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Gambling software maker Playtech cuts Asia outlook

(Reuters) - Gambling software maker Playtech Plc on Thursday cut its full-year revenue forecast for Asia, blaming rising competition in China and a regulatory crackdown in Malaysia.

It now expects Asia business to contribute 115 million euros ($127.4 million) to its annual revenue compared with its prior estimate of 150 million euros.

Over the last two years, the company has faced a clamp-down on gambling syndicates in one of its largest Asian markets, Malaysia, and seen new players in China offering services at lower prices, forcing it to issue two profit warnings.

"Asia remains volatile with low visibility," the company said and announced steps to offset the drop in performance in the region through a plan to reward sub-licensees for promoting its content and by launching new games.

Its total revenue for the six months ended June 30 surged 69% to 736.1 million euros, helped by growth in regulated markets.

The company also affirmed its 2019 adjusted core earnings forecast of 390 million euros to 415 million euros and announced a share buyback of 25 million euros.

($1 = 0.9029 euros)

(Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Arun Koyyur)