As has been shown the companies and people running the companies that make up the online poker industry are no different to the rest of the worlds businessmen. We have all got upset about Full Tilt, Absolute Poker, Ultimate Bet etc but that is because they effected the game we love. Far worse things happen at sea and in land businesses like Enron and many others.
Warning signs and sounds are now being made more publicly about Playtech than before, or is it that we have taken our hands from our ears and eyes and finally opening our mouths?
Bill Rini posted a rather interesting article the other day …
Maybe Sagi’s deals are legit. I don’t know. The purpose of this post was not to make a case for or against Playtech or Sagi. My purpose was to point at the poker media and ask why they aren’t asking the same questions everyone else is.
Bill Rini (blog) – Is the Poker Media Allowing Another Black Friday to Happen?
Now pokerQ4 are no lovers of Playtech/iPoker come to that. In fact we have hardly ever said a positive word about them. We will let what we have found out previously about their slightly different poker bot issue speak for itself. For the financial matters and concerns we will let much wiser and more knowledgeable people speak about it.
pokerQ4 investigated the issue of poker bot sites being affiliated to poker rooms and networks and seem to have shown that Playtech/iPoker have done nothing to stop poker bot affiliate sites, even being partners with them for over 4 years. What was frightening was that as soon as William Hill formed their joint venture with Playtech/iPoker to form William Hill Online, William Hill were then suddenly being advertised by the same poker bot site!
We hope that all of this will, in the future, seen to be the work of Trolls, as we do not want any more innocent poker players to lose their bankrolls.
Playtech paying the man not the cards
The whole Playtech/WilliamHill issue is very complicated and we are not going to explain it here. If you are interested then links and quotes are below to start learning what and who is going on. You can follow the white rabbit down the hole as far as you want.
The main villain or hero is Teddy Sagi, the founder, owner and main share holder of Playtech who seems to keep getting his Playtech to buy more and more of the external companies that he owns or is involved with.
Sagi owns 48% of Playtech and is reportedly about to sell the companies (which haven’t been named) for around £80 million. Not only have that but Playtech’s immediate plans also included buying an office in London for £10.5 million – an office which is owned by a company that Sagi also has a connection to.
Mike ODonnell (calvin ayre) – Playtech’s Trust Issue
But it’s obvious who Playtech’s being run for. Sagi has taken out more than £500m since 2006’s Aim float – a favourite technique being to sell businesses he owns back to Playtech. Chairman Roger Withers promised there would be no more of these related-party deals. But now he’s sanctioning an early €76m (£62.6m) payment to Sagi for the last one (PT Turnkey Services) – and proposing to buy more unnamed Sagi assets for €95m.
Alistair Osborne (Telegraph) – Teddy Sagi still calls the tune at Playtech
“Where concerns will be raised is that once again Playtech is acquiring assets from its founder and largest shareholder,” Simon McGrotty, analyst at Davy Research, wrote in a note to clients.
Drazen Jorgic (Reuters) – Playtech down as it eyes deal with top shareholder
Roger Withers, Playtech’s chairman, said the deal had been scrutinised by advisers, including Collins Stewart. “Am I happy that we have not got stuffed up by a lot of rubbish from Teddy Sagi? Yes,” Mr Withers said.
Alistair Osborne (Telegraph) – Playtech deal with largest shareholder greeted with scepticism