- Investor confidence in 888poker has soared following the announcement of H1 2020 financial results for parent company 888 Holdings, also known as 888.com.
- 888 Holdings saw share prices rocket from 208.00p per share to 250.50p per share overnight, after announcing a 37% Year on Year revenue increase across the group to the 30th of June 2020.
- While sports betting fell incrementally by 1%, casino revenue was up 48% and poker revenue up 56%.
- All of this led to a huge pre-tax profit of $50.9 million for the first half of the year, 129.3% higher than in the first half of 2019.
- 888 Holdings is currently valued at £962 million, with a share price at the time of writing of 268.50p.
Group CEO, Itai Pazner, also spoke of his optimism for the future, explaining that they had continued to “trade ahead of expectations” and EBITDA for the year will likely come in “significantly ahead of prior expectations”.
How they did it
Poker was perhaps the standout performer, with increasing numbers heading online to find some fun. Poker has long been a popular pastime, with origins dating back several hundred years. Since the advent of the internet, and online poker along with it, the game has enjoyed huge surges in popularity, with millions of players attracted to the convenience of playing online. Between around 2003 and 2006, the world experienced a poker boom, in which player numbers more than doubled every year as the game moved online. While restrictions imposed on gambling in the United States in October of 2006 slowed the boom, there are still significantly higher numbers of players today than there were prior to 2003. An estimated 100 million people worldwide regularly play poker online.
888poker was ideally placed to capture a large audience share of new members signing up during the height of boom-time, having launched in 2002 and enjoying much success even in the early days. Initially branded as Pacific Poker, 888poker has grown to become one of the world’s best-loved and most used online poker sites. 888casino also offers a variety of games, with minimum and maximum bets ranging from as little as a penny to as high as £1,000 for the high rollers.
Sign-up bonuses have been cited by many online poker players as a significant factor when choosing where to play. 888poker offers new customers a comprehensive sign-up package which includes an immediate cash sign-up bonus, no-deposit bonuses bonus points which can be traded for cash or tickets when a certain level has been reached. First-time players are also presented with a package of tournament tickets, which can be used to play for cash or other prizes.
The 888poker software supports a comprehensive range of poker variations and includes sit-and-go tournaments, cash games, practice games, large tournaments and patented unique games such as Snap and Blast. The site is accessible to players of all levels of experience and ability and has a wide range of options in terms of betting to suit every pocket. A new look poker product was announced at around the same time as the H1 2020 figures were released, so players could have even more to entice them in the second half of the year.
Why players return for more
Online poker provides all players with unique opportunities to develop their game, whether that’s new players learning the rules or experienced players testing new strategies. Free-play or micro-stakes tables allow for hours of practice with very little financial outlay, with other players online and ready to join in at any time of day or night. Online poker sites also usually offer several variants of poker, giving players of one genre the chance to try their hand at another.
While online poker has proven extremely popular, there will always be those that prefer face-to-face games in a real venue. Some of the primary reasons stated for preferring live games include the atmosphere and the ability to play with friends rather than strangers. 888poker has solved both of these conundrums to extend their offering to a wider demographic. There are a series of live 888poker tournament events held each year, with members able to compete online for tournament entry tickets. Live dealer games at 888casino help to recreate the ambience of a real casino, while 888poker online has an option to set up a private sit-and-go tournament or cash game with friends who are also members.
Looking to the future
With something in the pot for almost every style of poker player, it is perhaps no wonder that new memberships have more than doubled in the first half of 2020 compared to the previous year. Share prices in 888.com have increased from 174.86p per share at the end of June 2020 to 268.50 as of the middle of October, testament to high investor confidence in the products and services offered and the momentum of the company on its growth trajectory. 888 Holdings is able to demonstrate quality financial metrics to investors, such as a solid 33.2% ROCE, or five-year return on capital. The financial history of the company is strong and improving all the time, with earnings and sales accelerating. All of this adds up to 888 Holdings being classed as one to watch in terms of investment, with all signs currently pointing towards 888 shares being a profitable investment.
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