There seems to an awful lot of activity in the general gambling news at the moment and it centres around Ladbrokes. Firstly several weeks ago, back in December, Ladbrokes started discussions with 888 with a view to them doing a deal but although it would seem to be a good match in principle there could be some cash flow issues with 888 which could be why it seems to have gone a bit quiet and now we hear that Ladbrokes would like to purchase the online casino software provider Playtech. This is however also unlikely to progress smoothly as Playtech as well as having customers who are in direct competition with Ladbrokes is also involved with William Hill Online. William Hill Online which is the internet gambling arm of William Hill is a joint venture between William Hill and Playtech with Playtech being the minority shareholder and was started in 2008. In the agreement William Hill has an option to buy out Playtech after a number of years but how this would be affected by a change of ownership of Playtech is unknown to us and is probably something the lawyers are studying carefully. It could be a deal breaker or it could be an opportunity to William Hill to get a better deal on the Playtech shares but either way Playtech supplies a number of onine bookmakers with online casino software and we cannot imagine any of them being particularly pleased with the thought of a competitor owning the software provider. We shall keep our ears to the ground here at Gambling.ie and let you know what transpires.