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888 Looks to Italy instead of France

By: Carter Avery, Monday November 5th 2012

888 is one of the biggest gaming companies and it’s expanding further by conquering the market in Italy instead of France. With the new taxes and licensing terms, 888 has made it clear that France no longer remains an attractive market to current operate. Instead, a new deal will be made with the leading network provider in Italy, Microgame, and 888 believes that the move will be a very beneficial one for the company.

This will help with the growth of the business that has already taken over with Endemol and Bwin. When making this announcement, Levy who represents 888 provides more information about the company’s reasoning. “We have worked on this [market] for some time now. It includes a big JV with Endemol, which we think is going to be very material, it includes two B2B deals, one with Bwin, another with Microgaming. Together these two control 50%, or a bit more, of the poker market, and we have a few more deals in the pipeline.”

Before deciding upon Italy, France had been a target of 888, but since then that has been changed based on the current conditions of the market. The explanation provided by 888 was that “When you look at France, that is probably a very bad combination for us. It is only sports and poker. In sports, our offering is not really relevant at this time. With poker, we have not yet entered the market, we want to see how it works out. The taxes are high so the ecosystem is under pressure, there is no casino, no bingo, we did not find any significant local partners we are happy to work with and to share upside and risk with.”

Wihile 999 continues with these plans to capture the European market, they are also working on trying to infiltrate the US as soon as laws change. 888 has been in talks with the Department of Justice. It will not stop since there seems to be some progress that may bring gambling to the US after all when it comes to online casino who has been “encouraged by the recent positive development in the United States” and that it continued to talk with potential B2B partners. “There have been more than 10 partners we are in discussions with. To the best of my knowledge, other than our deal with Harrah’s there has not been another deal with a significant American player signed by anyone else yet. “

“The entire industry is looking at our process with Nevada, which is progressing at the time being as well as anyone can expect. It is a discreet process, so I can’t give any more detail. But we expect, hopefully, an answer this year,” said Levy.

Overall, despite some things looking down for the online gambling industry, 888 is clearly hoping things will continue to progress in a positive direction to provide for their growth.

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