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888 forecasts 45% revenue rise for 2020

| By Robert Fletcher
888 Holdings expects a 45% rise in full-year revenue for 2020, while the operator has also secured market access agreements to roll out sports betting in a trio of new US states.

The operator said it had continued to deliver a strong operational performance in the second half of the year, helped by high levels of customer acquisition during 2019 and 2020.

888 also noted that it continued to benefit from the ongoing structural shift in consumer behaviour, as players migrated from retail to online. This was aided by new product launches and an increased focus on safer gambling and player protection.

This, 888 said, also means that earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) are likely to be ahead of initial expectations for 2020.

“This performance continues to reflect strong [first time depositor (FTD)] trends in line with the group’s recreational customer focus as well as the structural shift towards online services being seen across several consumer-facing industries,” 888 chief executive Itai Pazner explained.

“888 continues to invest in protecting customers and has again increased the volume of interactions with customers initiated by 888’s safer gambling team in order to help prevent gambling related harm.”

In terms of its expectations for 2021, 888 said these are currently unchanged, having taken into account new regulations in Germany and plans to increase levels of investment in the US.

This increased US investment will come amid expansion to a trio of new states, with launches planned for Colorado, Indiana and Iowa.

In Colorado, 888Sport will launch under Colorado Grande Casino’s licence, while in Iowa it will offer sports betting under Catfish Bend Casino’s licence.

In Indiana, it is to operate through a partnership with Caesars Entertainment’s Harrah’s Hoosier Park.

Following launch in each of the states, this will mean 888 is active in six states across the US, with offerings already live in Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey.

“Expanding 888Sport.com into these three states represents another major milestone in our ongoing growth across the regulated US online gaming market,” 888 senior vice president and head of commercial development Yaniv Sherman said

“We continue to appraise strategic partnerships that will provide additional brand-building and market access opportunities for 888 across the US market in the near future.”

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