888 Holdings, the UK-based parent company of 888 Poker, released a statement on its financial situation citing positive results for the year and expectations that growth will continue through 2012.
As one of the world’s leading gaming providers, 888 announced that “trading remains very strong especially in casino and poker” and added that its year-end results for 2011 are “significantly ahead of market expectations,” the statement said.
In a horrendous year for online poker that saw the top three poker rooms indicted for fraud, money laundering and violating the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), causing one of the three to be shut down, another one to be barely surviving and seemingly on life support, and the third to remain as the world’s leading poker site despite no longer providing online poker in the U.S. marketplace, the European gaming industry continues to flourish.
The lucrative European gaming market tallied revenues of about 80 billion euros last year. With UK economy advisers fearing a possible slide back into a recession, more and more cash-starved Brits are staying home, entertaining themselves by watching television and gambling online.
Earlier this year, 888 Holdings positioned itself to join the currently unregulated U.S. market should online poker become legal in that jurisdiction. With proposed U.S. regulations currently under debate and review by U.S lawmakers, 888 has forged a partnership with land-based casino company Caesar’s Entertainment Corp., and is banking on company growth to continue, not only in Europe, but on American soil as well.
Taking all those factors into consideration, the outlook of 888’s bottom line for the coming year is also looking good as the gaming provider expects 2012 “to be a year of major opportunity for 888, with the opening of several newly-regulated markets across Europe.” The company anticipates investing in the new markets and to “build market share.” The statement further noted that, similar to gains in 2011, the company “expects results for the year ending 31st December 2012 to be slightly ahead of current market expectations.”
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