Today, LSE-listed gambling giant 888 Holdings revealed double-digit profit growth after a year of strong expansion. The company also announced a new gambling license in Malta that is expected to help it offset the possible negative impact of Brexit and stricter regulatory conditions in the UK.
The online gambling operator further revealed that it has established a server in Ireland so that it would be able to provide European customers with its services and reduce the harm it will suffer from the disruption caused by the upcoming exit of the UK from the European Union (EU).
As 888 Holdings said, it implemented certain changes that would help it deal with the negative impact of the Government’s efforts to tackle constantly rising problem gambling rates and underage gambling, including the self-imposed advertising ban during live sports events before the 9:00 PM watershed.
Itai Pazner, the company’s Chief Executive Officer, commented on the 2018 performance of the gambling operator, calling it resilient in spite of the difficulties faced in some areas by the business. Mr Pazner highlighted the fact that the group managed to achieve continued growth in a number of regulated markets, especially in the continental part of Europe, supported by good momentum in its casino and sports betting operations.
888 Holdings Pressed by Tighter Regulatory Regime in the UK
As explained by the CEO of 888 Holdings, the positive results of the company at the end of 2018 have been transferred to the first quarter of 2019, with the average daily revenue generated so far in 2019 marking a 10% increase in comparison to the one posted in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Today, the company revealed that its 2018 revenue fell from £414.9 million registered a year earlier to £414 million. 888 Holdings’ pre-tax profit, however, marked a stable growth from £14.4 million in the previous year to £83.2 million in 2018. As far as the core UK market of the company is concerned, the revenue generated there declined by 16% to £130.6 million due to stricter regulatory regime implemented by the country’s Government.
Still, despite the tighter rules imposed by the UK Government and regulators, the gambling giant has been encouraged by the improving trends being witnessed towards the end of 2018. As explained by CEO Pazner, trading during the new fiscal year is 5% higher at a constant currency basis to date in comparison to the one registered in the previous year.
Considering the complex and highly dynamic regulatory framework in the online gambling operator’s core market, the gambling giant has turned its eyes towards overseas markets seeking to stabilise its positions on a global scale. Moreover, certain changes in a specific jurisdiction’s regulatory regime can have a severe impact on both business volume and financial performance of the company in that jurisdiction.