888 counts on relaxed US poker market with stateside contract

888 HOLDINGS is set to capitalise on looser gambling laws in the US by launching a joint venture in the country.

The UK-based company announced yesterday it had teamed up with investment firm Avenue Capital to launch All American Poker Network, which will offer online poker games in the growing list of states to have liberalised gambling laws.

Delaware and Nevada were last month joined by New Jersey in permitting online betting, with other states expected to relax laws in the coming years.

888 announced yesterday it had signed a contract to launch an online poker operation in Nevada, having become the first non-US business to win a contract last week.

“This is the perfect deal for 888, providing the ideal platform through which to launch our brands into the US market, once regulated,” chief executive Brian Mattingley said.

“The agreement sees a leading US financial institution backing one of the largest gaming platform operators in the world, joining forces to tackle a potentially huge market.”

City investors cheered the news, with shares up 5.2 per cent.