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As Pivotal as it is Lucrative: 888 Holdings Expands within the African Continent

Through the 888Africa joint venture, 888 Holdings said on Thursday that its 888bet brand has begun operations in Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, and Zambia.

Itai Pazner, the chief executive officer of the firm, expressed that they are delighted to see 888Africa continue to improve its service and unveil new and interesting items for players over the near future.

African Continent
African Continent

By 2030, African Gaming Industry Estimated to be Worth $5.6bn

Future releases in additional markets are planned, he noted, subject to regulatory clearance. The African gambling industry is anticipated to reach $5.6 billion by 2025.

In order to operate 888 in online casino gaming and sports betting sectors across regulated nations in the continent, the 888Africa brand was initially formed in March. The corporation first made a minority investment in the initiative, but it had the option to raise its interest and eventually acquire up to 100% of the company.

The joint venture’s initial launches in Africa since its founding will be the ones that have been announced. All players in these markets will have access to both online and mobile sports betting. What’s more, players based in Zambia will also be able to play online casino games through 888casino.

The Launches will Set the Base for Further Expansion in Africa

A group of seasoned business leaders overseeing 888Africa is led by Christopher Coyne, a former CEO of GOAT Interactive and CMO of The Stars Group. According to a press release, 888Africa’s staff has concentrated on the client experience and already has 85% coverage of mobile network operator payments in its countries.

According to 888Africa Chief Executive Christopher Coyne, 888 is thrilled that within six months of starting the company, they have been able to achieve their goal and launch 88Bet in four regulated markets. He also added that these launches mark a pivotal time in 888 history and that they will serve as the foundation for further penetration into other neighboring African markets. 

According to Coyne, 888 has lofty goals and believes that their strong brand, long history, and high level of trust provide them a significant competitive advantage as they work to establish market-leading positions throughout Africa. He said that they are eager to introduce 888bet and its exclusive offer to gaming enthusiasts of the region in the coming months.

888 Revenue in the First Half of 2022 Dipped from the Prior Year

The online gambling operator released its financial results for the first half of 2022 back in August, which showed a 13% decline in revenue to GBP 332.1 million from the prior year. This was partly attributable to the introduction of safer gaming measures in the UK, ahead of an anticipated regulatory tightening that has not yet been concluded, and the continued effects of the company’s Dutch operations being shut down.

The majority of the drop was caused by 888’s withdrawal from the Dutch market and a 25% YoY decline in UK revenue. Profits outside of these two markets increased 2% from 2021. The company has previously said that the decline in sales was a predictable occurrence.

888 Reports 7.2% Dip in Revenue in 2022 Q3

As a result of stricter UK gambling regulations and the shutdown of its Dutch operation, 888 recently disclosed a decline in revenue for the third quarter of the year. The bookmaker’s income dropped 7.2% to GBP 449 million in the three months that ended on September 30 from GBP 484 million in the same time last year.

Despite the GBP 4 million effect from three days of interim shutdown and the postponement of sporting events in the wake of the Queen’s demise, retail revenue nonetheless reached GBP 124 million and remained consistent in a year-over-year comparison.

The Board noted it anticipates revenues in Q4 2022 to increase over Q3, and mirror Q4 2021 levels, notwithstanding the shifting macroeconomic climate and sustained impact on UK revenues from long-term targeted enhanced safer gaming efforts.

The business said that it has taken steps to quicken synergies and create a more efficient operating cost baseline, and it anticipates an improvement in adjusted EBITDA margin in the second half of 2022 to match current market expectations for adjusted EBITDA for the entire 2022 fiscal year.

The third quarter’s results, according to Chief Executive Officer Itai Pazner, followed the same patterns as the preceding quarters, with relatively steady trading in 888’s main international markets and in their retail estate, as well as continued pressure on their UK online revenues due to the ongoing effects of the improved players’ safety measures.

888 is shifting the player base in their business to one that is lower-spending and more leisurely, which gives them confidence in the long-term prospects for their UK business, Panzer also stated.

The Dutch Gambling Authority’s regulation reforms were effective in October 2021. Due to this, 888 decided to stop offering services in the Netherlands, which continues to have an effect on the business’s financial performance. Additionally, the UK Gambling Commission fined 888 UK GBP 9.4 million in March of this year for social responsibility and money laundering shortcomings, which did not help the revenue of course. 

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