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At this point, we’re all pretty much aware that some European countries have been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. And Italy is one of them.
Gambling software provider Playtech has announced the temporary closure of its Snaitech betting units in Italy.
On Sunday night (March 8th), Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte stated that ‘Italy faces its darkest hours’, referring to the coronavirus outbreak. Therefore, he signed a decree that enforced severe restrictions on the movement of 16 million people. This is within the regions of Lombardy and 15 other provinces.
Respecting the Italian government’s decision, Playtech has pulled the plug on market-leading subsidiary Snaitech’s entire retail portfolio for now. Their betting shops, arcades, and bingos will remain closed until April 3rd, 2020.
Snaitech unit is Italy’s biggest sports betting firm. Playtech acquired it in April 2018 for €850 million, making it its biggest M&A deal to date.
Operating one of Italy’s largest retail networks, Snaitech has a portfolio of 2,150 gaming points. The company states that out of those, approximately 1,600 feature a ‘direct gaming concessions’.
Publishing its full-year 2019 results, Playtech lauded Snaitech as its’ standout performer.’ Despite TradeTech setbacks, the Group thrived. It recorded a 62% increase in revenues to €830 million (FY2018: €511m), with an EBITDA of €162 million (FY2018: €93m).
At the time Alan Jackson, chairman of Playtech, said Snaitech had a fantastic 2019 and ‘continues to gain market share’. Moreover, it reached the number one market share position for online betting and gaming in Italy in H2 2019.
This year, though, the company might suffer from revenue loss, which gambling, in general, is currently experiencing. Only time will tell. However, at least the company’s online activity in Italy would continue, and this may help to soften the blow.