Monday October 7,2013 : GOOD PUBLICITY FOR ONLINE GAMBLING PROVIDER
888 gets a boost from gambling publication
The popular US gambling publication Las Vegas Review-Journal gave Gibraltar-based online gambling firm 888poker Holdings a publicity boost over the weekend, pointing out its strong strategic positioning in the burgeoning American internet gambling market and its firm foothold in the three states that have so far legalised the pastime – Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey.
The Journal interviewed 888's chief operating officer, Itai Freiberger, at the recent Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas, who confirmed that his company was building a US online poker network and had big ambitions in the American market, at present involving three states and 10 brands.
The LRVJ article goes on to categorise the strategic moves that have placed 888 in such a favourable position:
* Its involvement of the $12 billion hedge fund Avenue Capital Group in 888's All American Poker Network venture, which has plans to launch 888 brands in the United States. The network also provides a practical B2B foundation for US companies in other states as online poker is legalised in the future.
“We see this as a business opportunity that we can take to any state,” Frieberger said.
* The deal with the Treasure Island group that will see 888 manage an online poker enterprise for the Las Vegas company, running its own brands on the same platform.
* The marketing deal recently approved by Nevada regulators that enables Nevada slot machine route operator Golden Gaming to send punters from its 40 taverns and three Pahrump casinos to the 888-branded online poker website.
* A strong B2B partnership with Caesars Interactive Entertainment in the online poker site WSOP.com recently launched in Nevada. The two companies also operate jointly in several European markets.
* Similar, and wider, arrangements with the land casino giant in New Jersey involving four Atlantic City casinos
* In Delaware, an agreement with Scientific Games Corporation that will see 888 managing online gambling from three in-state racetrack casinos.
* An arrangement whereby Wynn Resorts is given space on the All American Poker Network, operating alongside 888 brands and increasing player liquidity.
Freiberger told the Journal that 888 is also monitoring political developments in the populous state of California, where online poker legalization may take place next year.
888's online poker offering clearly appeals to players, judging by the 31 percent increase in revenues from the vertical that the company posted in its 2012 financial results; no mean achievement in a competitive sector that has seen European revenues decline for many companies.
The LVRJ's piece ends with a look at 888's likely competitors in the US market, concluding that:
* Pokerstars has partnered with Resorts Atlantic City for online poker in a venture still to be approved by the New Jersey regulator, but is presently barred from entering the Nevada market by that state's five-year "bad actor" regulations.
* Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment has solid partnerships signed with MGM Resorts and Boyd Gaming, but has yet to be approved by the Nevada regulators.
* Paddy Power has obtained regulatory approval but has yet to announce a partner.