British gambling firm 888 Holdings' annual profit triples on online boom

Credit: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

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March 9 (Reuters) - Gambling group 888 Holdings 888.L said on Wednesday its 2021 pre-tax profit tripled from a year earlier, as online casino services in its core European markets remained popular during lockdowns.

Gambling companies around the world have profited from record levels of interest in online betting amid physical store closures and a desire for entertainment during lockdowns.

Annual revenue from 888's core markets, the UK, Italy and Spain, rose 18%.

The company said its average daily revenue through January-February rose in mid-single digit percentage compared with the final quarter of 2021.

Revenue for the first two months of this year, however, fell in double-digit percentage relative to the same period a year earlier due to regulatory and compliance headwinds.

Germany, which 888 considers a "growth market" implemented a new gaming taxes and duties regime in July, while the company had to implement safer gambling measures, particularly in the United Kingdom, to reduce the risk of potential harm to customers.

The London-listed firm said profit before tax surged 205% to $81.3 million in the year ended Dec. 31.

The company in December announced the sale of its Bingo business to a unit of UK-based Broadway Gaming Group for $50 million to focus on its core offerings and the U.S. market.

(Reporting by Shanima A in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)

((shanima.a@thomsonreuters.com; (Direct: +91 77 6034 7399 );))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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