888 Holdings’ chief executive, Brian Mattingley, said they’d seen a strong start to 2013, with a noticeable increase in new players, deposits and bets, and a 7% rise in January’s daily average revenues compared to January 2012. He added that the company, which also operates popular bingo site 888Ladies, has benefited from increased revenues thanks to their mobile platforms. Mr. Mattingley says 888Holdings plans to continue heavily investing in the mobile market, and sees this as “just the beginning of an increasing trend.”
In 2012, the Gibraltar-based company cited its casino operation as its biggest earner of the year, bringing in a mighty $165 million. In second place was $88 million through its poker arm, and $52 via bingo. Whilst there was a huge leap in poker revenues in the last quarter of 2012 (a 31% increase), and a modest rise in casino profits (6%), the group’s online bingo arm failed to perform and fell 11%. 888 Holdings attribute this drop to market conditions which have proved “challenging and competitive.”
Many industry experts have been surprised by the group’s good fortunes. An analyst at Peel Hunt stated that they had predicted $20m less when forecasting 888’s net cash position. Meanwhile, Investec’s James Hollins upped his forecasts, predicting a continuation in growth for 2013, saying that the group’s management have “made all the right moves” by continually investing in the brand, and “targeting customer acquisition.”
Whilst the management at 888 Holdings might be patting themselves on the backs about their record profits, they’re still in the bad books of many campaigners who have accused them of potentially creating a “new generation of problem gamblers.” The group entered into an agreement with Facebook in late 2012 to allow members of the social networking site to play real-money games with stakes of up to £500.