Gambling firm warns of profit hit from sports disruptions

The online gambling firm expects an impact on profits.
The sports vertical accounted for around 16% of group revenue in 2019.

Online gambling firm 888 Holdings said its profits would be severely impacted by Coronavirus crisis, as most of the sports events have been cancelled.

Online gambling firm 888 Holdings said its 2020 core profit could be impacted by high single-digit millions of dollars if the global sporting events continued to be disrupted until September because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The company also said more people were playing casino and poker, with its customer-facing business recording a 20% jump in customer acquisition year to date, as they remained holed up in their homes because of the fast-spreading virus.

Giving its outlook for 2020 and the impacts of coronavirus (Covid-19), the company said it’s unclear how the fast-moving situation will evolve in the coming months.

It did, however, note that its sports vertical accounted for around 16% of group revenue in 2019.

888 said that it estimates a potential hit to earnings (group EBITDA) of “up to high single-digit millions of dollars” if the disruption of global sport continues until September.

Additionally, it highlighted the potential for “gambling-related harm” as individuals isolate.

“The board recognises that, with people spending more time at home and with potentially increased stress from economic uncertainty, 888’s vigilance on safe gambling and preventing gambling-related harm is even more important than ever. The group continues to offer its customers support and is proactively communicating with its customers to make them aware of safe gambling tools to limit and control their play.”

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