Online Poker Growth Stalls and 888 Revenues Hit

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The first half of fiscal 2009/2010 has seen a general fall in poker revenues as the economic difficulties bite into the wallets of the poker playing public, but there are plenty of green shoots on the horizon and online poker bosses are confident that online poker will return to health later this year.

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One particular online gambling operator, 888 Poker, has taken a substantial hit as revenues from its poker rooms have fallen by around 30%. This led to a fall in their total revenues of 4% to £165 million with pre-tax profits of £34 million, a fall of over 30%. Following the publication of their figures their share price declined by 8%.

888 has also suggested that it will use social networking to increase its base of poker players.

Dragonish, their business to business operation saw an increase in revenues of 30%, though this undershot earlier expectations. It generates its income by supplying gambling infrastructure, tools and software to other organisations. It latest lucrative contract is to supply online casino games to Bwin in Italy. It is anticipated that progress on the re-regulation and liberalisation of gambling will further increase this sector of the business.

888 has also targeted expansion as a way of increasing its critical mass. It has entered into a partnership agreement with Harrah's in the Las Vegas, it acquired Wink Bingo and has deals with Cashcade and Sportech.

Commenting on this, the Financial Times said that 888 was not alone in suffering from this decline. The whole of the gambling industry has had to adopt a more subdued tone. The recession is one of the reasons, but also is the fact that they are operating in a crowded market in which it is necessary to develop new ways of attracting new customers.

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