888 swings to loss after record Gambling Commission fine

A record ?7.8m fine from the UK Gambling Commission helped push online bookmaker 888 into a first-half loss despite a jump in revenues.
In its report for the six months to the end of June, 888 said it had swung to a pre-tax loss of $17.3m (?13.4m), from a profit of $27.8m in the same period last year.
The company said exceptional costs were to blame. Most of these relate to potential VAT charges in Germany.
However, those charges also include the cost of the fine issued last week by the Gambling Commission.
888 had to pay ?7.8m for allowing customers who had taken a “time out” to continue playing. The Commission said the company had “failed to protect potentially vulnerable customers”.
The company’s revenues rose 3pc to $270m in the period, or 9pc on a constant currency basis. 888 said revenues were boosted by strong momentum in its sports and poker arms, adding that its mobile division was driving growth.
888 swings to loss after record Gambling Commission fine

888 sponsor Nottingham Forest 

Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Revenues in its casino division, meanwhile, increased 6pc to $146m.
“This pleasing outcome was driven by continued growth in 888’s core Casino vertical, strong momentum in the fast-growing 888Sport and a good performance in Poker,” said chief executive Itai Frieberger.
On an adjusted level, 888’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, rose from $44.1m to $47.6m.
Mr Frieberger added: “The global online gaming market is dynamic and will continue to grow driven by technology, regulatory and marketing developments.
“However, further regulation, such as the expansion of gaming duty on casino, poker and bingo free bets in the UK taking effect in the second half of 2017, will increase the cost base for operators in the UK.
“At the same time, enhanced regulation in the UK around areas such as television advertising and bonuses will impact overall UK market growth."
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