Online gaming firm 888's full-year revenue up 26 percent

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 07, 2012 2:43 AM
Online gaming firm 888's full-year revenue up 26 percent

(Reuters) - British online gaming company 888 Holdings saw its full-year revenue grow 26 percent as the number of customers gambling on its websites grew, and the company said strong current trading continues into the first quarter.

Cash-strapped Britons are staying at home more, watching TV and gambling online, updates from consumer-facing companies showed, as fears grow that the UK will slip back into recession.

The company, which operates 888 casino, poker, sport and bingo brands, posted a revenue of $331 million, up from $262 million a year ago.

As of December 31, the company said it had 10.6 million casino, poker and sport real money registered customer accounts, up 22 percent from a year ago.

The prospects for online betting companies are growing brighter as they seek to break up national gaming monopolies in a number of EU countries and the United States considers legalizing online poker.

Last week, a unit of private equity-owned Caesars Entertainment Corp extended its UK software licensing agreement with 888 to the United States.

Last October, 888 rival Digital Entertainment said it planned to partner with U.S. casino operators MGM Resorts International and Boyd Gaming to offer internet gambling, should it be legalized, to American customers.

888 shares, which have more than doubled from their 52-week low last year, closed at 57.25 pence on Monday on the London Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Jochelle Mendonca in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das)