Anyone following the William Hill/Playtech/Ladbrokes love triangle saga wouldn’t be too surprised to read the main story in today’s online gambling news.
The news is, Ladbrokes and Playtech have reached an agreement to collaborate on growing Ladbroke’s online casino business.
Playtech will provide digital marketing expertise in the form of 40 of their Israeli marketing staff. They will also provide their complete range of casino games (including live dealer) which will be made available to Ladbrokes’ players under the soon to be launched Vegas brand (any similarity to the William Hill Vegas brand purely a coincidence I’m sure).
Ladbrokes will provide money; the standard royalties applying to a license to use Playtech’s online casino games, plus 27.5% of any increase in the profits and value of Ladbrokes Digital over the next five years. Seems Playtech are looking for a little more blue sky, just days after being paid £425 million for their 29% stake in William Hill Online.
The news comes as little surprise because Playtech and Ladbrokes have been courting each other for some time, with hopes to form some kind of partnership scuttled by legal action from William Hill to protect their joint venture. It’s also no secret that Ladbrokes have been desperate to improve the performance of their digital business and what better organization to help them do this than than the one that helped boost William Hill’s so successfully.
The news has been generally welcomed as positive by analysts, one saying,
“A strong digital marketing/customer relationship management function was, in our view, the key factor missing from the Ladbrokes online channel and we welcome the deal.”
It’ll be interesting to see if the Ladbrokes/Playtech partnership will be a smoother one than the William Hill/Playtech was.
Also be very interesting to see if (or when) Ladbrokes live casino becomes the second to offer both Evolution Gaming and Playtech live dealers.