In a dramatic twist, Caliplay, a prominent online casino and sports betting brand in Mexico, has initiated legal proceedings against iGaming giant Playtech. This legal move, currently being processed in the 46th Civil Court of Mexico City, aims to terminate the partnership binding Caliplay, the offspring of a joint venture between Playtech and the Mexican operator, Caliente.
By September's end, the Mexican Court acknowledged the claim, subsequently imposing several interim orders to be observed until the claim's final resolution.
Intriguingly, while some of Playtech's rights under the current agreements have been suspended, the court mandates the company to sustain its software and service provisions for Caliplay. This directive comes in light of the halted rights, notably Playtech's right to receive compensation for their services.
Expressing their stance on the matter, Caliplay emphasized their intention for a swift resolution, confirming their commitment to keeping communication lines open with Playtech to address and resolve disputes amicably.
However, Playtech's perspective on the unfolding event paints a contrasting picture. Per their recent statement on 5 October, this lawsuit marks their first awareness of the proceedings in Mexico, depicting Caliplay as an esteemed partner. They further revealed their lack of access to the Mexican court filings and needed to be more informed about the matters beyond Caliplay's public announcement.
Rewinding to earlier in the year, this dispute can be traced back to February, when Playtech sought clarity from the English courts over discord with Caliplay. This pertained to Caliplay's entitlement to an option redeeming an additional service fee as part of their strategic agreement. This option was intricately designed, determining the payable amount through mutual understanding or an independent investment bank valuation.
Financial records for the first half of 2022 show this fee standing at a hefty €34.4m, with the previous year's value being €22.3m. Playtech maintained that this option had reached its expiration, an assertion supported by their interim report for the six months ending on 30 June 2022. Caliplay, countering this, firmly believes that the option is still viable.
Amidst this tumultuous relationship backdrop, rumors swirl around Playtech's interest in acquiring SKS365 Malta Holdings. The bid, reportedly falling between £500.0m and £600.0m, targets the Italian operator behind the renowned PlanetWin brand, a significant player in Italy's online and physical gambling domain. While Playtech has acknowledged its participation in this acquisition process, other potential competitors, including Flutter and Lottomatica, remain tight-lipped about their intentions.
As the legal intricacies between Caliplay and Playtech continue to unravel, the iGaming industry watches closely, anticipating the repercussions this battle might have on future partnerships and alliances.