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Hard Rock Digital to acquire 888 US B2C assets

Hard Rock Digital to acquire 888 US B2C assets

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Following a much-publicised review of its US operations, 888 is to sell selected B2C assets in the US to Hard Rock Digital, with completion expected by the fourth quarter of this year.

888 state that this sale will not impact upon its existing B2B business in the US but is intended to deliver greater value to the wider group. Profit margins in the US are lower than across the group, with 888 saying that this reflects the significant direct costs of operating in the market including duties, market access fees and licence fees and competition from well-capitalised incumbent participants.

Subject to regulatory approvals, 888 hopes to fully cease the selected US B2C operations by the end of 2024, with the costs of exit estimated to be around $40m.

888 operates in four US states, Colorado, Michigan, Virginia and New Jersey, the first three of which are in partnership with Authentic Brands and its Sports Illustrated brand – the SI Sportsbook & Casino in Michigan and the SI Sportsbook in Colorado and Virginia. This partnership will also be concluded, with 888 paying Authentic an agreed total of $50m, spread over the next five years.

Per Widerström, CEO of 888, describes 888 as entering a “new chapter”, announcing the company’s intention to introduce a corporate rebrand, Evoke, creating “a definitive direction for the company” and, coupled with what is called a new ‘Value Creation Plan’, deliver a “long-term strategy for success.”

Further details of what was described as a ‘reset model’ for the company will be shared shortly.