Playtech (LSE:PTECH), an online gaming and gambling software company and owner of the Markets.com forex brokerage, has sold its binary options brokerage TopOption to the Israeli company Lead Trade.
It is unclear when exactly the sale happened, but according to a message posted on the page of TopOption, as of August 7, 2016, all customer accounts have been migrated to Lead Trade Ltd.
Lead Trade was established in 2015 and has a license from the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) to act as a Cyprus Investment Firm and provides brokerage services of financial instruments. It also has registration with Germany’s regulator BAFIN, UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and several other EU regulators. Besides TopOption, Lead Trade operates several other binary options brokers: PrestigeOption, ExcellenceOption and OptionsClick.
The price of the transaction is not clear, but according to the site LeapRate, quoting industry sources, very little money changed hands, as PlayTech is trying to exit the binary options market as quietly as possible.
Small wonder, considering that the binary options broker are in hot water and face mounting animosity from various European regulators. In the beginning of August the French regulator AMF tabled a proposal for the altogether banning of advertising of forex and binary options brokers. Belgium shortly followed suit.
PlayTech, however, has many other businesses like online casinos, online poker rooms, online sports betting operations and online bingo games. It also develops software for betting giants like William Hill and Ladbrokes. Last year PlayTech also tried to acquire Plus500 (LON:PLUS) for GBP 460 million, but abandoned its plans after it failed to get a nod from the FCA. PlayTech tried to buy the Irish forex and CFD broker Ava Trade for GBP 105 million, too. Those plans also collapsed, facing opposition from the local regulator – the Bank of Ireland.