Playtech closed all its Snaitech betting shops around Italy as the country grapples to contain the spread of Covid-19 as deaths continue to rise.
The Italian government issued a decree this past Sunday that all brick-and-mortar gambling facilities, including betting shops, arcades, and bingo halls, across the country should close and remain closed until April 3.
The closure of betting facilities comes as part of a large set of emergency coronavirus measures implemented by the Italian government, which also include a ban on all public gatherings across all 20 Italian regions and severe travel restrictions.
The country’s death toll rocketed from 366 to 463 on Monday while the number of confirmed cases stood at 9,172, making Italy the worst-affected country after China where the virus is believed to originate.
Playech’s Snaitech unit is Italy’s biggest sports betting operator. The company said Monday that its online gambling activity would continue and “may prove to mitigate some of the impact.”
Playtech also noted that “an increase in market volatility has led to a very strong performance within TradeTech year-to-date.”
The gambling technology giant said that it would continue to “monitor the situation closely” and would provide updates accordingly.
Warning over 2020 Results
Playtech warned investors last month that the coronavirus outbreak could hurt its yearly results. The company’s profits fell last year, as well. It blamed the decline on “the impairment of intangible assets of the Markets and Alpha cash generating units, amounting to €90.1 million.”
Of its Italian B2C business, Playtech said last month that it initially started strong. However, the firm noted that the strong performance in the first weeks of 2020 could be affected by the spread of Covid-19 in Italy.
Playtech told investors in late February that:
[…]in the last two weeks it has started to see a material impact from changes in normal customer patterns due to COVID-19 which is significantly affecting two of its largest markets. Accordingly, results for 2020 are likely to be below existing market expectations”.
Playtech’s Italian arm gained quite some momentum last year. On Snaitech’s 2019 performance, Playtech Chairman Alan Jackson said that the betting operator “had a fantastic 2019” and that it reached the “number one market share position” for online sports betting and gaming in Italy in the second quarter of the year.
Snaitech became part of the larger Playtech group in the spring of 2018 when the gambling technology provider announced that it had agreed to purchase a 70.6% stake in the Italian betting and gaming firm for €291 million.
Snaitech offers retail betting, online sports betting, and online casino games in Italy, but is also involved in racetrack management and television services. Playtech bought the Italian operator as it sought to source most of its revenue from regulated markets.