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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 February 2007, 08:05 GMT
888 revenue rises as focus shifts
Roulette wheel
New US laws prompted 888 Holdings to expand elsewhere
Online gambling group 888 Holdings saw revenue from gaming rise by 7% in 2006, despite it closing its US business.

In a trading update, it revealed that net gaming revenue for the 12 months to 31 December reached $290m (148m) compared with $271m the year before.

Gibraltar-based 888 said it was diversifying geographically in the wake of a US law late last year which effectively banned internet betting.

The firm said last month saw record turnover for non-US operations

But it added that the number of new depositors was down since October.

Non-US market

For many gaming firms the US had been a vital source of revenue but since the new legislation came into force in October, online gambling companies have been seeking to gain revenue elsewhere.

Revenue from non-U.S. operations rose 28% to $157 million. However, after suspension of 888's US business in October 2006 average daily first time depositors fell by some 37%.

"Following our exit from the US market in the fourth quarter of 2006, the company has worked hard to continue expanding its non-US business," 888 said in its update.

Recent developments include launching a new real-money casino in February this year.

In broadening its scope, the firm got a betting licence in Italy in December as well as starting a casino website using Spanish and German.

After the new US legislation was introduced, there were talks between the firm and Ladbrokes over joining together.

But in its update, 888 said it had "no further update" concerning those discussions.

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