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Playtech's half-year profit falls 34 percent as Asia weighs

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(Reuters) – Gaming and casino software maker Playtech’s <PTEC.L> adjusted profit fell 34 percent in the first half of 2018, weighed down by the impact of competition and tougher regulation in Asian markets.

Overall net revenue at the company, which provides online games and platforms for some of the world’s biggest gambling brands, rose 4 percent to 436.5 million euros (387.68 million pounds). Excluding its Asia business, revenue jumped 35 percent.

“This progress is marked against the disappointing market conditions in Asia,” Playtech Chairman Alan Jackson said.

In Malaysia, where regulators are seeking to crack down on online gambling, Playtech said that activity is significantly lower than its full year 2016 run rate.

In China, where it faces increased competition from cut-price newer entrants, the company said it was seeking to invest in its product rather than engage in what it saw as unsustainable price cuts.

Revenue at its gaming division, which operates products such as Age Of The Gods Bingo and Age Of The Gods Slots casino, grew 53 percent in regulated markets.

(Reporting by Sangameswaran S in Bengalurul Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar)

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