Tuesday, May 1,2012 : 888 CHIEF SPEAKS ON U.S. AMBITIONS
"We're the prettiest girl in town," says chief executive
Brian Mattingley, chief executive of online gambling group 888 Holdings plc expanded on 888's US ambitions in an interview with the poker information site Poker News Monday, saying:
* The company's decision to reverse out of the US market in the wake of UIGEA had been the right strategic move, although it had initially halved revenues. "Through acting in line with local regulations in the markets in which we operate, it facilitates the signing of agreements worldwide. Our decision to exit the U.S. has been vindicated through the receipt of approval of our partnership with Caesars from the Nevada Gaming Commission."
* The extended partnership with American land gambling giant Caesar's Entertainment was a significant step toward participation in a legalised US online poker market, but the collaboration was not exclusive, allowing 888 the flexibility to talk to other potential US partners, which it was doing.
* Mattingley is taking a careful, professional and methodical approach in meeting American requirements; seeking licenses in progressive states like Nevada and negotiating with potential US partners. "We are definitely the prettiest girl in town!" Mattingley said of the company's American positioning in online gambling legalization terms.
* The strong performance of 888's poker brand over the past year and a half illustrates that it has the right product and platform to drive growth, showing possible US partners that 888 has the capacity to deliver strong and sustained performance.
* The company's plan is to be in a regulatory and commercial position to launch US operations as soon as political initiatives permit it.
* Mattingley remained cagey on reports that 888 was talking to the Trump group, saying only that 888 was engaging with a number of companies, but would not disclose identities until the time was right.
* Recovering from the 2006 exit from the US market has been achieved through constant improvement, expansion and innovation in products, allowing growing involvement in other markets, with bingo, casino and the company's Poker 6 platform important contributors. This has resulted in revenues that are now greater than those achieved when 888 left the US market, Mattingley revealed.