by Renee Israel
In a bid to fast-track its way into the Italian mobile gambling market, the
UK based mobile slots specialist, Probability, announced plans to acquire the
Swiss gaming group, Playyoo.
Probability has agreed to pay £1.8 million for Playyoo, as a vehicle to enter
Italy after the country announced intentions to lift its restrictions on mobile
According the Chief Executive Probability, Charles Cohen: "This acquisition
gives us immediate access to the Italian gambling market, early revenues, and
the opportunity to grow rapidly as the market opens up to slots later this
Probability, which owns the popular Lady Luck mobile brand, believes that
Italy is one of the most attractive markets in Europe, barring the United
Kingdom, and based on predictions by industry experts that it is about to grow
into a market worth literally millions of Euros.
Playyoo B2B Mobile Platform
Playyoo, based in Lugano, Switzerland, has developed a B2B mobile gambling
and sports betting platform, which caught the eye of Probability. Playyoo
supplies this platform to some of the biggest companies in Italy's mobile
gambling market, including NeoMobile and SNAI.
With a high penetration of smartphones in Italy (21 million users at present,
compared to 25 million in the UK), there is no doubt that Playyoo's platform
will be a huge boon to the company's portfolio as Probability enters the
According to Cohen, the preferred form of entertainment for Italian players
is slots gaming.
"Slot machines, for example, collected €44.8 billion in Italy in 2011, 56% of
the entire Italian gambling market," he said.
Shot at Becoming a Market Leader
Analysts believe that Probability's purchase of Playyoo, a relatively 'low
risk' deal, could be very significant for the company, and the industry as a
"It may seem far fetched to describe Probability as a potential market leader
as a result of this deal, but the Italian mobile casino market is at an early
stage of development and will not really get going until slot games are
permitted which is expected to be in December," noted an analyst with Numis.
"Now with the right clients and the right software, Probability has a real shot
at a leading market position."
Probability added that, based on the strengths of contracts already signed,
the pipeline of new products and the potential of additional revenues from slot
games after December this year, Probability expects the acquisition of Playyoo
to be earnings accretive in the next full financial year.