Much to the shock of many observers, 888 Holdings announced in mid-July that it had bought bwin.party, the online gaming operator that had been negotiating with another party since November, for over £900m.
Bwin.party had largely been expected to merge with Amaya (the owner of PokerStars) following months of negotiation. 888holdings spokesperson Itai Freiberger announced the historic moment for both companies, noting that it would create a powerful brand for online gaming in terms of potential growth, technology, and integration of their platforms, including benefits for players of the merger.
888 Holdings were not expected to close the deal, but be the runner up in the bid that saw a joint bid from GVC Holdings and Amaya Gaming as early favourites.
£650m Projected Revenue & Expansion of European Market
When complete, it will make 888 a powerful brand and one of the largest companies in the world of gaming, for online poker in particular. It has been estimated that their combined revenue would total up to $1b US per year (Approximately £650m) – a figure quoted by Executive Chairperson Brian Mattingly.
The move will further consolidates the position of 888 group in the USA, assuming control of all legally registered poker sites in the USA – all of which are based in Delaware and Nevada.
Furthermore, the deal grants 888 holdings access to poker players in France and Italy, and will follow up with expansion into Spain, dominating the European market. It is believe that the combined player base numbers over 3,300 but will climb as the brand consolidates its position.