888 Holdings Ends Sports Illustrated Partnership, Explores US Business Options

Reportedly, the well-known British sportsbook and gambling business 888 Holdings has stated that it is ending its collaboration with Authentic Brands Group in a calculated move. Its casino and sportsbook ventures were made easier by this arrangement, which licensed the Sports Illustrated (SI) name.

At the same time, the largest gaming and betting company in the world, known for names including Mr Green, William Hill, and 888, revealed that it was considering selling off or closing its direct-to-consumer business in the US.

In the business-to-consumer market, there is fierce rivalry and narrow margins that are influencing the choice. Despite FanDuel and DraftKings holding a combined market share of more than 60%, this problem still exists.

888 Holdings refrained from providing a specific timeline for the completion of the review process. Similarly, no concrete assurances were extended regarding the outcome of the evaluation, albeit the company affirmed that its US business-to-business operations would remain intact.

The Need for Restructuring to Maximize Returns

The company’s decision stemmed from its acknowledgment that the existing framework wouldn’t effectively optimize returns. Hence, the initiation of a strategic review was deemed necessary.

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Per Widerström, the CEO of 888, emphasized his commitment to ensuring that the group is positioned to yield substantial value in the forthcoming years. He underscored the fierce competition in the US market, emphasizing the imperative for significant investments to attain profitability.

Widerström commended the partnership with Authentic Brands, acknowledging its role in driving robust demand for the SI brand across various consumer experiences and product offerings. Despite notable achievements, he highlighted the challenge of achieving requisite scalability in the US market within an expedited timeframe to yield positive returns.

888 Holdings will pay out $25 million in cash as part of the termination agreement, and another $25 million will be paid out in installments between 2027 and 2029. Notably, throughout the strategic review process, business will continue as usual under the SI brand.

By the end of March, shareholders should expect updates on the company’s intentions. It is noteworthy that 888 Holdings demonstrated its dedication to responsible gaming in February by launching a safer gambling service in Ontario called Control Center.

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With this action, 888 Holdings is demonstrating its measured reaction to market conditions and demonstrating its strategic vision and dedication to long-term wealth generation in the face of changing industry environments.

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