Deal brings Texas Hold'em to China

Playtech and Sino Strategic International (SSI) announced today that they've inked a deal that will make them the first major distributor of Texas Hold'em Poker in China.

Playtech is a listed international designer, developer and licensor of software for the online and land-based gaming industry.

SSI is a diversified investment holding company with much of its primary operation in the Chinese gaming, internet and mobile media markets. Its subsidiary, Shanghai Kelo, operates the largest corporate retail gaming network in China.

Shanghai Kelo recently had its licensing in China extended for the next five years. The five year software licensing agreement between SSI and Playtech will help make that extension worthwhile as they launch Texas Hold'em poker in China in the coming months.

After a testing, approval and implementation period, SSI also plans to start a selection of Playtech powered P2P Chinese tournament games. First they will be poker games, and other games such as mahjong, Do Di Zhu and others may be added in the future.

"This is a major development for both Playtch and SSI bringing the Play for Real P2P tournament gaming experience to China at appropriately licensed gaming outlets for the first time," said Playtech CEO Avigur Zmora.

He commented that the Chinese market is a vast and exciting marketplace, and Playtech is well positioned to assist operators in rolling out new gaming products in accordance with Chinese regulations.

"Playtech is increasingly Asian-facing, and this transaction is another milestone in further diversifying the geographical reach of the business and its customer base," Zmora said.

Richard Li, SSI chief operating officer, also expressed his company's satisfaction with the agreement and the direction it will take SSI.

"In Playtech we have found a software provider that has a clear understanding of the Asian gaming marketplace and who understands the intricacies of gaming in China," he said.

With the implementation of up to 5,000 terminals by Playtech, SSI's gaming terminal network will expand significantly. Li said the company also plans to expand its network to other parts of China over the next five years.

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