Playtech seals deal with Finnish gambling monopoly

Internet gambling software provider announces licence agreement with Finnish state operator, RAY

Playtech plc, an online gambling software provider has secured a major Finnish deal, signing up Finland's Slot Machine Association, Rahaautomaattiyhdistys ('RAY') for its Internet gambling software after a formal tender process.

RAY holds the exclusive right to manage gaming operations in Finland, comprising land slot machines and casino games. Founded in 1938, RAY currently has over 19 000 slot machines in more than 8 400 locations across Finland, together with 300 club-based casino games, and operatesFinland's only casino, the Grand Casino Helsinki.

RAY's revenues in 2009 totalled Euro 651 million.

In February, the Finnish Government confirmed an amendment to RAY's gaming licence enabling it to launch an online offering (see previous InfoPowa report), which is planned to be launched during the third quarter of 2010.

Under the terms of the exclusive four year contract, RAY will launch casino and poker online products using Playtech's software and technology platform.

The offering will also include casino games using Playtech's EdGE gaming platform as well as a mobile capability. In Poker, players will enjoy a multiplayer poker room with both cash and tournament offerings on an exclusive local network.

Mor Weizer, Chief Executive Officer of Playtech, commented:

"This important agreement is further evidence as to the superiority of our product and the success of our stated strategy in soon-to-be-regulated markets. We have longstanding experience of helping land-based operators develop highly successful and complimentary online offerings.

“RAY is an extremely experienced operator and very highly respected by Finnish players and the community as a whole. We very much look forward to working with them to develop the important and highly active Finnish gaming market. By establishing a domestic online offering, RAY will be furthering its philosophy of responsible and trustworthy gaming. The unique player management tools we can provide will ensure a secure and safe operating environment in line with RAY's core values."

Janne Peräkylä, Executive Director of gaming operations at RAY said:

"This agreement ensures we will have a world-class internet offering for RAY's customers. Using Playtech's technology platform and content, RAY can provide a constantly developing gaming selection, the most reliable and safe online service, and offer the best customer support. We strongly believe these are the key elements to attract both new and existing online customers.

“There are many technical challenges for a provider to satisfy the requirements for a national online service including regulatory authority supervision, player ID-checking as well as implementation of RAY's own gaming selection and responsibility tools. Through our formal tender process it was clear that Playtech not only satisfied all requirements but had the best solutions for these challenges."

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