The online gambling company, 888, made a loss for the first half of this year.
The firm hosts one of the world’s biggest poker sites.
Hitting the jackpot
The firm was slapped with a record fine by UK regulator, the Gambling Commission, for failing to protect more vulnerable consumers. That includes a failure to restrict access to those suffering gambling addictions, as well as accepting bets where the money has come from a dubious source.
And UK regulation is only going to get stronger
A raft of new gambling regulations is set to hit the UK, with new taxes on free bets for casinos and bingo operators. And there’s going to be an expanded regime on TV advertising. These rules will all drive up costs for gambling firms, and we may see consolidations or even exists from the UK market.
Already, 888’s revenue from its UK operations has started to fall: they were almost 10% higher a year ago. At least the Americas region held flat.
Then there’s around $45m that the firm have had to set aside to deal with an overdue German VAT (value added tax) bill.
Overall revenue was up 3%.
And 888 is showed resilient growth in Spain and Italy, as well as in its mobile, sports and poker arms. Its core casino division also showed an upswing in activity, with a revenue rise of 6%.