Sunday, August 11, 2013

888 Signs Pact with Caesars, Will Launch New Jersey Online Brand

888 Holdings' return to the United States online poker market received a big boost this week with news of a deal signed with Caesars Interactive Entertainmentin which the two casino entities will partner up to either the "888" name and/or at least one Caesars-branded site to the new Jersey online poker market.

News of the deal was included in an "Interim Management Statement" released by 888 Holdings PLC on August 6th, which was then picked up by Reuters and other financial outlets, and from there into the poker world.  Not all of the statement deals with the 888 / Caesars deal, but this is the relevant excerpt:

Agreement signed with Caesars Interactive Entertainment (CIE) through the Group's All American Poker Network (AAPN) joint venture with Avenue Capital allowing 888 to offer own-branded poker and casino products in New Jersey, subject to required regulatory approvals. 

Commenting on today's announcement Brian Mattingley, Chief Executive Officer, said: 

"We are pleased with 888's continued progress in our core markets and products. The Group has enjoyed excellent growth, particularly in Casino where a combination of strong results in Spain and Italy and very successful marketing campaigns have driven up revenue in Q2 by 14% year on year.  

"The Group remains focused on preparing our platforms and marketing for the incredibly exciting US opportunity and we are delighted to announce today the agreement we have signed with Caesars Interactive Entertainment through our AAPN joint venture with Avenue Capital. This is an important development in our US strategy which will allow 888 to offer 888-branded poker and casino products in New Jersey, subject to required regulatory approvals. We are extremely well positioned in the US and are working with the regulators in Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey as these three states become ready to open."

As one can see from the above, the new Caesars/888 site in New Jersey will likely be branded as some variant of "888 Poker," which is of some historical significance to Euro players but of less brand-recognition value to New Jersey players, who would more likely recognize 888's old "Pacific Poker" brand instead.

The new site will also be part of 888's new All American Poker Network, as will the Treasure Island site powered by 888's software in Nevada.  However, any association between the two will be in name only, pending some sort of reciprocal player agreement between New Jersey and Nevada in the future.

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