888 looks for growth opportunities within casino and poker

888 Holdings has released a Covid-19 trading update, in which it has shared its results for the year-to-date. The statistics it has provided are accurate from 1st January – 18th March.

The operator reported that it’s doing better than this time last year, while also pointing to opportunities within online casino and poker. However, it also warned that a lack of sporting activity could impact its revenue for 2020.

Year-on-year increases 

888 was supposed to announce its full-year results for 2019, but chose to put these on hold. In its place, it shared how it has fared in the first three months of this year as part of its trading update.

In casino and sport, there has been a 24% average daily increase compared to last year. Moreover, New customer across the company’s B2C business has jumped by 20%. B2C average daily deposits are also up by 32%.

Overall, average daily revenue is 18% higher than during the same time period in 2019.

Looking towards online casino and poker 

According to 888, activity across online casino and poker has increased despite the current global situation. The operator believes that this will help to soften the blow of lost sports betting revenue.

However, the company was also wary of the impact that continued sporting disruptions could have. Should these carry on until September 2020, 888 believes that this will likely lead to an EBITDA decline of “high single digit millions of dollars”.

Depending on how economic uncertainty pertains across the globe, 888 is also wary that fewer players might gamble as a result.

The web-based sportsbook and casino also noted that last year, sports betting contributed to 16% of total group revenue.

In its trading update, 888 said the below.

“As a purely online operator with diversified brands across product verticals and geographies, a strong balance sheet with $99.5m (£85.3m/€91.8m) of cash and cash equivalents at the 2019-year end, and a proven track record of delivering operational efficiencies, the board is confident in 888’s ability to manage these challenges.”

At the time of writing, 888’s share price on the London Stock Exchange is 32.01% higher than yesterday.

Aiming to minimise the risks of gambling-related harm

888 is wary that more time at home and higher finance-related stress levels make its responsible gambling initiatives even more important.

To counter potential issues that may arise, the operator has committed to continue both offering support and its proactive communication with players. The intention is also that customers become aware of the safe gambling tools at their disposal, which includes options to reduce their playing time.

888 also plans to continue using its Observer software to mitigate potential player risks.

When will 888 release its 2019 financial results? 

After delaying the publication of last year’s performance report, 888 has said that it will inform the public of a new release date in due course.

The delay was a result of the Financial Control Authority (FCA) asking all listed businesses to postpone sharing its preliminary financial figures. In the current climate, the FCA believes that issuing monetary statements will add unnecessary pressure.

Whatever the new date is that 888 decides to share its financial results, it will be subject to any additional FCA guidance.

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