Snaitech betting retail shops across Italy have been shut down, Playtech reported yesterday, as the global online gaming software supplier had to comply with the coronavirus spread mitigation measures, undertaken by the Italian government. The shops will remain closed until April 3.
Italy Under Lockdown
After Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte essentially had placed the country under lockdown by ordering all citizens to remain at home and seek permission for travel, the gambling software developer, Playtech, was left with no other choice regarding its retail betting shops operated by Snaitech, the company Playtech acquired 70.6% stake in 2018, but to follow through with the order and shut them down.
Italy is one of the countries that were severely hit by the global menace, Covid-19, with more than 460 confirmed fatalities to date, and as part of the effort to halt the virus spread, the government had initiated temporary closure, until April 3, of all betting shops, bingo and arcade halls, as well as other public venues that gather a lot of people such as cinemas, theatres, discos, pubs and even gyms.
Social services such as weddings and funerals, as well as sports events, including the Serie A football division games, were also suspended, and non-essential travel limited.
Virus Impact On Gambling Industry
The drastic measure undertaken by the Italian government confirmed concerns within the industry that the global impact of the coronavirus spread might be hard to estimate, with the most recent analysis released by the data company, H2, arguing that global gaming revenue in 2020 may fall 1% in the best-case scenario and by 4% in the worst possible one, essentially erasing 3 years of industry growth.
The Isle of Man-based company expressed hopes that the increased online activity may mitigate the negative effect, and together with Trade Tech that turns in a very strong performance year-to-date due to increased market volatility, may offset the impact on the retail division.
Playtech 2019 Performance
Coronavirus spread was among the factors included in Playtech’s 2019 financial year report, due to the potential risk of the outbreak and the uncertainty regarding its quantifying.
Regarding the 2019 financial performance of the company, Playtech showed growth in revenue by 23% to €1.51 billion, with adjusted EBITDA increased by 11% to €383.1 million, but due to the impact of discontinued operations and tax, the net 2019 result was a loss of €19.6 million.
The company continues to affirm its global leading position as a gambling software provider and an essential partner for the online gaming industry, with the most recent deals being with Soft2Bet to help the online gambling operator expand its portfolio of games, the expansion for GVC’s live roulette offerings in Spain, and the extension for another 4 years of the collaboration deal with online gambling company Betfred, to provide Casino, Live Casino, Bingo and Poker services and content on an exclusive basis in the UK.