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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Although 888 originally started as a casino & poker operator, in 2008 they brought their sportsbook to the spotlight and since then they keep improving their offering. 888sport has a clear white markets strategy. They now have licenses in the US, Spain, Italy, Sweden and in the UK among others. Although I don't usually comment on UX, design and gamification are amazing. Just 2 clicks are enough to place your live bet, up to 4 are needed for a pre-match wager, while features like Build a Bet, Instant Betting and Market Maker, enhance the betting experience. I love the variety of markets and the intriguing live betting section, which comes with an HD streaming service. The same goes for the variety of payment systems. On the other hand, while their odds are on most occasions around the average rate of what other books offer, they still need improvement on the secondary leagues/bets and on Asian lines. Also, the low limits on withdrawals need to be changed asap. Nonetheless, 888sport ranking is high among the punters and for sure is a sportsbook worth to be trusted and followed.

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