Thursday, March 05, 2009

Playtech Moves Further Into Cryptologic’s Territory: Makes Marvel Deal - Gambling911 - 6th March 2009

The announcement this week that Playtech had signed a licensing agreement with Marvel Entertainment Inc. was perhaps as big a surprise as the powerful online casino software firm snatching competitor Cryptologic's biggest client, William Hill, right out from under their noses. The new deal allows Playtech to use Marvel film properties such as The Incredible Hulk and the Fantastic Four in its branded games inventory. Prior to this week, Cryptologic had the exclusive rights to the Marvel enterprise as so far as gaming goes.

Mor Weizer, Chief Executive Officer of Playtech, commented: "This agreement is a major stepping stone for Playtech, as it will greatly extend the commercial appeal and cross-selling opportunities of our products. Branded slots are a good way of diversifying our product and attracting new players.

"Our customers can now enjoy games with Playtech's market leading software featuring up-to-date Marvel film characters, which have a truly mass market appeal. The proven strength of these brands will allow our licensees to gain market share using the strength of our product. We look forward to working with such a globally renowned and respected company as Marvel to provide an exciting gaming experience for our customers and their players."

Australian Media Man, Greg Tingle, told "It's about time that the power that be at Marvel ramped up and added some healthy competition to the casinos and operators looking to do business with Marvel on the online casino side of things. "Playtech have an overall excellent reputation and they are doing business with a number of other casinos that have great service that that we make money with, so in the word's of Stan Lee, Excelsior! ... in Australian that translates to 'You beauty mate". Can't wait to see Australia's own Hugh Jackman come to life as Wolverine with Playtech. Early indicators lead us to believe that the Marvel - Playtech collaboration will be an Oscars award winning match up."

For Cryptologic, once considered among the most stable of the online gambling entities, this is yet another setback that has culminated in boardroom strife.

On Wednesday, Cryptologic released a statement regarding the purported requisition for an extraordinary general meeting of the shareholders of CryptoLogic submitted by Mr. Javaid Aziz on 18 February 2009.

CryptoLogic received notification on 4 March 2009 from counsel to Mr. Aziz that he "does not seek to rely on" the purported requisition for an extraordinary general meeting that the company received on 18 February 2009."

Aziz had asserted that the Board of Management had effectively squandered $4.2M of shareholder funds in an abortive foreign exchange transaction.

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Greg Tingle

Media Man Australia