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WORLD CUP DISTRACTION PAUSES 888 DIVIDEND
But online gambling pick up is starting to look a little brighter
888 Holdings, which earlier this month warned that its results may be disappointing has had to scrap its interim dividend after the distractions of the football World Cup in June-July this year, together with a traditionally slow seasonal decline and the general economic malaise, impacted profits.
Pre-tax company profits plunged 44 percent to $8.4 million (GBP5.4 million) for the first half of the year, the company revealed in a statement this week.
First half revenues reached $130 million, 10.5 percent up on the same period last year, but marketing costs escalated by 19 percent to $47.5 million resulting in a 39 percent drop in H1 EBITDA to $12.6 million.
Results by operational activity showed that online bingo generated $23.5 million in H1 revenues, whilst online poker again presented a lack lustre performance, declining to $19.6 million. Online casino operations fared better, rising to $59.3 million from H1 2009's $55.9 million.
City financial media listed other sectors in the UK economy that felt the pressure of the World Cup including dance studios, home retail groups and entertainment venues like pubs, although sales of televisions and home delivered meals surged.
Some bookies have also reported good business from the Cup (see previous InfoPowa reports) - William Hill said the World Cup was “one of the best for bookmakers in 40 years”, as patriotic punters lost money backing England.
888 Management has reacted to the downturn by beginning a cost-cutting initiative to prevent further losses, although CEO Gigi Levy reported that it was not all gloom and doom, with online poker revenues picking up 15 percent as the second half of the year started.
The economies envisaged by management should result in a reduction in overhead of $6 million by the time the second half of the year ends, although the company was not specific about what would be axed or streamlined.
888's role in consolidation moves sweeping the industry remains unclear, with Levy again referring to the possibility in releasing the H1 results.
“We look at consolidation as one of the possible routes to realising our full value and feel that longer term this is the direction the industry will take. We have always stated that we will look into all relevant deals and expect the recent merger news to accelerate such discussions in the industry,” he reported.
He also warned that the regulated markets in France and Italy should not be viewed as generating overnight success, but as a longer term investment that would take time to deliver the full potential.
Oink Country Love Slot Launches -
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Tim Chung Wins MPNPT Manchester -
The 288-runner £550 MPNPT Manchester Main Event today crowned its champion, awarding the bulk of the £150,000 total prizepool to the nine players surviving after two days of tournament poker at the Grosvenor Casino.
MPNPT Manchester Day 2 -
Day 2 of the £550 MPNPT Manchester Main Event saw 60 Day 1 survivors (from a total of 288 entries) and three intrepid last-minute registrants sit down to play to the final table.
Day 1B MPN Poker Tour Manchester -
Day 1B of the £550 MPNPT Manchester Main Event saw the field rise to 285, as players took full advantage of the whole-day re-entry period.
Day 1A MPNPT Manchester -
The £150,000 guaranteed MPNPT Manchester kicked off today in style – 74 poker players from all over Europe arriving at the Grosvenor Casino to contend the first of two starting days
Kung Fu Rooster Slot Goes Live -
Celebrate Chinese New Year - 2017 Year of the Rooster. It's time to sweep away any ill-fortune and make way for incoming good luck, with this exciting 12 lines slot game.
Sensational Sixes Slot Goes Live -
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3 New Betsoft Slots -
3 new Betsoft slot Games were also added this week to most online casinos allowing US players.
2017 Bodog Super Millions Poker Open -
The first events on the 105-tournament schedule have already been completed; there are three more tourneys on Thursday’s schedule, with a total of $34,000 in guaranteed prize money waiting to be won.
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