Generally speaking, stock markets don’t react very well to profit warnings, but there’s nothing general or normal about what we’re experiencing at the moment and investors were encouraged by the calmness of 888’s revised outlook in comparison to forecasts issued by its main competitors.
888 said that the widespread cancellation of worldwide sporting events would of course impact its profits for this year, but the hit in terms of millions would be in single digits rather than the nine-figure estimates put forward by other firms.
The difference appears to be 888’s exposure to sports betting being significantly lower than its main competition, in fact sport accounted for only 16% of the company’s revenue in all of 2019. Compared with William Hill’s 53%, GVC (Ladbrokes-Coral owner) at 45% and Flutter Entertainment’s huge 75% it is a very low figure and this is what appears to be saving them at a time when they say they are in prime position to absorb the current shock.
Casino Games on the Up
While the news hasn’t been well received by UK MP’s, who have asked for a daily limit of £50 for each customer during times when people are betting on events they wouldn’t otherwise bet on and over which they have no control, it remains true that non-sports events are rising in popularity.
There is an expectation that casino games and online poker, which happen to be 888’s key markets, could become even more popular among bettors especially during a time when they are in effective isolation at home.
888 have indeed reported seeing greater customer activity centring around poker and casino games, but they also said that in the event of a prolonged period of global ‘macro-economic’ uncertainty, it is possible that customer spending across the group’s online gaming products may also become impacted eventually.
888’s Promise to Customers
888 Holdings have acknowledged that at a time when more people are stuck in their homes, potentially experienced increased stress levels due to the sinking economy, protections and social responsibility protocols were more important than ever.
The group has moved to say that it continues to offer customers its full support and is proactively communicating with them to ensure they are aware of the safe gambling tools available to limit and control their play.
As well as this, 888 continues to leverage its unique software programs that enable them to scan player data and perhaps identify areas of concern with the goal being to prevent or curb gambling-related harm.
888 have said that, for the year so far, their casinos and sports betting markets had each recorded average daily revenues 24% higher than during the same period in 2019, while its customer acquisition is 20% higher with daily average deposits going up some 32% versus last year.