UK-listed online gambling operator 888 Holdings has continued its winning ways in 2014, reporting record revenue in the first three months of the year. Revenue grew 11% year-on-year in Q1 to $113.8m, marking a new high-water mark for the firm. 888’s B2C revenue rose 7% to $98m while the Dragonfish B2B division’s revenue hit $16m, up 48% year-on-year and 13% over Q4 2013, thanks to a surging bingo channel and the company’s burgeoning US-facing operations. 888 says trading in the second quarter to date has been “strong and in line” with Q1’s trends.
888’s B2C casino revenue rose 14% to $54m and a 19% gain in quarterly revenue per active customer helped offset a 4% decrease in the number of active customers. Poker revenue rose 4% to $25m as active customer ranks grew 13% but quarterly revenue per customer fell 9%. After a year of stagnation, bingo revenue returned to positive territory, gaining 2% year-on-year and 9% sequentially to $12m. ‘Emerging’ revenue, which includes 888’s Kambi Sports Solutions sports betting offering, fell 22% to $6m. The company blamed the downturn on live-dealer licensing issues in Asia and noted that the emerging category was up 4% sequentially.
CEO Brian Mattingley credited the boffo numbers to 888’s “market-leading brand and excellent product offering, underpinned by our innovative marketing and CRM capabilities.” 888 is currently the only online gambling firm operating in all three US states that have launched some form of regulated online gambling market and Mattingley says 888 is “well positioned to capitalize on positive regulatory developments.”
888 currently powers Caesars Entertainment’s WSOP.com product in Nevada and intends to launch its own branded offering in the state this summer. The company also plans to launch its sports betting product in Spain in time for the FIFA World Cup in June. Mattingley expects the sports betting offering will serve as “a relatively good economic acquisition tool.”
On Wednesday, Jason Ader – the new Bwin.party digital entertainment investor that is living up to his ‘activist’ reputation – cited 888’s success as a barometer for how significantly Bwin.party has underperformed the market. On Thursday, Mattingley told eGaming Review he was “pleased” by Ader’s recognition and suggested competition between the industry’s leading operators helped “underpin the whole way the industry is moving forward,” be that in “security, game play, transparency and everything which is good about online gaming.”