888’s Revenue Drops as New UK Measures Impact Sales, Redundancies Confirmed
Revenue for the online betting company 888 has taken a hit in the UK and Ireland segment, dropping by 8% to £658m ($834m). This drop has been attributed to new gambling measures aimed at protecting vulnerable players and addressing problem gambling. In addition, the company has reported a decrease in revenue of around £80m ($101m) since withdrawing from unregulated markets in 2023.
To counter these issues, 888 has confirmed that it will be making redundancies across some of its locations. The company’s spokesperson expressed regret over the situation and assured that they will offer full support to the affected colleagues.
The CEO of 888, Per Widerstrom, implemented cost-cutting measures amounting to £30m ($38m) in December, aiming to adapt to changes in regulation and technology. After shutting down betting operations in Bulgaria and making overseas redundancies, Widerstrom stressed the need for the company to be more proactive in responding to regulatory and technological changes in order to improve its financial performance.
This drop in revenue follows a turbulent 2023 for 888, which saw the company lose its place on the FTSE 250 index, part ways with its CEO, receive a record fine, and undergo a money laundering investigation. Industry analysts have also pointed out the company’s substantial debt and ongoing regulatory uncertainty, urging 888 to take drastic action to ensure its survival.
In response to the revenue drop, the UK government introduced new gambling reforms, although these have not yet become law. Betting operators like 888 have already started implementing some of these measures, which include average loss background checks for players hitting specific loss thresholds, and limits on online slot staking. However, there has been criticism regarding the affordability checks, with some arguing that they may drive customers to the black market.
As 888 continues to navigate these challenges, the company faces pressure to adapt to the evolving regulatory landscape and find new ways to maintain its financial stability.