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Thursday, June 30, 2022

888 Holdings: more than just a casino

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At the outset, I feel it necessary to remind you what 888 Holdings is in the world of gambling. Firstly, it’s an online casino that allows you to play Australia’s best pokies (https://online-casinoau.com/pokies/) and make real money from them. Secondly, it is a bookmaker that allows bettors from all over the world to bet on their favorite sports. And finally, it’s a way to make money. Have you ever wondered what the owners of the gambling business in Australia are like?

888 Holdings has confirmed its £2.2 billion acquisition of William Hill International and has stated its commitment to keep 1,400 betting shops. Caesars, located in Las Vegas, has controlled William Hill since last year when shareholders accepted a $3.7 billion (£2.7 billion) buyout deal, but the US giant has made no secret of its interest in the 87-year-old British enterprise. The brand, its bookmakers, and its online operations outside of the United States.

Instead, Caesars was eager to buy William Hill’s expertise in the lucrative sports gambling industry in the UK, with sales of £2.3 billion per year, to help it enter the fast-growing US market after the Supreme Court overturned a long-standing ban on sports betting in 2018. Its loss of enthusiasm in anything other than profitable growth has resulted in a buying battle for undesired properties outside of the United States including Apollo Capital Management, CVC Capital Partners, and 888.

On Thursday, 888 declared that it has won the contest to buy the rest of William Hill and stated that it expected to close the deal in early 2022, subject to shareholder approval. According to the company, investors holding a 47 percent share in 888 have already authorized the purchase with either an expression of support or an irrevocable commitment. 888 Holdings, formed by Israeli tech startups, specializes in online casino gambling but has stated that it has no plans to transfer traditional sports betting to William Hill and has already turned down proposals.

“We have observed interest in commercial properties from outside, but we consider retail is a vital component of William Hill’s value,” said Itai Pazner, CEO of 888. William Hill’s shop network has already shrunk from 2,333 in 2018 to about 1,400 today, a process hastened by Covid’s influence on the high street and the detrimental impact of the drop in fixed-odds gambling terminals.

“They currently run another well retail property in good and prime locations,” Pazner added. “We intend to keep the retail shops and the excellent people that work in them.”

Betfred, William Hill’s major rival, was rumored to be interested in acquiring the traditional stores in a transaction that would nearly increase the size of its UK chain. Given the uncertainty surrounding the outcome of the government’s major review of gambling legislation, which would be expected to result in a crackdown, Pazner stated that 888 was ready to proceed with the purchase.

In the context of regulatory uncertainties, he said the merger made “even more sense” since a larger firm would be better able to deal with the changes. Online casino goods are set to be reformed, with ministers contemplating measures such as a £2 cap on virtual video slots betting under FOBT regulations.

Since at least 2016, when it combined with corner store owner Rank in an attempt to form multiple mergers, 888 has been looking to merge with William Hill. After William Hill bid £700 million for 888 in 2015, that unsuccessful purchase was an attempt to change the tide.

888 Holdings stated in a statement that the purchase will result in synergy savings of £10 million next year and up to £100 million per year by 2025. The company raised £2.1 billion in debt to complete the transaction and stated that it will issue up to £500 million in fresh capital to decrease the deal’s leverage.

AJ Bell’s chief investment officer, Russ Mold, stated that the acquisition will “catapult 888 into the big leagues,” hypothetically increasing sales from $814 billion to $2.5 billion and core profits from $156 million to $464 million. He also emphasized that the gaming landscape in the United Kingdom has altered dramatically over the last few decades.

William Hill International is purchased by 888 for £2.2 billion. What conclusions can we draw? That’s right, they are evolving and their goal is not just to make money from their customers. Have you found yourself wondering? Then check out the review on 888casino at online-casinoAU.com. It’s a company that is rated by the clearest criteria and all of its strengths and weaknesses are given in great detail.

This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes

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