Playtika Plans a US Public Listing after Chinese Hopes Dashed

After three futile attempts to go public in China, Playtika is turning a hopeful eye to the United States where 75% of the company’s revenue is realized.

Playtika Readies up to Change Chinese for US Dream

Playtika, a developer of mobile casino-style games, is finally pulling away from its long-coveted market in China, after authorities have blocked the company’s efforts from becoming a publicly-traded entity for on three occasions. As a result, Playtika is now heading for the United States, a market that promises to open up new cash flow opportunities.

Owned by Shi Yuzhu, a 58-year-old Chinese national and tech entrepreneur, Playtika has been leading the way in global mobile gaming, and creating social casino games. Employing some 4,000 people worldwide with headquarters in Israel, the company applied for an Initial Public Offering (IPO) on NASDAQ worth $100 million in December.

Playtika, an official filing reveals, is owned by Giant Network Group, a company that has had its fair share of capital raising successes over the years. Shi came in ownership of Playtika in 2016, after agreeing to pay $4.4 billion to Caesars Entertainment and acquire the developer in full.

Not Entirely Playtika or the Government’s Fault

Once the deal was completed, Shi’s efforts refocused on floating the company on the Chinese exchanges, but the company was stopped on three occasions by authorities who looked sceptical of the deal and have long been hardliners against all sorts of gambling.

From suspending Tencent poker games to passing a new law that criminalizes the organization of overseas trips for the purposes of gambling. With Playtika’s floatation ambitions cut short by the government, Shi seems to have shifted his focus to the United States.

With this in mind, Playtika is focused on the development of social casino games that allow players to experience popular gambling mechanics, such as slots and poker titles, or even the World Series of Poker. While players may not use real money to bet with, they can still access games that in their essence encourage gambling.

US Not Yet a Promised Land

It’s that and the fact that Playtika has been growing rapidly. The company clocked $2.3billion in a year and so far, 75% of the company’s revenue comes from North America. Needless to say, Playtika’s games aren’t part of the Chinese gaming ecosystem.

Listing in the United States is not necessarily a panacea, though, as Playtika is a Chinese-linked company, and as such, it may be open to further scrutiny from regulators, including the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Under outgoing President Donald Trump, the crackdown on Chinese companies has intensified, but investors’ hopes are that a Joe Biden presidency should undo much of the harm Trump did.

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