888 Holdings has issued its 2019 Annual Report and shared the highlights of a landmark year for the company.
UK.- On May 15, 888 Holdings publicly shared their 2019 Annual Report. In review, 2019 was another year of growth and innovation with a record number of new customers – more than a million – across its international brands. During 2019, 74% of 888´s revenue was generated from the regulated market. In the UK, where the company had experienced a decline in market share revenue grew 20%.
The core objectives of the brand are to increase the player safety, increase its presence in regulated markets, and enhance player experience. 2019 presented a few obstacles with the increase in gaming duties and challenging trading conditions; hurdles that come along with new regulated markets the company has entered, like Portugal and Sweden and a tightening from the UK regulators. In the UK, Italy, and Romania the brand has increased its market shared while revenue growth continuous to be driven by 888casino and 888sport. 888 is now present in 13 countries.
This has been the core objective of 888 for the year. The goal is to ensure customers find themselves in a secure environment when visiting the website, a place where underage and those vulnerable to gambling are not drawn into the games. With technology and analytical expertise, customers who are at risk can be identified to provide them the required support and the tools so they can take informed and safer decisions about their gambling. This goes in-line with ASA´s request to operators (Advertising Standards Authority in the UK) to come up with responsible marketing ideas.
In 2020 888 continues to engage in safer gambling with the program “Safer, Better, Together” by bringing together stakeholders, regulators, industry bodies and charities in a coordinated program.
By Q1 of 2019, 888 completed two acquisitions; the state of the art sports betting platform BetBright and its team of developers in Dublin. This has given 888 complete ownership of technology and product development across its four online gaming products.
This acquisition complements the company´s cornerstone product of recent years, the Orbit casino platform. By being at the forefront of game development and research, 888 is delivering unique and engaging gaming experience for its user base.
Online casinos continue to be the growth driver with a 13% increase in revenue to US$359.3 million. The user base saw an increase in 26% active players and 43% in new customers. The Orbit platform has been essential to this growth by increasing player engagement through interface response times, customer personalization through artificial Intelligence (AI) and improved display of games and graphics.
Orbit was launched in 2018 and has been introduced to all of 888´s worldwide markets. Is it now in the process of exporting some of its features to 888 Sport, Poker and Bingo products.
Thanks to Orbit, 888 won the industry awards of Casino operator of the Year 2019 and Gaming Intelligence – Casino Operator of the Year 2020.
The sports betting product grew 12% in revenue and 19% in FTD´s (First Time Depositors, or new players). In July 2019 a new in-house 888sport product interface rolled-out that improved the navigation and user experience. In March 2019 the Group acquired BetBritgh and its betting platform. The new technology was being assimilated during 2019 and will now be integrated to the sports platform during 2020.
Online poker revenue declined by 13% in 2019, but it was showing an increase of 7% in the second half of 2019. While revenues continue to remain low for poker, the product still represents 18% in player acquisition. 2019 was an important year for 888poker with the entrance into Portugal and the new inter-country shared poker liquidity across Europe. Now 888 poker players from Spain and Portugal can play against each other which should increase average revenue per player. To increase brand awareness, the 50th World Series of Poker Series was sponsored by 888poker.
During 2020 a new poker platform called Poker 8 will be launched to increase recreational player engagement.
Bingo recorded a 19% revenue growth thanks to the acquisition of several Bingo brands during March 2019. New customer acquisition increased 23% with the average revenue per player also increasing.
The bingo market in the UK has seen some obstacles for growth due to increased fiscal pressures and a stricter regulatory environment.