888 makes African debut through launches in Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and Zambia
888 Holdings announced Thursday that it has launched its 888bet brand in Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and Zambia through the 888Africa joint venture.
The company's chief executive Itai Pazner stated: "As a region with significant potential, we are excited to watch 888Africa continue to develop its offer and launch new and exciting products for players over the coming years and months."
He also added that future launches are planned in other markets subject to licensing. The African gambling market is forecasted to reach $5.6 billion by 2030, according to figures cited by 888.
The 888Africa brand was first established in March, with the intention to operate 888 in iGaming and sports betting markets across regulated countries in the continent. The company initially invested in a minority stake in the venture, while leaving open the option to increase its share to take control and own up to 100% of the business.
The announced rollouts mark the first launches in Africa since the joint venture was founded. Players in these markers will all have access to online and mobile sports betting, while Zambia users will also gain access to play online casino titles through 888casino.
888Africa is managed by a team of seasoned industry executives, led by Christopher Coyne, former CEO of GOAT Interactive and former CMO of The Stars Group. "888Africa's team has focused on customer experience and already has 85% coverage of mobile network operator payments in its markets," a press release notes.
“We are delighted to hit our target and launch into four regulated markets within six months of founding the business,” said 888Africa chief executive Christopher Coyne. “This is an important milestone that provides us with fantastic opportunities for further expansion in the future."
“We have enormous ambitions and believe the strength, history and trust of the 888 brand gives us a real competitive advantage as we look to build market-leading positions across Africa," he added. "We look forward to introducing 888bet and its unique offer to new players across the region in the months ahead.”
Back in August, the online gaming operator reported its financial results for the first half of 2022, which saw revenues drop 13% to GBP 332.1 million ($402 million), compared to the previous year. This was attributed in part to the implementation of safer gambling policies in the UK, ahead of an expected regulatory tightening yet to be established, and the ongoing impact of the closure of the company's Netherlands operations.
UK revenue was down 25% YoY, which along with 888’s exit from the Dutch market represented the majority of the decline. Outside these two markets, profits were up 2% compared to 2021. The business had previously stated that the drop in revenues was an expected event.