888 Holdings PLC is more commonly known as 888.com, which is its official website for online casino gaming, sports betting and poker gameplay. The public company that it is owns several popular gambling brands and online sites, including its own launches in 888Sport, 888Casino and 888Poker. Basing itself out of Gibraltar, the company is also listed on the London Stock Exchange and makes up part of the FTSE 250 Index as well. It has already marked its 25 years of activity within the gambling world, having started out in 1997, and it has come a long way in those proceeding years.
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An In-Depth Look at 888 Holdings
The 888 brand was founded in 1997, basing itself out of the British Virgin Islands, and starting out its life as Virtual Holdings Limited. In that same year, the Antiguan subsidiary of the company managed to acquire a gaming licence in Antigua, and from there, it based all of its management, gaming servers, member support functions and technical and payments employees. It was then in May of 1997 that the company’s first proprietary product was launched in Casino-on-Net.
One year later, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Random Logic Limited was established. This was set up so as to provide research and development, as well as marketing services, to the 888 Holdings brand. Things proceeded at a steady rate for the next couple of years, before in 2002, the company launched its second casino service in Reef Club Casino. It was also later on in the year that 888.com was opened, featuring its own multi-player poker room, Pacific Poker. An extra office would also be established in London, sourcing its offline advertising in the United Kingdom.
As of July 2003, 888 acquired its gambling licence from Gibraltar, and this saw the company move its headquarters, management team and so on from Antigua to that location. Two years later, the company was listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange, and it became one of the founding members of eCOGRA, dedicated to providing top-quality customer protection.
All of the company’s activity in the United States would cease in 2006, thanks to the passing of the UIGEA law in September. And it was in 2007 that it turned to the world of takeovers and acquisitions, setting the company off on a path that it is still following to this day – to become the biggest and the best gambling provider in the world.
Today, 888 owns and operates some of the globe’s most exciting and trusted online casino, sports betting, poker and bingo gaming brands available. And it has a strategy in place to experience continued growth in the future. Through this, the company aims to develop what it defines as “state-of-the-art technology”, as well as new products, which allow users to have a fun, fair and above all else, safe digital gambling experience. It has four key pillars to focus on to do this – Market Focus, Sustainable Competitive Advantages, Value-Enhancing M&A, Made for the Future.
Acquisitions by 888 Holdings
In order for the company to grow at a significant rate, it has acquired several other brands, with the first of these takeovers occurring in 2007. These brands operate alongside the original launches by 888, ensuring that it has quite the scope of the iGaming and betting scene in its path. Take a look at some of the acquisitions that have been snapped up by 888 Holdings across the years below.
- 2007 – 888 purchases the assets and bingo business side of things from Globalcom Limited for $32.4 million. The privately-owned company, which was registered in Belize, operated a leading network of 45 online bingo sites under a licence from Kahnawake, Canada, all of which came under 888’s possession.
- 2009 – 888 acquires the Wink online bingo business in December, with a payout of £11 million upfront and the remainder tied to profits in the period to March 2011. CEO at the time Gigi Levy, said that the deal was a very lucrative one and that he believed “there is a lot of room for growth in online bingo”, highlighting an expected 20 to 25% growth in the proceeding year.
- 2010 – Assets of the social game development company Mytopia acquired for $18 million. This takeover allowed the company to move into the social gaming market, allowing it to easily post games to different online gaming platforms, including social networks and smartphones.
- 2011 – 888 enters into an agreement with Caesars Interactive Entertainment, which receives regulatory approval from the Nevada Gaming Control Board and the Nevada Gaming Commission. This secured the brand’s strategy of launching a U.S. gaming market. Two years later, 888 entered into the regulated online gaming market of the United States, starting with the WSOP brand, which is powered.
- 2018 – 888 announced its strategic acquisition of the remainder 53% interest in the All American Poker Network for $28 million. This was a joint venture, which started in 2013, and it allowed the first interstate poker liquidity network to be launched.
- 2019 – Acquired a portfolio of bingo brands in February, including Costa Bingo. The following month, it acquired the sportsbook technology and risk management behind the BetBright brand for £15 million, giving it complete ownership over that technology and product development.
- 2021 – Monumental acquisition of William Hill’s European business for £2.2 billion.
Brands that have been acquired by the company have all been brought under the singular “888.com” brand, and they include:
- William Hill
- Costa Bingo
- All American Poker Network
- Wink Bingo
- Globalcom Limited
Any Fines or Sanctions?
It hasn’t all been plain sailing for the 888 Holdings company, though. At times, it has been the receptacle of fines relating to misconduct. What were these fines for and how much were they? Take a look at some of them below.
- 2017 – A fine of £7.8 million imposed on 888 Holdings for failing vulnerable customers. This came about due to over 7,000 customers who had voluntarily banned themselves from gambling still being able to access their 888 accounts.
- 2022 – The most recent penalty handed out to 888 Holdings was for £9.4 million, coming from the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. This came about due to customers losing thousands of pounds during the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to multiple failings by 888. The fine marks the third highest in the history of British gambling regulation.
888 Holdings has grown considerably over its many years of operation and has a strong financial status in the gambling industry, too. Take a look at some facts and figures relating to this below.
- In the year of 2021, 74% of the company’s revenue was generated from regulated and taxed markets globally, marking a 2% increase on 2020.
- The 888 Holdings Group recognised revenue of $980.1 million in 2021, up on 2020’s $849.7 million (15% increase). Adjusted EBITDA of $165 million reported, which is slightly down due to investment in U.S. and marketing to support growth.
- An 18% increase in Net Cash position.
- Most recent share price in 888 Holdings – £192.80 on May 25, 2022, up by 0.57%.
Office Locations for 888 Holdings
The primary office location for 888 Holdings can be found in Gibraltar, which is where its headquarters are found. Yet it also maintains offices in various other cities around the world, including:
- Herzliya, Israel
- Bucharest, Romania
- New York, USA
- New Jersey, USA
- Dublin, Ireland
- London, UK
- Ceuta, Spain