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Profits slide for 888 Poker

Thu, Jun 6, 4:48pm by Staff Writer

Poker profits continue to slide for online poker operator 888, with a 28 per cent decline in revenue during the first five months of 2019.

Cards Chat is reporting that in a June 4 trading update, the gaming operator revealed it enjoyed a six per cent uptick in like-for-like growth, despite the overall numbers being down.

Looking at the specifics, casino revenue rose by 13 per cent, while 888sport generated 29 per cent more revenue compared to the previous accounting period.

Commenting on the results, 888 chief executive officer Itai Pazner said the results were encouraging.

As well as gains in regulated markets, new sign ups show strong underlying growth for the company as a whole.

“Whilst poker has remained challenging, we were pleased to see an improving revenue trend in Q1 2019 against Q4 2018.

In addition, we are very encouraged by a 20 per cent increase in first time depositors across the Group’s B2C business,” Pazner said.

However, news that poker profits are on the slide will come as no surprise to some o 888’s regulators.

Off the back of a shaky first quarter result in March, the operator revamped its software.

Aiming to create a more “enjoyable” experience for players, Poker 8 has received a mixed reception.

Although the software brings with it a fresh new look, other changes have irked players.

An air of discontent was brewing among players online, similar to what PokerStars has been experiencing in the past 12 months.

As it has become more of a complete gaming platform, numerous players have hit out at what they feel is an attack on regulars.

Further supporting this idea that operators need to focus on professionals is Partypoker.

Since the formation of its player panel, Partypoker has launched a number of innovations.

A new Diamond Club Elite tier for high rollers is one such addition, added to the VIP scheme ahead of a shock deck poker update in March.

Admittedly, Partypoker has also released updates focusing on casuals.

Its current strategy is one that caters to both ends of the experience spectrum.

Moving forward, 888 may have to ad just its own out look in order to strike the right balance between pros and novices.

Even though its not a top three online poker provider, it does have strong ties with the World Series of Poker.

In light of that and its recent revenue report, it can’t afford to let poker fall too far behind the group’s other verticals.

Guitar-shaped casino in Florida nears completion

The Hard Rock Hotel is expanding, according to Yahoo Finance.

The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Florida is working on a new $1.5 billion project – building he world’s first and only guitar-shaped hotel with expected completion later this year.

In an interview with Yahoo Finance, Hard Rock International chairman Jim Allen described the new resort as a “next level” destination.

The venue – which includes attractions like a $125 million ‘Hotel Rock Live’ theatre, a 13.5 acre waterscape with a pool and cabanas and a 140,000 square feet gaming space is in keeping with what Allen called Hard Rock’s ‘rock n’ roll’ reputation.

Bold expansion plans by Hard Rock

The Florida expansion also converges with Hard Rock’s push to rapidly expand its hotel division.

It was only a year ago that the chain debuted in Atlantic City, taking part in a boom that’s seen the city’s casino revenue increase by double digits every month since opening.

“We’re very happy with the Atlantic City market – it’s growing,” Allen told Yahoo Finance.

“But clearly the town needs to focus on infrastructure and continuing to upgrade the image of Atlantic City.”

If that continues, “Atlantic City’s days are good,” Allen added.

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