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Profits up for 888.com
888.com is experiencing a great year for business despite some hefty setbacks like the passing of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act and the company's subsequent exodus from the U.S. market.
In a recent article in Forbes magazine 888 Holdings, Plc. reported a growth of nearly 300% in earnings. In addition the company reported a $19 million pretax profit for the first half. The company has started the third quarter strongly, according to CEO Gigi Levy.
"These results prove clearly that, in spite of the signing of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in October last year, which saw the business lose the majority of our 26 million registered customers and 55% of our revenues, the turnaround we had [begun] to achieve at the full year has been successful," he told Forbes.
It's a marked difference for the Gibraltar-based company that discussed selling to Ladbrokes less than a year ago.
Initially UIGEA proved devastating for the company - as mentioned, it lost over half its revenue - but, like many online sites, it is starting to find a strong market in Europe and a growing one in Asia.
888.com has several prominent gambling brands under its umbrella including PacificPoker, Casino-on-Net and Reef Club Casino.
This year the company took many positive steps to counteract the loss of U.S. customers, including acquiring GlobalCom's bingo business. 888.com is planning to launch its first non-English bingo offering later this year. The company is also attempting to deliver its first sports betting proposition in Italy.
888.com also improved its brand image by partnering with high-profile associates like Tower Torneos and Rileys snooker halls, and providing in-flight entertainment in the form of play-money games. The company entered into a sponsorship deal with the World Snooker Championship and Spanish football club Sevilla.
It's important to note that while things are looking up for 888.com, it still faces possible prosecution in the U.S., as the investigation into online betting that UIGEA has unleashed is still ongoing. 888.com is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: 888).