Online gambling company 888 Holdings has vowed greater dedication and action to safer gambling, with ongoing changes to be felt in three main regions.
This comes as the business issues a financial report for the period ended December 31, 2019, which saw a 58.3% decrease in pre-tax income to $45.3 million (2018: $108.7 million) amid group record sales of $560.3 million (2018: $529.9 million).
Recently launching its proprietary safe gambling app, it continues 888’s dedication to a current corporate social responsibility system based on ‘‘Safer. Better. Together,” three main target segments.
888 CEO Itai Pazner commented: “The board is closely monitoring the impact of COVID-19 on 888 and its customers. We continue to recognise that with people spending more time at home and with increased levels of stress and economic uncertainty, 888’s unwavering commitment to preventing gambling related harm is even more important than ever.
“We are proactively communicating with our customers to provide information on safer gambling and, where necessary, offer support. In addition, in recent weeks we have introduced several new alerts to our proprietary safe gambling software, the Observer, which constantly scans all customer activity and flags any potential areas of concern to our highly trained customer care team to act upon in order to prevent harm.
“Underpinned by the strength of 888’s technology, our growing customer base and our talented and committed team, the board continues to see a number of significant and exciting growth opportunities for 888 which we are confident of progressing during 2020 and beyond.”
In the reporting period sales increased 13 percent to $359.3m (2018: $317.6m) through the 888 B2C vertical casino, sport increased 12 percent to $90m (2018: $80.3m) and bingo rose 19 percent to $38.5m (2018: $32.4m) representing newly acquired brands. Poker sales dropped 13 percent to $42.7 million (2018: $49 million) due to a tough competitive climate.
Adjusted $85.6 m (2018: $107.1 m) EBITDA is said to have largely affected additional gaming duties of $25.6 m, in part reflecting the expansion of the company in regulated markets and FX headwinds.
Remaining “confident” in running its business in a strictly online operator’s current environment, the company’s priority for the year is on providing a stable customer experience as well as reviewing and assessing future strategic and tactical deals.
Pazner added: “2019 was a year of further strategic progress for 888. During the year, 888 welcomed a record number of new customers – more than a million – to its international brands, launched in new regulated markets with very encouraging initial results, and completed the acquisition of a first-class sports betting platform and team.
“Despite the headwinds of significantly increased gaming duties and challenging conditions in some of our global markets, 888 delivered a resilient financial performance during 2019 reflecting the strength of our unique combination of technology, compliance and diversification across regulated markets. We entered 2020 with a record level of customers and the trends reported in our update on 24 March 2020 have continued in the year to date.”