Playtech advancing into Asian market

Great Wall of China

Proving once again that most online gambling related companies believe Asia is the next market ripe for development, Playtech announced today it has signed a three-year deal to provide poker and specialist player-to-player games to an online gambling firm in Asia.

According to a Reuters story, Playtech didn't name the company it made the deal with. However, the deal will see Playtech providing that company with Asian favorites such as Do-Di-Zhu, Cho-Da-Di and 13-Card Poker.

The company will also provide more games through the next year.

Playtech Chief Executive Mor Weizer told Reuters the company expects the deal to enhance earnings during the second quarter of 2008.

"I have seen some estimates that we feel confident with that it will be worth $4-5 million in revenue in 2008," Weizer told the news service.

Asian jurisdictions such as Malaysia, Macau, Philippines, Cambodia, Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Singapore and Japan all already allow some forms of online gambling. It is expected that China will be gradually allowing online gambling in future as well, opening up a huge market in that country.

The popularity of poker and online gambling is already growing in the area. Recently PokerStars helped sponsor a new Asian poker tour that has played events in Manila, Philippines and Seoul, Korea. It currently has events running in Macau as well.

The World Poker Store, which runs the Bar Poker League, also made a deal recently to move into the Asian market, and online gambling companies have expressed their intent to move into the region as well.

The actual gambling companies aren't the only ones who recognize the area as the next big market to tap into. NETeller, an online payment processor which was hurt by the loss of the American online gambling market, has also been expanding into the Asia Pacific region.

Playtech's new deal in the region is already seeing results from the company. According to Reuters, its shares rose 4% in early trading today.

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