Popular online gaming operator and platform provider 888 Holdings achieved a nearly one-third spike in its shares after declaring that after the cancellation of major sporting events, its casino products and online poker have experienced a spike favorable during the Covid-19 crisis.
The company, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, announced on monday that it will delay the publication of its preliminary financial results for 2019, in response to the request made by the Financial Conduct Authority. A day later, 888 published the ‘COVID-19 Business Update’ in which it previewed its performance for the year to date.
The company revealed that in late 2019 it saw strong momentum that has been maintained this year. Up to march 18, an 18% better financial result is reflected than during the same period last year.
The casino and sports verticals had an increase of nearly 24% year-on-year, 888 revealed, adding that after the cancellations of the main sporting events, future betting income will be negatively affected. The sports sector represented 16% of the company’s revenue last year.
888 said it currently sees “evidence of increased customer activity” with respect to the company’s casino and poker verticals, which “could, in part, offset the interruption of sports betting for a period of time.”
Although the company also heralded “a prolonged period of global macroeconomic uncertainty”, encouraged by the Covid-19 pandemic that is affecting the world and will particularly be reflected in customer spending in the non-betting business verticals.
British lawmakers and the media have warned of the dangers that sports bettors could take, which have become boring and could be pushed by gambling operators to try ‘riskier’ products.
However, 888 reported Tuesday that it remains “vigilant about safe gambling and preventing gambling-related harm is even more important than ever” and maintains “proactively” communication with each of its clients to make use of tools that limit and control game activity.
888’s announcements regarding its financial condition and forecasts were music to investors’ ears. The company’s shares rose nearly 32% on tuesday. Although also the competition of 888 in the United Kingdom enjoyed the stock market movement. Stock market optimism caught up with Flutter Entertainment (+ 11.6%), William Hill (+ 34.1%) and GVC Holdings (+ 23.7%), after the thunderous drop in stock indices last week.
Ireland and UK halt their greyhound racing
In other news, British bookmakers found out on tuesday night of Ireland’s decision to suspend racing events until April 19. Taoiseach Leo Varadakar announced from midnight all sporting events were canceled.
Since march 13, the races had operated ‘behind closed doors’ but the Irish government considered this activity to be too risky to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
Ireland’s decision came a day after the British government made the decision to suspend Greyhound racing for three weeks. The UK Greyhound Board kept their dog races behind closed doors, as did Ireland, but now decided to completely shut down operations to comply with the government’s order to shut down non-essential business.