888 dealt a $103m hand thanks to demand for online gambling

THE GROWING popularity of online poker and casino games has sent revenues at 888 Holdings up by nine per cent year on year.

The company said yesterday that sales in the first quarter of the year had been above $100m (£65.5m) for the first time, reaching a record $103m.

This was led by the firm’s casino arm, which rose 13 per cent to make up almost half of revenues at $48m. 888 is one of a number of casino firms to ride a wave of looser regulation in EU territories, and it was boosted by the launch of slot machine games in Italy during the quarter.

Online poker made up $24m of sales, while other parts of the business, which include Facebook gaming and sports betting, grew from $6m to $8m.

888 Holdings, which has been held back by strict gambling regulation in the US, has recently made progress in the region, winning a contract to provide an online poker offering in Nevada earlier in the year.

Chief executive Brian Mattingley said yesterday he expects the venture to launch in the summer.

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