888 hit by regulatory lockdown
Shares at 888 were down almost 9% after the firm reported a decline in its UK performance
The group’s profits have been inconsistent in the last number of years. Just a year ago losses averaged at around $17 million compared to this year’s astronomical profits of $60 million. The firm maintains that its enhanced casino and sports divisions are the driving force behind the profits.
However, in its core UK market, profits were less successful, as revenue dropped 18%. This was put down to revisions to its practices which aimed to “align with the stricter regulatory environment across the market”. It noted a crackdown on anti-money laundering procedures which led to increased customer due diligence and protection.
Last year, 888 received a record-breaking fine of £7.8m from the Gambling Commission as a result of “serious failings” in its handling of vulnerable customers.
CEO Itai Frieberger commented, “We have been adapting the way that we operate for the long-term growth of our business by enhancing customer protection practices through innovation and automation as well as diversifying marketing investment into higher growth areas of the business, thereby reducing exposure to any one single market.”
Frieberger noted, “I am pleased to report that since the period end we have started to see positive trends in the UK on the back of the optimisation efforts implemented over the past 18 months.”
Like most of the gambling globe, 888 also set sail for new pastures stateside. Since the eradication of PASPA, numerous companies have turned to the U.S. 888 has built on its US presence by rolling out its 888sport brand in New Jersey earlier this month. All eyes were on the U.S. this week as the implications of PASPA were being delegated in the Congress.
Frieberger cited the US as a key growth market for the company moving forward, highlighting “exciting” opportunities in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling on PASPA.
“Frieberer concluded, “In a generation of evolution, the online gambling sector has become significantly more complex and challenging from a regulatory, technology and competitive standpoint, presenting near structural challenges for the ‘grandfather’ of vertically integrated online casino.”
888 holds licences in Gibraltar. 888’s overall purpose is to provide quality entertainment in a fun, fair and regulated environment.
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