888 Profits From US Expansion
888 Holdings’ recent expansion into the US has brought about a change in fortunes for the online gambling operator. Its Q2 report showed 2017’s $17 million pre-tax profit loss turned into a gain of $60.1 million this year.
The new market also meant 24% and 34% increases in casino and sport revenue outside the UK, and 10% and 11% increases in the same overall. Adjusted EBITDA increased by 10% to $52.4 million, and adjusted profit before tax grew by 13% to $42.5 million.
Despite this, revenues only saw a 1% increase, with growth being hampered by the operator’s B2B business’ 4% drop to $26.5 million. Its B2C fared better with a 2% increase that saw it reach $246.7 million.
Bingo and Brexit
While most of the operator’s Q2 results are promising, its bingo revenue figures were another matter. A regulatory clampdown in the UK, one of the biggest markets for the game, saw revenues drop by 11% to $17.6 million.
This, together with the possibility that a tough Brexit could affect the right of Gibraltar to freedom of services under the EU, are among the reasons 888 has sought less dependence on the UK market. In line with this, the operator plans to apply for licensing from the Malta Gaming Authority, and to construct a new facility in Ireland.
Improved sports betting revenues in Italy and Spain were some of the first signs decreased UK dependence. However, that was nothing compared to what happened after the US Supreme Court When the Supreme Court reversed a 26-year-long national sports betting ban earlier this year.
Operator Takes US Opportunity
The lifting of the ban gave the operator the chance to expand into the US, and it took it. In addition to taking 888Sport to New Jersey, it also got an extended contract with Kambi, as well as 2-year extension of an interstate Poker network with the Delaware Lottery.
888’s commercial development head Yaniv Sherman relocated from Israel to New Jersey, and from there, will lead the company’s continued movement into the new market. In addition to online and mobile sports betting, the operator also offers slots, table, live dealer, and other games at its state-focused online casino.
Operator CEO Itai Frieberger said 888’s casino, Poker, and sports products are all available in the US. He added that his company will continue to develop its brands, technology and other offerings, as he was certain new regulations would lead to important opportunities for future growth in the market.