Global financial upheaval leaves 888 unscathed

7 Mar 2018

888The international financial and political instability, including tax increases and overall political upheaval, seem to be worsening the global iGaming landscape. Factors such as questionable political leaders in many Western countries, as well as the preparation to finally put an end to long-standing money printing programs from the EU's part, make for quite a troubling situation in terms of capital growth in the years to come.

Although 888 is not exempted from these financial troubles, the international gambling group has done considerably good in the past 5 years, with a remarkable 1000% capital growth. Last year, however, the company saw worse share performance compared to competing brands like The Stars Group, and Ladbrokes Coral Group.

888 seems to be undergoing a slow plummet, as they are declaring overall losses, despite performance improvement in several core aspects such as topline growth, segmental balance, as well as marketing budget allocation. However, the group’s decision to play it safe and target only highly regulated gambling markets, as well as retire from any unregulated countries did not end up playing out well in terms of revenue.

Italy and Spain are only two of the many countries 888 has heavily invested in. However, following the election of certain populist figures in the country's helm, the current liberal structure is looking more unsafe with each passing day. If the situation gets completely out of control, the impact is expected to be direct on Spain as well, in a disastrous domino for 888. Even so, 888 will probably not suffer vital damages that will shake it off its place in the case of market breakdown in those countries, unlike other overextended groups.

Obviously, achieving and showcasing growth to shareholders for the aforementioned markets may be important, but even if it comes to losing those markets it will not have that big an impact to the point where the group will have to sell assets to remain in the green. The only other group with that luxury is GVC, although, according to industry experts 888 is in a much safer position even compared to them.

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Even though 888 started as a casino and poker site, in 2008, the sportsbook came into the light. Since then, the offering has been steadily improving. It has moved its business to Gibraltar and has become one of the most established brands. It has a clear white markets strategy and focuses a lot on localization. It currently holds local licenses in countries with strict betting regulations, like Italy and Spain. In addition, it recently expanded to the US market, with the launch of the SI sportsbook. The horse and greyhound sections are excellent and you can utilize several features while betting. Nonetheless, there are some aspects I would like to see some enhancements. The site recently switched from the Kambi to an in-house built platform and faces the same problems as any new platform does. The number of markets offered, even for the top football events, has dropped considerably, especially compared to the competition. Also, there have been several instances where the Cash Out feature is suspended for a long period. Finally, the withdrawal times are rather slow. Overall, 888sport is a site worth trusting and following.

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