Playtech strengthens LBO footprint with BGT acquisition

Playtech strengthens LBO footprint with BGT acquisition

Wednesday, July 13, 2016 Posted by Andy McCarron
BGT's Armin Sagedar said the firm is at 'an inflexion point in its development'

Just a week after bemoaning the pressure that CEOs face to make acquisitions in the gaming space, Playtech CEO Mor Weizer has pulled off a coup with the acquisition of BGT, the betting market’s main supplier of Self Service Betting Terminals (SSBTs).

The deal enhances Playtech’s much vaunted omni-channel offering and gives the company an extremely strong footprint across the UK’s betting shop sector. Playtech has invested €138m from its cash reserves to buy 90% of the company, with an option to buy the remainder at a later date.

The SSBT market is a strong one at the moment, after a slow start. Ladbrokes and Paddy Power have been quick to adopt BGT’s SSBTs in their retail locations, Ladbrokes now has over 4,000 across its estate, and William Hill has just announced plans to install its own proprietary product.

Weizer said that BGT’s offer dovetails nicely into Playtech’s vision for the future of betting offices. He explained: “We believe that the future of gaming is for retail operators to digitise their offering, creating a simple and intuitive experience for customers as well as creating an opportunity to extend beyond retail and into online, including web and mobile.

“This follows the same trends we see in other commercial sectors around the world with the modernisation and digitisation of betting shops not only improving the retail experience but also adding a whole new channel as it integrates into an online offering.”

Weizer said that BGT offers the market’s most sophisticated retail sports solution which is also both modularised and flexible, allowing Playtech to quickly integrate with its own platform.

He added: “As the only company that will offer FOBTs and SSBTs, all integrated with the world's leading online platform and products, Playtech will realise the potential of a true omni-channel offering for the benefit of both consumers and operators.”

BGT founder and CEO Armin Sageder suggested his firm was at an ‘inflexion point’ and required the backing of Playtech in order to capitalise on its position in the market.

Sageder explained: “When I founded BGT in Vienna, Austria, in mid-2005 I had the vision of a high-end provider for the sports betting industry with a focus on self-service systems. Whilst other suppliers focused on online and digital, I focused BGT on land-based technology.

“Having worked through some challenging years in the beginning, BGT has become the number one sports betting technology provider for land based products worldwide, founded on our goals of making sports betting fun, providing high-end technology, being a reliable partner and offering best in class services to our customers.

"BGT is at an inflexion point in its development as we penetrate into new markets whilst upgrading our products at a phenomenal speed. I believe that becoming part of the Playtech family will allow Playtech and BGT to take omni-channel to the next level."

Totally Gaming Says: “This deal to buy BGT puts Playtech very much on the map in the huge UK LBO market aside from its involvement in the Coral Connect omni-channel technology. By buying BGT, Playtech has become an instant market leader in SSBT provision as no other supplier has made any impact in the fast-growing market. This has enabled BGT to introduce a revenue share model into the retail environment not previously seen before and from which Playtech could benefit greatly as the demand for the terminals continues to grow.”

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