888 Holdings

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888 Holdings
Type Public
Traded as LSE888
Industry Gambling
Founded 1997
Headquarters Suite 601/701, Europort, Gibraltar
Key people Richard Kilsby, Chairman
Brian Mattingley, CEO
Revenue $400.5 million (2013)[1]
Operating income $61.7 million (2013)[1]
Net income $50.0 million (2013)[1]
Subsidiaries Dragonfish
Website 888 holdings

888 Holdings plc is a company which operates several high-profile gambling websites. It was founded in 1997.

It has an operating subsidiary, Cassava Enterprises, which is incorporated and operates under the laws of Gibraltar.

Brothers Avi and Aaron Shaked owned approximately fifty percent of the parent-company through family trusts. Another pair of brothers, Shay and Ron Ben-Yitzhak, control approximately eleven percent through a family trust.[2]

History[edit]

The business was founded by Israeli entrepreneurs Avi and Aaron Shaked and Shay and Ron Ben-Yitzhak in May 1997 as Virtual Holdings Limited.[3] Casino-on-Net was launched at that time and an administrative centre was established in Antigua.[3] In 2002 Reef Club Casino and Pacific Poker were launched.[3] In 2003 its administrative center was moved to Gibraltar.[3] It was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2005.

In late 2006 Ladbrokes and 888.com announced merger discussions.[4] However in April 2007 the companies announced that due to recent changes of Tax laws in the UK and fears of legal actions by the US government, both parties had amicably agreed not to continue discussions.[5]

In March 2007 888 announced its acquisition of Bingo business of Globalcom Limited for up to $43.4 million in cash.[6]

After some downswings in terms of player volume from February 2010 to July 2010, one could finally see signs of recent investments paying off. 888.com overtook the 4th place on the poker network list in April 2012 after almost having tripled their peak number of players from July 2010 to February 2012.[7]

Operations[edit]

Cassava Enterprises logo.

The company operates under a gaming license granted by the government of Gibraltar. Under the terms of the gaming license Cassava Enterprises owns and operates a number of gaming sites (both for real money and educational sites) including:

888 Casino[edit]

888 casino is an online gambling site operated by 888 Holdings PLC and licensed in Gibraltar. [8] The site provides online casino games in download and web-based instant play for personal computers, tablets and mobile devices. 888 casino offers traditional casino games to play online including classic table games such as blackjack, roulette, baccarat and craps, classic slots and video slots, video poker and Live Casino tables.[9]

History[edit]

In 1994 the Free Trade & Processing Zone Act was passed in Antigua and Barbuda, opening the way for the development of legal online casinos.[10]

Casino-on-Net, 888 Holding’s first online casino, was launched in May 1997,[11] and re-branded in 2010 as 888 casino in order to unify the look and feel of other 888 Holdings offerings, 888 poker, 888 games, 888 sport and 888 ladies.[12]

888 Casino platform[edit]

The 888casino platform is powered by Random Logic software, a subsidiary of 888 Holdings that provides research, development, operations and marketing services.[13] Available in 23 languages,[14] 888 casino offers online casino games for real-money betting and free practice play. New games are developed both in-house and in partnership with external gaming companies such as NetEnt, CryptoLogic. [15] [16]

The 888 Live Casino Tables offer players real-time casino games hosted by a live casino dealer. Games are streamed via a live cam streaming link and players place their bets and chat with their dealer via their computer screen. Live Casino tables offer blackjack, roulette and baccarat tables and a choice of professional male and female dealers.[17] With the exception of LIVE casino games, which are broadcast in real-time with live dealers via webcam, the 888 casino "dealer" is really a computer. A Random Number Generator (RNG) is utilized to ensure that performance is truly random. 888 casino uses the MD5 RNG which provides consistently random results. The system has been rigorously tested by running millions of rounds and examining results. The system is also systematically tested by 888.com.[18]

Re-entering the US market[edit]

In October 2006, as a result of an act of the United States Congress,[19] online gaming firms had to end their presence in the US market, or face the threat of crippling criminal prosecutions. The end result was an exile from the US market for UK gaming companies. In March 2013, the Nevada Gaming Commission granted 888 an online license as an Interactive Gaming Service Provider, enabling 888 to become the first company uniquely providing online gaming by an US jurisdiction.[20]

Recently the state of New Jersey allowed online casino games to feature as part of its new regulatory regime.[21] In August 2013, 888.com signed an agreement with Caesars Interactive Entertainment (CIE)[22] through the group’s All American Poker Network (AAPN) joint venture with Avenue Capital enabling 888 to offer own-branded poker and casino products in New Jersey.[23] 888 casino also publishes an independently audited monthly Casino Payout Percentage and includes the Payout Percentage of each 888.com game, as well as the total average Payout Percentage of 888.com.[24]

Sponsorship & awards[edit]

In August 2013, 888casino.com signed up as the new World Snooker title sponsor of its World Seniors Championship.[25] 888 casino has been awarded the following awards throughout the years:

AWARD WON[26] YEAR
Best Online Casino of the Year, TotallyGaming Awards 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012
Best Betting and Gaming Company, Leisure Report Awards 2007 & 2008
Gold Readers Choice Award for Top Casino, The Gambling Online Magazine Awards 2007
Best Casino Operator of the Year and Best Overall Online Gaming Operator 2005
Best Online Casino of the Year 2008 & 2009
Operator of the Year, eGR Operator Awards 2013[27]
Poker Operator, eGR Operator Awards 2013[28]

888poker[edit]

Main article: 888poker

888poker.com is Cassava's online poker room branch .[29] It was launched in July 2002 and focuses exclusively on variants of poker and other card games. Traditional poker variants are offered, including Texas Hold'em, Omaha, and Seven-card stud. Like Casino-on-Net,888 poker offers free play versions of its games for players who prefer not to risk real money. 888 Poker is Microsoft Windows and Mac compatible. Players can choose to play on the site's software program or on the non-downloadable game version available online.

888 Bingo[edit]

888 Holdings owns and operates several different online bingo sites. They offer 90-ball and 75-ball bingo games, along with online slot machine games, progressive jackpots and scratchcards. The games all run on a no download required basis and have an emphasis on community and chat rooms.

Acquisition of Daub Ltd[edit]

In December 2009, 888.com purchased brands including Wink Bingo, Posh Bingo, Tasty Bingo, and RedBus Bingo from Daub.[30] Reuters news agency covered the story and reported that ‘The online bingo market has grown rapidly in the UK while traditional bingo halls have been struggling.[31][32]

All the sites linked to Daub Ltd. are included in the Joy of Bingo network .There are also shared promotions, such as the Power Penny games in August 2013 . Each site is a stand-alone brand and players on each site will only compete against other players on that site. All the sites operate on Dragonfish software.[33]

There are currently seven sites in the network, including 888ladies. The remaining six are Posh Bingo, Wink Bingo, Tasty Bingo, Red Bus Bingo, Bingo Street and Big Brother Bingo.

In April 2014, the affiliated 888 bingo sites launched the Millionaire Genie shared jackpot game.[34]

888 Bingo sites[edit]

Throughout October 2013 all seven 888 Bingo sites ran ‘Pink Fridays’ games to raise money for Breast Cancer Care . For every £1 entry card bought on the sites, £1 was donated to the cause by 888 Bingo.

888ladies[edit]

888ladies.com is Cassava's online bingo room. The bingo site was launched in February 2008 after 888 acquired online bingo company Globalcom. 888ladies offers 75-ball, 90-ball and 5-line bingo games as well as instant games, casino games and scratchcards.[35]

In January 2013, 888ladies.com launched a mobile app for iPhone and later Android iPad and tablet. In December 2013, the site underwent a major redesign.[36]

888ladies is known for running frequent competitions, which have been featured in The Mirror[37] and Examiner.

Wink Bingo[edit]

Wink Bingo launched in 2008 and is the biggest site in the Joy of Bingo network and the second largest 888 bingo site. 888’s acquisition of the site was followed by a TV ad campaign that included projecting the Wink Bingo logo onto the Houses of Parliament.[38]

The 2009 Wink Bingo television advert featuring an Irish dancer and her dancing Weirmaraner dog was revamped in 2012 and has received over 50,000 views on YouTube as of June 2014.

In September 2013, Wink Bingo launched an app for iPhone, Android, iPad and tablets.[39]

Wink Bingo also runs frequent promotions and competitions. In January 2014, Wink launched The Breakfast Club competition, asking readers to photograph their meals and upload them to the Wink Bingo facebook page for the chance to win ASDA vouchers. The competition received news coverage in Hello Magazine[40] and Reading Chronicle.[41]

Wink Bingo has also contributed to charity via the UK Breast Cancer Care Charity Organization, by donating £1 to ‘Breast Cancer Care’ for every £1 bingo card purchased during the ‘Pink Friday’ campaign, that was held in November 2014[42] . This was a follow up campaign to ‘Strawberry Tea’ in 2012,[42] where £2 was donated to ‘Breast Cancer Care’, for every £1 card that was purchased. At least £20,000 was donated to charity in each of these campaigns.[43] [44]

Posh Bingo[edit]

Posh Bingo launched in September 2006 and underwent a major redesign in March 2012. The site has a fashion theme.

Tasty Bingo[edit]

Tasty Bingo launched in March 2010 and is themed around food.

RedBus Bingo[edit]

RedBus Bingo launched in April 2010 and has a London theme.

Bingo Street[edit]

Bingo Street launched in July 2011 and is based on a typical UK street, with rooms titled ‘Bingo Supermarket’ and ‘Bingo Hall’.

Big Brother Bingo[edit]

Big Brother Bingo launched in January 2012 and is based on the reality television show Big Brother[45] on Channel 5.[46] The room names have Big Brother themes and special prizes are often linked to the television programme.[47] There are also standard cash prizes and polls on the housemates.[48]

888bingo[edit]

888bingo.com is the second online bingo site by Cassava, after 888ladies. With a different look and feel, 888bingo was formally launched in December 2009. It offers a selection of games including 75-ball and 90-ball bingo, team bingo, slots, instant games, video poker, table games and more. The site is a certified supporter of GamCare, as is 888ladies.[49]

Real money bingo on Facebook[edit]

888’s Facebook app Bingo Appy launched in December 2012.[50] offering bingo, casino and slots games via Facebook. It is now the only bingo app on Facebook to permit users to bet and win real money,[51] with Bingo Friendzy’s withdrawal.[52] The app offers 75-ball and 90-ball bingo, instant games, scratchcards and freebie rooms. 888 had initially provided a ‘freemium’ or play-for-fun service on Facebook before the introduction of Bingo Appy.[53]

Awards[edit]

AWARD WON YEAR
Online Bingo Operator of the Year, IGA Gaming Awards. 2012 [54]
Best Bingo Marketing Campaign at the EGR Operator Marketing and Innovation Awards. 2014 [55]

888sport[edit]

888sport.com is Cassava's sports betting site. The online bookmaker was launched in March 2008. Bets can be placed on a variety of sporting events including horseraces, cricket, football, rugby and other events, such as the Big Brother television programs.

888games[edit]

888games.com is Cassava's casual gaming site. Hosts a variety of games, from video slots to scratchcards, table games and classic casino games in a non-download platform. 888games currently offered in: Germany and the United Kingdom.

US players[edit]

On 2 October 2006, 888 Holdings announced that it had indefinitely suspended business from US customers in light of the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 by the US Congress three days before.[56] On 14 August 2007, the US Department of Justice asked to recoup all profits made by the company in the US. This would amount to nearly $120m for 888.[57]

Sponsorship[edit]

888.com group was the main sponsor of the Middlesbrough Football Club the 888.com logo appeared on the club's strip, but was replaced in August 2007. More recently the 888.com group has become the main sponsor for Sevilla Football Club. In 2006, 888.com became the main sponsor of the World Snooker Championship but terminated the five-year contract in August 2008 after just three years. 888poker sponsors Shane Warne.

In 2005 and 2011, 888.com was the sponsor of the 888.com Premier League Darts.

Senior management[edit]

Gigi Levy served as Chief Executive until 2011, he was paid an annual salary of $841,000 and an annual bonus of $1,007,000 in 2010.[58]

In March 2012, Brian Mattingley was appointed as Chief Executive of 888 Holdings.[59]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Preliminary Results 2013" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-03-27. 
  2. ^ 888 Holdings shareholders[dead link]
  3. ^ a b c d "888 Holdings History". 888holdingsplc.com. 2006-09-29. Retrieved 2014-01-19. 
  4. ^ "Ladbrokes in 888 takeover talks". BBC News. 2006-11-05. Retrieved 2014-01-19. 
  5. ^ "Ladbrokes and 888 Holdings amicably end merger talks". Casinoguide.com. 2007-04-25. Retrieved 2014-01-19. 
  6. ^ Reuters: UK's 888 buys online bingo firm
  7. ^ "888POKER STATISTICS". PokerHistory.eu. 2011-10-31. Retrieved 2014-01-19. 
  8. ^ gibraltar.gov.gi:Remote gambling from Gibraltar
  9. ^ 888casino.com:888 casino offering description
  10. ^ investantiguabarbuda.org: Free trade and processing zone
  11. ^ 888holdingsplc.com:888 casino history
  12. ^ bloomberg.com: Current Trading
  13. ^ gamblingland.com:888 casino platform
  14. ^ 888casino.com:Languages availability of 888 casino
  15. ^ netentcasino.com:Incorporation Netent&888 Casino
  16. ^ casino.pokernews.com:Cryptologic&888 Casino
  17. ^ 888casino.com:Live casino of 888 casino
  18. ^ 888casino.com:888 casino uses MD5 RNG
  19. ^ calvinayre.com:888 casino re-enters the US market
  20. ^ londonstockexchange.com:License for 888 casino to enter US market
  21. ^ gaming.nv.gov:888 casino operates in New Jersey
  22. ^ 15marketing.co.uk:Caesars&888 casino
  23. ^ independent.co.uk:888 is enabled to offer own-branded Poker and Casino products
  24. ^ ecogra.org:Payout Percentage of 888.com
  25. ^ sportspromedia.com:888 casino sponsorship
  26. ^ prnewswire.com:888 casino awards
  27. ^ http://www.egrmagazine.com/egr_operator_awards_2014
  28. ^ http://www.egrmagazine.com/egr_operator_awards_2014
  29. ^ "About 888 poker". 888poker.com. Retrieved 2014-01-19. 
  30. ^ standard.co.uk: The purchase of wink bingo by 888.com
  31. ^ uk.reuters.com: the growing of online bingo in uk
  32. ^ ft.com: the growing of online bingo in uk
  33. ^ dragonfishtech.com: Dragonfish - bingo technological platform
  34. ^ prnewswire.co.uk: The launch of Millionaire Genie shared jackpot game
  35. ^ theguardian.com: The variety of bingo games and scratchcards.
  36. ^ calvinayre.com: The new redesign of 888ladies
  37. ^ mirror.co.uk: The 888ladies’ Granny Awards competition
  38. ^ marketingweek.co.uk: The launch of wink bingo
  39. ^ prnewswire.com: Wink Bingo launched an app for iPhone, Android, iPad and tablets
  40. ^ hellomagazine.com: The coverage of wink competition by Hello magazine
  41. ^ readingchronicle.co.uk: The coverage of wink competition by reading chronicle
  42. ^ winkbingo.com: The contribution of wink bingo to breast cancer
  43. ^ winkbingo.com: The contribution of wink bingo to breast cancer
  44. ^ winkbingo.com: wink bingo: breast cancer campaigns
  45. ^ mediaweek.co.uk: 888.com rolls out Big Brother Bingo
  46. ^ channel5.com: the British version of the international reality television franchise Big Brother
  47. ^ prnewswire.com: 888.com in partnership with Endemoland Channel 5 announce the launch of BigBrotherBingo.com.
  48. ^ mediaweek.co.uk: 888.com rolls out Big Brother Bingo
  49. ^ gamcaretradeservices.com: Gamecare the regulation of 888bingo
  50. ^ theguardian.com: 888 Bingo Appy launched in December 2012
  51. ^ thetimes.co.uk: Facebook takes a gamble on 888 casino deal
  52. ^ egrmagazine.com: Gamesys pulls real-money Facebook app
  53. ^ telegraph.co.uk: 888 Holdings climbs on Facebook agreement
  54. ^ gaming-awards.com: 888ladies won the award for the Online Bingo Operator of the Year 2012
  55. ^ egrmagazine.com: 888ladies wins the EGR Operator Marketing and Innovation Award 2014
  56. ^ "Forbes: 888 suspends business from US customers". Web.archive.org. 2006-10-27. Retrieved 2014-01-19. 
  57. ^ Robert Lea (2007-02-05). "PartyGaming and 888.com About to Write Blank Checks to US Government?". Thisismoney.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-01-19. 
  58. ^ "Gigi Levy: Executive Profile & Biography". BusinessWeek. McGraw-Hill. Retrieved 23 August 2009. 
  59. ^ "888 to Appoint Mattingley as Permanent CEO, Times Says". Bloomberg. 25 March 2012. 

External links[edit]