888casino FTDs up 31% after new platform launch | EGR North America

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London-listed operator to stick with a “smart and selective” approach to launching in new states

888 has reported a 31% rise in first-time depositors to its casino product in New Jersey since launching its Orbit platform, the operator revealed yesterday.

The company launched the platform in New Jersey in July on its own branded site and Harrah’s Casino, with the platform delivering an immediate uplift.

The operator declined to give exact figures on US market revenues, but said it would continue a “smart and selective” approach to launching in new states.

“Just like in Europe, we didn’t go after every opportunity,” CEO Itai Pazner said. “Some markets are tax prohibitive, some are regulatorily prohibitive, while some have huge potential. Not all opportunities are alike and we ill only for the ones that suit us.”

Pazner was speaking after the firm’s H1 results, where group revenues climbed 7% to $277.3m, driven by strong growth from the operator’s UK-facing business.

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A slide from 888’s investor presentation

The London-listed firm posted a 23% year-on-year rise in LFL revenues from the UK at $97.6m, with the firm hailing the success of its recreational focus as first time depositors (FTDs) in the market increased 30%.

Groupwide, sports revenues was up 28% in constant currency to $44.5m, while casino was up 14%cc $175.4m.

“888 has delivered a solid performance in the first half of 2019,” said Pazner.

He added: “The Group’s business in the UK has continued its recovery, which was underpinned by exciting product innovation as well as 888’s successful casual customer focus, and further expanded across several regulated European markets including launching its offering in Sweden and Portugal.

“The Group has also completed two acquisitions including the exciting and strategic acquisition of a first-class sports betting platform and team, thereby giving 888 complete ownership for the first time of its technology and product development across the four key online gaming product verticals.”

Adjusted group EBITDA was broadly in line with market expectations, declining 20% year-on-year to $41.8m on increased gaming taxes and marketing investment.

Read EGR North America‘s recent interview with 888’s US chief Yaniv Sherman here.

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