888 Holdings Completes Acquisition of William Hill International
888 Holdings has completed its acquisition of William Hill’s non-US business from Caesars Entertainment.
Following completion, 888 has confirmed its new executive leadership team, with William Hill’s former CEO Ulrik Bengtsson and chief financial operator Eric Hageman leaving the group.
The enlarged 888 group will continue to be led by CEO Itai Pazner, supported by CFO Yariv Dafna, chief strategy officer Vaughan Lewis, chief operating officer Guy Cohen and newly appointed chief risk officer Harinder Gill, who will take up his role on August 3.
The company said that any future organisational changes will be managed with the primary objective of maintaining momentum within each business, with the group looking to achieve anticipated pre-tax cost synergies of at least £100m by 2025.
With its interim first half results for 2022 set to be released in August, 888 will initially report results in four segments: 888 (including the US), William Hill Online UK, William Hill Retail (UK) and William Hill International.
Itai Pazner, CEO of 888, said: “I am delighted to announce the completion of our transformational combination with William Hill. We have built an outstanding leadership team, combining strengths from across both businesses, and as I look at the future, the combination of our product and content leadership, powered by our proprietary technology, and our world class brands, gives us a powerful platform for growth.
“I’d like to thank Ulrik and Eric for the great job they have done at William Hill and I wish them well for the future.”
Lord Mendelsohn, Chair of 888, said: “This combination brings together two high quality businesses to create a powerful, global betting and gaming business. We believe the acquisition will create significant value for shareholders, creating a combined business with leading technology, products and brands across sports betting and gaming. With a top quality management team, formed from talent from across both businesses, I am confident about our future plans.”
Arena Racing Company Purchases Arabian Racing Organisation
Arena Racing Company (ARC) confirmed the purchase of the Arabian Racing Organisation Ltd (ARO). ARO is the sole Arabian Racing Authority in Britain, operating with the support and permission of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), managing all elements of the integrity, fixture list and promotion of the sport.
The ARO team of Genny Haynes, Willie McFarland and Debbie Burt will continue to deliver the recently published 2023 fixture list, which will cover a programme of Arabian races across British racecourses.
As Britain’s largest racing group, ARC are long term supporters of ARO, hosting events at their numerous racecourses across the summer Arabian Racing season.
Genny Haynes, Chief Executive Officer of ARO, said: “We are delighted to confirm this deal with ARC, who have been fantastic supporters of ARO for a number of years, with the majority of our races run on ARC racecourses.
“ARO is now in a position to develop new commercial revenue streams, with the aim of developing the sport’s profile within the UK. The future of our Arabian Group races is now secure, and our aim will be that these races host some of the World’s best Arabians, as well as provide a springboard for our domestic horses to progress. Equally, we look forward to working on the continued development of grassroots Arabian racing, which is an integral part of our domestic programme.
“Our thanks must go to our sponsors HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival, Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club, UAE President Cup, Emirates Breeders Series, Arabian Horse Organization, The Arabian Racehorse magazine, Equine MediRecord, Racing Welfare and partner racecourses for their ongoing support, as well as our former ARO Directors Charles Gregson, Bill Smith and Richard Weston for their invaluable work and vision in establishing the sport in the UK.”
Mark Spincer, Managing Director of ARC’s Racing Division, said: “As long term partners of ARO, we are delighted to take this step to help secure the future of the sport in Britain. Arabian races have sat alongside a number of our summer fixtures, and we look forward to working with Genny, Willie and Debbie to continue this and look for opportunities to grow the sport over the coming years.”
Portuguese Online Gambling Revenue Hits Record High in Q4
The Portuguese gambling regulator SRIJ has reported that online gambling revenue hit a record €195.3m in the fourth quarter of 2022. Revenue was up 39.7% year-on-year and hit all-time highs in both online casino and sports betting.
The figures continue the upward trend in Portuguese gambling, following on from the record Q3 revenue of €139.8m. Online casino accounted for €109.8m, up 48.3%, from spending of €2.98bn. Slot machines made up 79.8% of online casino bets, well ahead of roulette (8.5%) and blackjack (5.5%).
Sports betting revenue rose by 30% from Q4 2021, reaching €85.5m from a handle of €458.7m. Football accounted for 74.2% of bets, basketball 12.5% and tennis 7.6%. The FIFA World Cup generated a quarter of all bets.
The SRIJ also reported that 340,000 new players registered with operators, 60% of them aged between 25 and 44. Self-exclusions were up by 41,500 year-on-year at 150,900 by the end of the quarter.
The regulator said it sent 54 notices of closure and 74 blocking orders against operators who were targeting the market without a licence.
EGT’s Phoenix Slot Cabinet Will Rise at GAT Gaming & Technology Expo in Cartagena
EGT’s stand A11 promises to be one of the top locations at GAT Gaming & Technology Expo in Cartagena, that will be held on March 29 and 30. The Bulgarian manufacturer will present its new slot cabinet Phoenix, which will reveal the captivating gaming world of Bell Link jackpot, as well as the Blue General, Green General, Gold General and Winner Selection multigame mixes, containing the most popular EGT games, including 18 brand-new titles.
Provided with 27-inch monitors, keyboard with dynamic touch display and electromechanical buttons and powered by the latest Exciter IV platform, this model has everything needed to become the next top product of EGT that will quickly conquer the hearts of players in Colombia.
“Phoenix cabinet has enormous potential for the local market, where traditionally our products are popular and perform extremely well. It offers a perfect combination of a classic and at the same time attractive outlook with the latest trends in gaming industry, which is a trademark of our company. It will be supplied with the well-known titles of the General Series multigames and the Bell Link jackpot, that has become a bestseller in many markets around the world, including numerous countries in LatAm region. I believe this is a guarantee for a great success at the exhibition,” Silviya Marinova, director of EGT Colombia, said.
Ms. Marinova added that the online gaming fans wouldn’t be disappointed either, as the innovative iGaming solutions of the subsidiary EGT Digital would be also at display and would demonstrate the advantages of having online business. The iGaming provider will showcase its rich portfolio of online slot and instant games, as well as its in-house developed all-in-one betting platform X-Nave.
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