September 28, 2023 3 min read


888 Holdings Cautions Investors as Q3 Performance Falls Below Expectations

The LSE-listed betting and gaming group cites investment in sustainability and compliance hurdles as reasons behind a projected 10% drop in Q3 revenue

Leading betting and gaming group 888 Holdings has issued a cautionary statement to its investors, indicating that its Q3 performance may fail to reach initial expectations. The London Stock Exchange (LSE)-listed company remained optimistic that this downturn would remain temporary, expecting a swift recovery in 2024. This announcement closely mirrors that of Entain, signaling a potential industry-wide slump.

Negative Factors Compounded To Hinder Growth

The expected 10% Q3 drop should place 888’s quarterly revenue at roughly £400 million ($487.61 million). These results may indicate an unfortunate trend for the company as last year saw another 7% slump compared to 2021’s revenue of £484 million ($590.31 million). 888 attributes this negative trend to several factors, noting that the company remains positioned to overcome these challenges and emerge stronger than before.

Sustainability initiatives form one of the primary factors behind the projected revenue decrease. While this reflects the company’s commitment to responsible gaming, it impacted profits. Enhanced compliance measures in the UK similarly affected revenues in one of the operator’s primary markets. 888 cited ‘customer friendly sports results’ as another negative factor across all jurisdictions.

Compliance challenges are a running theme in the report, as the operator admitted that regulatory changes in dotcom markets resulted in the slower-than-expected recovery in customer activity and revenue. Furthermore, a shift in 888’s marketing strategy focusing on ‘higher return marketing’ resulted in temporary disruptions as the company adjusted to its new brand-led strategy.

The Company Maintains Its Leadership Position

Despite the Q3 revenue setback, 888 Holdings maintains a positive outlook. It expects improvements in the remainder of the year, with Q4 revenue projected to be sequentially higher than Q3, although still lower year-over-year by a mid-single-digit. 888 Executive Chair Lord Mendelsohn noted that the operator was making significant strides to improve long-term sustainability, lauding the team’s efforts.

We are strongly focused on investing to deliver good levels of expected revenue growth in 2024 as we progress towards our clear target of more than £2bn of revenue in 2025.

Lord Mendelsohn, 888 Executive Chair

888’s troubles closely mirror those of Entain, one of its primary competitors. The global gaming company cited slower growth in strategic regions and UK regulatory headwinds as the primary reasons behind the drop in projected revenue. These shared challenges could reveal insights regarding the wider gambling industry as many regulators reaffirm their focus on player protection, forcing operators to adapt.

888 is currently undergoing a leadership transition as Per Widerström prepares to assume the position of CEO. This change in leadership is part of the company’s broader strategy, which includes repaying loans related to the £2.2 billion acquisition of William Hill, achieving higher profit margins, and maintaining a net debt of less than 3.5x.

Deyan is an experienced writer, analyst, and seeker of forbidden lore. He has approximate knowledge about many things, which he is always willing to apply when researching and preparing his articles. With a degree in Copy-editing and Proofreading, Deyan is able to ensure that his work writing for GamblingNews is always up to scratch.

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