888 Chief Plans US Expansion

Brian Mattingley, the chief executive of 888 Holdings, has revealed that the online gambling operator plans to expand its operations into California, New York and Florida.

The company, which operates online poker, bingo, casino and sportsbetting services in the UK and Europe, is planning to follow up planned launches in Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey by expanding further into the US market, which is gradually liberalising its gambling legislation state-by-state.

Mattingley told the Daily Telegraph newspaper that regulatory challenges in the US had proved to be “frustrating” but added that a partnership with Las Vegas hotel Caesars is expected to be activated “imminently” before Delaware and New Jersey follow in the next six months.

Mattingley set out his plans as 888 revealed a 41% rise in first-half profit before tax to $35.5 million (€26 million).

“It really is new territory for them [the US regulators],” he said. “It’s been a long slow journey but it’s getting faster.

“There are now nine more states considering [legalising online poker]. California is beyond doubt the biggest prize, and between California, New York, New Jersey and Florida that’s 50% of the potential market.”

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