888 secures market access deal to enter Colorado, Indiana and Iowa
888 Holdings has signed three multi-year market access agreements to launch in the U.S. states of Colorado, Indiana and Iowa initially with the 888Sport brand during 2021.
In Colorado, 888Sport will launch under the licence of the Colorado Grande Casino based in Cripple Creek. In Iowa, the Group will launch under the licence of Catfish Bend Casinos II LLC. In Indiana, the Group has signed an agreement with Harrah’s Hoosier Park, which is owned by Caesars Entertainment, to launch 888Sport in the state. These three agreements represent the latest milestones in 888’s growth strategy in the developing U.S. online gaming market and will increase the number of states where 888 has a presence to six.
888 has continued to deliver a strong operational performance during the second half of the financial year reflecting: the Group’s high levels of customer acquisition during 2019 and 2020; the benefit from the ongoing structural shift in consumer behaviour towards online services; significant new product roll-outs; and the Group’s increased vigilance on safe gambling and player protection.
As a result, the Board expects that revenue and adjusted EBITDA for the full year will be ahead of its prior expectations. Revenue is expected to be approximately 45% ahead of 2019. The adjusted EBITDA margin for the Period is expected to be approximately 18.5%, consistent with the margin achieved in the first half of the year.
Considering the new gaming regulations that came into effect in Germany in October and the Group’s plans to increase levels of investment in the U.S. market in the year ahead, the Board’s expectations for 2021 remain unchanged. The Group intends to provide a Post-Close trading update in respect of its financial year ended 31 December 2020 in January 2021.
Itai Pazner, CEO of 888, commented: “We are delighted to sign these agreements with three great partners – the Colorado Grande Casino, Catfish Bend Casino II LLC, and Harrah’s Hoosier Park – that will enable 888 to bring its first-class online sportsbook to bettors in Colorado, Iowa and Indiana.
The U.S. online betting and gaming market has huge growth potential, and we continue to build a strong platform for growth across both our B2B and B2C operations.
In addition, we are pleased with 888’s trading during the second half of 2020. This performance continues to reflect strong FTD trends in line with the Group’s recreational customer focus as well as the structural shift towards online services being seen across several consumer-facing industries.
We have continued to prioritise safe gambling and recognise the impact of COVID-19 on the lives of 888’s customers across global markets. 888 continues to invest in protecting customers and has again increased the volume of interactions with customers initiated by 888’s safer gambling team in order to help prevent gambling related harm. Underpinned by 888’s core strengths as a responsible operator with outstanding technology, the Group remains well positioned to deliver further strategic progress.”
Yaniv Sherman, SVP Head of Commercial Development at 888, commented on the Group’s U.S. market access deals: “Expanding 888Sport.com into these three states represents another major milestone in our ongoing growth across the regulated U.S. online gaming market.
We have deployed our proprietary technology in the U.S., and our exciting pipeline of new products will deliver industry-leading propositions to customers across both our B2B and B2C operations. We continue to appraise strategic partnerships that will provide additional brand-building and market access opportunities for 888 across the U.S. market in the near future.”