Europeans stuck at home because of the coronavirus may not have any sports events to bet on, but they are playing more poker and bingo online to relieve the boredom, online gambling software provider Playtech said on Thursday (March 19).
Playtech, the world’s biggest supplier of technology for online gaming operators but now also a major gambling platform in its own right, said it was taking a major hit from the halting of sports events across the world.
Playtech’s poker and bingo businesses saw an increase in activity in recent days due to restrictions on movement imposed by governments. However, it added that there was a risk that player behaviour could change the longer the crisis continues.
On the bright side, the company said its trading platform and payment services business has benefited from the rise in market volatility and brought in core profit of over 30 million euros so far in 2020.
Playtech‘s Snaitech unit, Italy’s biggest sports betting firm, was already hurt by lockdown measures imposed in the country, worst hit by the crisis in Europe, and the company said on Thursday that had been worsened by the postponements of sports events.
The company suspended all shareholder returns, both dividends and stock buybacks, to conserve cash amid uncertainty over the global economic outlook.
The company warned in January that 2020 results would be below market expectations because of a major hit to its two largest markets, Asia and Italy, from the coronavirus.
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