Playtech squabbling over WillHill acquisition

Sportsbook Review.com news anchor Natalie Rydström gives an SBR iGaming News update for Friday, December 28th, 2012. Today's show covers the current New Jersey legal battle with the four major professional sports leagues and the NCAA, as well as one software company's position on a recent £485 million acquisition.


The Nevada Gaming Commission has issued an online poker licence to Caesar’s Interactive Entertainment’s online division. Caesars must still partner up with another operator to power the games, which is subject to the Commission’s approval. As of today,  licenced operators include MGM, Golden Nugget, American Casino, Fertitta Interactive, ACEP and Monarch.

We reported last week on a £485 million acquisition by William Hill and GVC Holdings for SportingBet’s Australian business: It seemed like everyone was happy enough with terms of the deal, but count the Playtech brass out.

In a rather lengthy statement following news of the deal, Playtech had the following to say:

"Under the terms of the shareholders' agreement relating to William Hill Online, William Hill is bound to conduct its remote gambling business through the William Hill Online business, in which Playtech is a 29% shareholder. Therefore, if the William Hill/GVC offer is completed, William Hill will be obliged to offer to sell the remote gambling activities of Sportingbet acquired by it to William Hill Online within six months of completion of their acquisition, and Playtech has the right, in its absolute discretion, to determine whether William Hill Online proceeds with the acquisition of the Sportingbet activities."

William Hill fired right back saying: “Playtech have no rights to a business that is not part of William Hill Online and therefore this has absolutely no effect on any valuation of William Hill Online.".

*Credit for quotes, Globes-online.com

The battle between New Jersey and the sports leagues over sportsbooks in Atlantic City may play out like a fifteen round heavyweight brawl…. The referee in this case is District Judge Michael Shipp, who’s already caused those in favor of New Jersey to groan, as he’s ruled that the sports leagues MAY be able to prove financial harm by sports betting in the Garden State. New Jersey’s lawyers were hoping for a first round knockout --- Shipp could have rejected the argument that the leagues would be unable to show financial harm. New Jersey attorneys now must take the sports executives to task over the constitutionality of PASPA: a 20-year old federal law forbidding most states from offering sports betting. Something tells me there may be blood sweat and tears before the final bell sounds on this legal showdown. We’ll keep you up to date.

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