Financial Digest: Crypto Fourth-Quarter Preview, Playtech in Spain, Intralot in France

16 March 2009
Playtech Ltd., the London-listed software developer, has done a casino and poker licensing deal with the land-based Spanish operator, Casino Gran Madrid.

The Casino Gran Madrid deal follows Cirsa Gaming Corporation's three-year agreement with PartyGaming to explore opportunities in Spanish-speaking markets.

Playtech's news release Monday neither specified the duration of the contract nor which of Spain's autonomous communities Casino Gran Madrid's new online offering would be targeting.

In the absence of any federal regulation, a handful of Spain's autonomous communities have begun regulating the sector. Madrid, for its part, passed legislation in 2006 that allows license holders to launch online bingo, betting -- online and off -- and online casino services.

Playtech's full-yearly results are due out Thursday.

Ahead of CryptoLogic's fourth-quarter results Tuesday, Roth Capital Partners is projecting revenue of $12.2 million on losses per share of 19 cents (following management's guidance of a 14 percent top-line decline, quarter on quarter).

In a note to clients Monday, the brokerage said it will be watching to see how new licensees like PartyGaming and GigaMedia Ltd. are performing, and whether management thinks those licensees will be able to replace revenue from former clients like William Hill and Sportech.

As for the ongoing dispute between management and the company's former chief executive, Javaid Aziz, Roth expects Mr. Aziz will again seek board representation at the company's annual shareholders meeting in June.

Finally, Constantinos Antonopoulos, chief executive of Intralot S.A., was quoted last week by the Greek daily Imerisia as saying his company is planning to bid for sports betting and horse betting licensure in France.

"We confirm our interest in the French market," the company's management told IGamingNews in an e-mailed statement Monday. "The recent decision of the European Parliament as well as the latest developments in Italy, France and the Czech Republic lead gradually to a controlled opening of the European market. This creates new business opportunities for us and we are interested in pursuing them."

Chris Krafcik is the editor of IGamingNews. He lives in St. Louis, Mo.