888 To Use Sports Illustrated To Market Online Casino Product

Written By Katarina Vojvodic on December 7, 2022
earnings call 888 holdings third quarter

During its recent Capital Markets Day (CMD), 888 Holdings discussed an extensive list of topics. The discussion also included its further growth into the regulated US gambling markets.

Chief Strategy Officer, Vaughan Lewis, said that while the US market represents one of 888’s most attractive growth opportunities, it is “intensely competitive.” As he explained:

“Our original plan here [US] was to build a nationwide sports lead operation in 12 to 15 states. It’s become clear to us that the intense competition in sports betting and the dominance of the top four brands means that it’ll be very difficult to deliver positive returns without evolving our plan.”

888 is the world’s leading betting company with internationally recognized brands, including 888 Casino, William Hill, Mr Green and Sports Illustrated (SI) Sportsbook. 

The company also announced it is restructuring its expansion strategy.

888 Holdings to focus on SI and online casino gaming

It’s been more than a year since 888 Holdings revealed plans to launch an online sportsbook with a Sports Illustrated (SI) theme in several US states. Now the company has decided to change its course and focus on online casino gaming and its SI customers. Lewis emphasized:

“We now have really clear data about how we can convert players, what they play, what makes them stay, and what are the different values between the different cohorts. And that data gives us real confidence in our evolved plan.

This is all about bringing Sports Illustrated to our players’ news and content. And then really focusing on being laser focused on a key cohort of the older male demographic.”

SI Sportsbook customers are mainly older men who prefer to bet on sports and enjoy playing online casino games.

Lewis continued:

“Older male demographic are worth more; they spent four to six times more than the ultra competitive younger demographics.”

USA as an important market to 888

Since online sports betting is live in 22 states and online casinos in six states, Lewis believes 888 has competitive advantages to disrupt the states:

“USA is an important market for us. It’s certainly one of our growth markets, but importantly, it’s part of a portfolio of growth markets that are competing for investment with each other. So, across that portfolio of growth markets, we will operate around breakeven.

While we continue to invest with confidence in the US, we are going to deliver positive returns by really focusing on what we’re good at, and where our brand cuts through.”

888 possesses licenses and operates through market access deals in Colorado, Delaware, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. 888’s SI Sportsbook entered Virginia last December in a partnership with Virtual Entertainment Partners.

Q3 2022 brought a drop following slower performance since January

For Q3 2022, 888 Holdings revealed revenue of US$507.41 million (£449 million), down from US$546.97 million (£484 million) a year ago. That was a 7.2% decline, although William Hill’s operations took the more significant part.

William Hill, which 888 acquired from Caesars Entertainment this summer, accounted for a 14% fall in its online segment. While international online operations lost 12%, 888’s division dipped 5%.

888 Holdings entered 2022 with an 18% year-over-year drop. The company reported a decline in its B2C sector, which accounted for $215 million.

But the company’s CEO remained optimistic. In April, 888 Holdings’ CEO, Itai Pazner, said he was pleased with his company’s direction despite its Q1 decline.

Photo by PlayUSA
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Katarina Vojvodic

Katarina Vojvodic is a lead writer for PlayUSA who lives in Toronto. Vojvodic provides coverage of the US gambling industry with a focus on US online casinos. Previously, she covered Ontario’s online gambling industry for PlayCanada.com. Vojvodic holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Belgrade. Outside working hours, she can be found near the water with her husband and their two kids.

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