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888 to launch online poker and casino games in New Jersey 08/08/2013
Betting firm sets sights on most lucrative of three states that are opening up their markets when US internet gambling ban ends'

London-listed 888 Holdings said it plans to launch online poker and casino games under its own brand in New Jersey this year when the US state ends a ban on internet gambling.

Internet betting was banned by Congress in 2006, dealing a blow to companies such as 888 which had set up in the US. However, tax-hungry states are now relaxing rules, creating opportunities for European players with years of expertise in the sector.

888 already has an agreement to make its technology available to US company Caesars Interactive Entertainment, one of a number of Atlantic City casino operators that are preparing to move into the online market.

But 888's chief executive, Brian Mattingley, said targeting New Jersey's gamblers with its own brand should allow it to maximise revenues from the largest and most lucrative of the three US states that are opening up their markets.

"We are providing the platform for Caesars but we are providing the one-stop shop that 888 is renowned for across Europe," he said.

"We are extremely well positioned in the US and are working with the regulators in Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey as these three states become ready to open," he added.

Ralph Topping, chief executive of bookmaker William Hill, warned last week that fierce initial competition for consumers in New Jersey risked creating a "bit of a bloodbath".

Mattingley would not be drawn on 888's marketing budget for New Jersey but said it would be carefully controlled.

He said analyst forecasts for total annual gaming revenues of $450m (£292m) from New Jersey looked a "bit rich" but would not put an exact figure on the size of the market.

888 said its second-quarter revenues rose 5% to $97m and that third-quarter trading was so far in line with its expectations.

He added: “We are providing the platform for Caesars but we are providing the one-stop shop that 888 is renowned for across Europe.”

Other 888 Poker News
Jackie Glazier, who was the last woman to be eliminated from the 2013 World Series of Poker main event earlier this month, was recently signed by 888.

Glazier, an Australian, joins a roster of pros at 888poker, a group that includes Aussie cricket legend Shane Warne and 2011 November Niner Sam Holden.

Glazier took 31st place in the WSOP main event, earning $229,281. She has more than $1 million in live tournament cashes in her career, including a runner-up finish at the 2012 WSOP in a $3,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em event for more than $450,000.

“I am so excited to be joining Team 888,” Glazier said after the announcement. “I look forward to heaps of fun playing poker all around the world with such a great group of people.” Glazier is slated to represent 888 at the WSOP Europe in Paris this October.

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