888 Sees A Sharp Profit Rise After Shifting Focus From UK To The US

With significant legal progress in the US towards regulating online gambling, 888 Holdings has enjoyed a sharp rise in profits, solidifying the company’s decision to focus less on the UK market, and more on the US.

After 888 Holdings released their half-year reports, financials showed that the company produced a turnaround in their pre-tax profits, from a $17 million loss back in 2017 to a $60.1 million gain in 2018.

Thanks to this turnaround, the company’s adjusted profit before tax also rose by 13% – up to $42.5 million – and, with the adjusted EBITDA – an increase of 10% to $52.4 million.

While this certainly sounds – and indeed looks promising – it’s worth noting that revenues only actually increased by 1%.

888’s decision to focus less on the UK market, and more on the US market shows to be successful, however, as – when looking at the figures excluding the UK market – it appears that their sports and casino-based revenues increased by 34% and 24% respectively.

Interestingly, 888’s bingo operation saw a decrease in 11% to $17.6 million, with the company citing “heightened regulatory scrutiny in the UK” as the main reason behind this fall.

Speaking on behalf of his company, Itai Frieberger – 888 CEO – say: “We have maintained strong momentum in Casino and Sport particularly in continental European markets. In the UK, we are pleased to report that since the period end we have started to see positive trends in revenue.”

It appears that the continual sports betting growth isn’t limited to the US, either – as the company has also seen customers from Italy and Spain bet more on sports, although it’s worth noting that 888’s bingo operations continue to decrease, and this seems to be a trend that is apparent around the world.

Building on the success of their sports betting services, 888 are set to build a new data farm in Ireland, and this is set to help them launch their services to a great number of European players, as well as ensuring those residing in Great Britain and Northern Ireland are taken care of.

The company have also begun the application stage to acquire a Maltese gaming license – something that was deemed necessary in the case of a “hard brexit” – something that could have disastrous consequences for online gambling firms, when it comes to licensing.

(In the case of a hard brexit, Gibraltar may find that they are no longer able to rely on EU freedom of services. As many online gambling companies are based in Gibraltar – with licenses from the Channel Island – this poses significant questions as to whether services would be able to continue being offered to European players using a Gibraltan license.)

As you can see, it’s clear that 888 Holdings has a relatively positive outlook for 2018/2019 – and the repeal of PASPA has given the company a fantastic opportunity to widen its reach and begin taking bets from US players. Indeed, 888Sport has just launched in New Jersey – and this comes alongside an interstate poker network, and an extension with Kambi, to include the US market.