888 Relies on Casino Revenue as Poker Flops in 2019

London Stock Exchange-listed 888 Holdings has seen casino profits soar at the expense of its poker interests this year.

888 financial report

888 has seen its poker profits plummet but it still made an overall profit thanks to casino and sports. (Image: 888poker)

Publishing a trading update on June 4, the gaming operator noted ups and downs across its verticals. The highlight of the report was a 29 percent uptick in sports betting revenue.

Also coming in strong for the period between January 1 and May 18, 2019, was casino revenue. Comparing stats on a like-for-like basis to the previous accounting period, 888 showed a 13 percent increase in casino earnings.

Poker Problematic for 888

While sports and poker soared, poker and bingo fell flat following the company’s Q1 report. As per the latest update, bingo revenue failed to make any gains but also didn’t suffer any noticeable losses.

Poker, however, took a 28 percent drop during the first five months of 2019. Although that wasn’t enough to stop 888 from hitting 6 percent growth, it calls into question the value of poker for the company.

Commenting on the results, CEO Itai Pazner remained upbeat.

Whilst poker has remained challenging, we were pleased to see an improving revenue trend in Q1 2019 against Q4 2018. In addition, we are very encouraged by a 20 percent increase in first time depositors across the Group’s B2C business,” said Pazner.

Although online poker may be posing some challenges, 888 still has an interest in the game. As a testament to this, it currently has a strong relationship with the World Series of Poker (WSOP).

As well as joining forces to power online poker sites in the US, 888 is the headline sponsor at WSOP events.

Winds of Change Are Blowing

However, despite exposure on a global stage, 888poker is failing to make any significant gains on its peers. According to traffic ranking site PokerScout, 888 sits behind the likes of Winamax and Partypoker in terms of cash game activity.

Part of the reason for a drop in poker revenue could be company’s current focus on sports. Alongside its existing interests, 888 recently purchased BetBright.

Although the deal initially caused some consternation among bettors, it has paid dividends. With sports betting in the UK and the US dominating, 888 is gunning to solidify its market position.

For investors, that will be seen as a positive given the current direction of the gaming and betting industry.

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