Latvian Gambling operator, Olybet signs a deal with Playson
Playson has struck a deal with the Baltic casino operator, OlyBet, to integrate their extensive and exciting video slots portfolio onto the operator's platform. While attending ICE 2022 in London, Playson announced that it had a plan for rapid expansion across the regulated European markets. This partnership with Olybet will help them to achieve this objective. In fact, off the back of one deal, they have been able to secure a foothold in two markets.
In a statement on the company's website, Playson's Sales Director Blanka Homor said,
"We're delighted to have reached an agreement with OlyBet, allowing us to deliver our high-quality digital casino content to more players in Latvia and Estonia. As part of our refreshed brand identity, which includes a renewed focus on expanding our presence across Europe, growing in two markets from one deal is a pleasant and important outcome."
OlyBet is a dominant force in gambling across the Baltics and beyond
OlyBet was set up in 2010 with a commitment to provide a safe and fun online gambling experience. Playson is just one of a large number of providers with whom they work. The OlyBet platform hosts many leading casino, sports betting, and poker games from Microgaming, Playtech, Bet Construct, iForium and Net Entertainment. As well as having licences for Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania, they also hold gaming licenses for Slovakia, Italy, and Malta.
The deal with Playson means that games such as Fruit Megaways™, Burning Wins x2, and Wolf Power Megaways™that are available on UK slot sites, are now available to online gamblers in Estonia and Latvia.
OlyBet was formerly known as Olympic-online, and it is wholly owned and operated by OB Holding 1. Together with the online platform, the group has bricks and mortar casinos, including a mega one in the Latvian capital. The company's website reports that it operates a total of fifty-two casinos in Latvia, twenty-three in Estonia and seventeen in Lithuania. In addition, it has others outside of the Baltics, with fourteen in Italy, four in Slovakia and one in Malta. The Group employs 2,200 employees in 6 countries.
OlyBet has made a point of working with sports that are popular across the Baltic countries. For example, they have sponsored the Lithuanian basketball team Žalgiris Kaunas since 2015 and are the sponsorship partner of the national Latvian basketball squad. In addition, they are the official partner of the NHL in the region.
Regarding the deal with Playson, OlyBet's Chief Performance Operator, Tomas Graham, said,
"We're excited to offer Playson's amazing games as part of our product offering, their thrilling titles are guaranteed to offer hours of fun."
Playson set up for rapid expansion
Playson is also an international company with offices in Mata, the UK, Greece, and Ukraine. They employ around 250 people across the four bases. They do not only provide slot games but have developed a varied portfolio which includes casino table games, video slots and card games. They were established in 2012.
Latvian gambling market slows
With very liberal regulations, gambling has been a significant revenue stream for the Latvian economy. In 2021 it was the online sector of Latvia's gambling industry that saw the most growth at the expense of land-based casinos. The overall gambling revenues fell by almost twenty per cent, and the scale of online gambling shored up the land-based market.
It will be interesting to see if this is a long term trend or just a by-product of the Covid 19 pandemic. From November 9th 2020 to June 15th 2021, land-based facilities like casinos and gaming halls were closed in Latvia as part of the restrictions put in place to reduce the spread of Covid-19. But unfortunately, not all the venues made it through.
Before lockdown, there were three hundred and five gaming halls operating in the country, but this number fell to two hundred and eight afterwards.