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