In a post-close trading update issued on January 14, 888 Holdings – parent company of 888poker – announced that it finished the year out on a high.
According to the operator, revenue and active customer numbers for December 2020 were some of the best the online operator has ever seen, although, the final figures won’t be released until March 2021.
“Whilst 888 has entered 2021 with good momentum, the Board remains mindful of possible headwinds over the coming months including macro-economic and regulatory uncertainties in certain jurisdictions,” the company stated in the update. “Notwithstanding, the Board remains confident that, with 888’s outstanding product proposition, advanced technology and diversification across global regulated markets, the Group remains well positioned to deliver further progress.”
In a Product Development webinar for analysts that followed the trading update, 888 touted how it is redefining its poker experience with its new Poker 8 platform.
888’s Performance in 2020
In an earlier trading update back in early December, 888 Holdings alluded to the fact that its revenue for the full year will be up 45% compared to 2019.
“This strong trading continues to reflect increased new customer acquisition that started at the end of 2019 and continued throughout 2020,” the press release issued alongside the post-close trading update said.
Looking at data collected by pokerfuse , this could mean that 2020 exceeds revenue of over $530 million, the figure that was generated back in 2019.
The breakdown of which verticals grew the most won’t be known until more information is released, but looking at the graphs below, substantial growth in the casino vertical is to be expected.
In the graph below, we can see that H1 2020 (especially in the casino vertical) smashed all records with revenue up more than a third in the period between January and June.
Poker 8 Redefines the 888 Poker Experience
Growth of the poker vertical remains very much in 888’s sights, as evidenced by a section of the Product Development webinar dedicated to telling shareholders more about the Poker 8 software that rolled out globally, last year.
According to the presentation, 888 believes that the key principles that will drive growth in its poker division are entertainment and rich content, both of which they believe they have achieved with the new Poker 8 platform that puts an emphasis on a fun and engaging poker experience.
Players will already know the changes that Poker 8 has brought to the tables.
As a reminder, the poker software was completely overhauled from the ground up on both mobile and desktop.
A streamlined lobby where players can access poker, sports and casino, along with enhanced navigation are notable additions, but the added support of multi-tabling on mobile and the now industry standard portrait mode have been game changers.
To accompany the new platform, 888 invested in bigger guarantees for its poker tournaments and more promotions for players under the Made To Play tagline.
2020 saw the operator run its biggest ever online festival with the Millions Superstorm that guaranteed $8 million.
In addition, 888 gave away more than $1 million through promotions that accompanied the launch of its new Poker 8 mobile app.
Still, the growth in poker may not be a sky high as what 888 is seeing in its casino vertical, but H1 2020 poker revenue for 888 grew 56% year-over-year to $36.1 million, its highest half-year in three years.
“Poker was definitely the surprising vertical of the period, with many players shifting from physical poker games to online and a product that has a strong recreational nature and represents very good value for time spent on it,” said Itai Pazner, 888 Holdings’ CEO back in the summer.
Full Year results are due to be released in March.