Online gaming firm 888 cashes in as customers stay at home and gamble

Steve Dinneen
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Online gaming firm 888 expects 2011 earnings to be significantly ahead of estimates as squeezed consumers opted to stay home and gamble instead of venturing outside.

Third-quarter sales grew 42 per cent to $86m (£54m), the highest quarterly revenue ever achieved in its history. It said it has more than 10m registered casino, poker and sport customer accounts, up 24 per cent from last year.

Deputy chairman Brian Mattingley said: “Trading has continued to be strong into the fourth quarter, and we expect that clean Ebitda for the financial year will be significantly ahead of current market expectations.”

In August, 888 had said trading across all its business lines for the traditionally weaker third quarter was likely to remain robust.

Rival, meanwhile, saw its shares rocket 12.4 per cent yesterday after it announced a partnership with casino operators MGM Resorts International and Boyd Gaming.

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