (See article: William Hill Casino: from Tel Aviv to Gibraltar ?).

A main complaint from William Hill is communication difficulties with William Hill Online. Playtech on the other hand claim that this is a William Hill problem and nothing to do with them.

A possible solution is that William Hill would buy out Playtech’s 29% stake and so reclaim the veto Playtech has over its development plans. It is hoped that there will be a decision on the joint venture before the end of summer 2012.

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