Posted on: October 6, 2023, 06:50h.
Last updated on: October 6, 2023, 06:50h.
In a significant legal development for Playtech, Caliplay, a prominent Mexican online casino and sports betting entity operated by Grupo Caliente, has initiated legal proceedings to break up with its technology gaming partner. While the two have been embroiled in a dispute for months, the submission of the lawsuit may have caught Playtech off guard.
The lawsuit was filed before the 46th Civil Court of Mexico City, according to a Caliplay press release, targeting Playtech plc and its subsidiaries Playtech Malta and Playtech Software Limited. It also includes Ron Yosef Samoaloff, whose role and identity are unclear, and the Public Property and Trade Register of the State of Baja California.
The core objective of the legal claim is to nullify the existing legal partnership between Caliplay, Playtech and other parties, as outlined in various agreements. The outcome of this legal battle holds direct implications for Caliplay’s regulated operations within the Mexican market, as it may impact the Caliente.MX online gaming platform.
From Friction to Fight
The lawsuit is an update to an ongoing legal battle over Playtech’s rights within the Caliplay partnership. Playtech believes it doesn’t have to continue paying certain fees as laid out in its contract, but Caliplay disagrees.
This past February, Playtech sought a solution through the UK’s court system, although the case is still in the air. Caliplay apparently isn’t satisfied with the progress and launched its legal battle in August.
That same month, a Mexican Court agreed that the claim had a basic legal argument and issued several interim orders, effective until a final resolution is reached. These orders include the suspension of certain rights Playtech has in accordance with stipulations of the existing agreements.
Notably, to prevent any disruption to Caliplay’s business operations and to safeguard its customers, the court has ordered Playtech to not shut off its services to Caliplay during the ongoing legal proceedings. However, the court is leaning heavily on Caliplay’s rights, suspending any payments to Playtech for continuing to provide the services.
Caliplay stated that it welcomes the opportunity to work with Playtech to try to put the dispute to rest. However, the lawsuit makes that more difficult.
You’ve Not Been Served
A few hours after Caliplay issued its press release, Playtech, which has been the company’s technology partner since 2014, responded with one of its own. It indicated that it had yet to receive any official notification of the lawsuit and had no access to the filings.
Playtech, a potential suitor for Italian-facing gaming operator SKS365, tried to maintain the peace in its update, calling Caliplay a “highly valued customer and partner” of the company in Mexico. That may change if the Mexican courts decide that it has to break off its partnership with Caliplay.
The fee that Playtech is disputing is significant – when it spoke about the issue earlier this year, it said the amount was €34.4 million (US$36.23 million). That was as of June of last year, having grown from €22.3 million (US$23.48 million) a year earlier. Now, the figure could be over €10 million (US$10.53 million) more.