UK-headquartered online gaming tech firm Playtech has struck a deal worth over $1bn to buy a majority stake in an Italian gaming and betting firm.

Playtech has reached an agreement to purchase approximately 70.6 per cent of Snaitech for €846m. The deal is subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals and is expected to complete in the fourth quarter of 2018.

The company says the combination will create the first vertically integrated gaming operator that controls its own technology across all products and verticals.

"The acquisition of Snaitech represents the continuation of our strategy to invest in leading retail brands in fast growing, regulated market," said Playtech CEO Mor Weizer.

"The acquisition delivers the board's strategic objective to improve the quality and diversification of group revenue, whilst delivering exposure to high growth end markets, by utilising the strength of Playtech's balance sheet."

Fabio Schiavolin, chief executive of Snaitech, added: "This acquisition reflects Snaitech's position as one of the leading and best known brands in Italy and delivers meaningful value to our shareholders.

"The combination of Playtech's technology and experience in Italy with Snaitech's powerful brand mean we will be better able to capture the online opportunity in the fast growing and dynamic Italian market.  We are pleased to be joining the Playtech team and look to the future with confidence and excitement."

Founded in 1999 and listed on the London Stock Exchange, Playtech is a supplier of software and services to the gambling industry and works with online, retail and mobile operators, land-based casino groups and government-sponsored entities such as lotteries.

The company employs approximately 5,000 staff across 17 countries.