London-listed gaming supplier Playtech will power the first cross-border poker network which is being launched by Finland’s RAY and Austria’s win2day.

The ground-breaking agreement sees state-controlled RAY and win2day join forces to launch a joint poker network which pools their Finnish and Austrian players, a move made possible by the recent approval of the Finnish Ministry of Interior.

“We have been pioneers in the gaming industry for many years and are extremely proud to be the first company to provide two great brands with a poker network and series of leading products that will combine to form the first ever cross-border poker network,” said Shimon Akad, Playtech chief operating officer. “Playtech has long been the largest and most successful poker network in the industry so we’re delighted to be part of this new venture.”

Playtech has worked with RAY since 2010 and has been working with the Austrian Lotteries and Casinos Austria-owned win2day since last year.

“Working with win2day has been an extremely smooth process and today’s announcement significantly improves the game selection in both Finland and Austria,” said Jan Hagelberg, VP of digital channels for RAY. “We expect the change to considerably increase the interest towards both operators’ poker games.

“As we have progressed our co-operation, we have also developed the online poker customer experience together with Playtech.”

Martin Jekl, managing director of win2day added: “It is with great pleasure that we welcome the opportunity to sustainably expand our offering as the leading online poker provider in Austria with the joint network and thereby improve the customer experience for our users. With RAY, we have found a strong and highly professional partner that shares our commitment to responsible gaming.”

The poker liquidity sharing was made possible by Finnish authorities after they confirmed that win2day could adhere to the country's responsible gambling regulations, with the network open to adding “other operators that meet our responsibility standards”.

Shares in Playtech plc (Co. Data) (LSE:PTEC) were trading down 0.32 per cent at 787.00 pence per share in London Wednesday morning.

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