Hard Rock Digital Eyes Foreign Expansion With Playtech Partnership

Written By Steve Schult on March 23, 2023 - Last Updated on August 18, 2023
Hard Rock Digital Playtech deal

A foreign gambling company entered into a partnership with Hard Rock Digital.

Last week, Hard Rock International announced the UK-based gambling tech firm Playtech purchased a “single-digit” percentage minority stake in its online betting arm for $85 million.

Hard Rock International is the corporate entity of the Seminole Tribe of Florida. Its Hard Rock Bet sportsbook is available in New Jersey, Arizona, Virginia, Tennessee, Indiana, Ohio and Iowa.

It was available in Florida for about three weeks in November 2021. But a federal judge invalidated the state gaming compact a few days after Thanksgiving. Therefore, the Seminoles shuttered their online betting in Florida.

Hard Rock hopes to expand abroad

Hard Rock International CEO Jim Allen said this partnership would help take the company’s operations beyond U.S. borders.

“This partnership will act as an accelerator to Hard Rock Digital’s planned strategic initiative to expand its online gaming offerings to international markets,” said Allen in the press release. “Becoming the first operator with a global omnichannel offering under a singular, irreplaceable brand.

This announcement only reinforces our commitment to lead innovation in the gaming industry and expand the ‘Hard Rock’ experience worldwide. We look forward to providing an authentic, digital experience for Hard Rock’s global fan base within a comprehensive, omnichannel offering.”

Hard Rock will use the eight-figure sum from Playtech to help enter foreign markets.

What Playtech will provide to Hard Rock Digital

According to a filing with the London Stock Exchange, Playtech will provide at least three significant services to Hard Rock.

  • License its tech solutions and online gambling titles for Hard Rock’s brick-and-mortar casinos.
  • Provide online gambling titles for online casino customers in the US and Canada.
  • Playtech will provide Hard Rock with services for operations, customer support, payments and marketing for international markets.

Playtech wanted to enter the deal because of Hard Rock’s worldwide brand recognition. Its CEO, Mor Weizer, said the company is excited about the deal’s future.

“Hard Rock International has cemented itself as a marquee name worldwide,” said Weizer. “Not just in gambling, but more widely in entertainment. HRD will combine the strength of this global brand with a proven management team, some of whom we at Playtech have known for many years and believe to be among the strongest in the online gambling industry.”

Hard Rock’s online betting operations aren’t anywhere outside of the U.S. However, an expansion into the UK appears likely with the new partnership.

On the other hand, Hard Rock International has brick-and-mortar casinos in Canada and the Dominican Republic. Furthermore, it has hotel resorts in 71 other countries outside North America.

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Steve Schult

As Managing Editor of PlayFL, Steve will stay on top of all things related to the Florida gaming industry. He is also a veteran of the gambling world. The native New Yorker started covering high-stakes tournaments in 2009 for some of poker's most prominent media outlets before adding the broader U.S. gaming market to his beat in 2018.

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