888poker is looking to re-enter the American market through a strategic partnership with Caesars Entertainment in Nevada. Once back, 888poker will be following ambitious expansion plans, new CEO Brian Mattingly has said.
888poker is facing a bright future and will soon be a force to reckon with in the American market, new CEO Brian Mattingly has told PokerNews
in a new interview.
The company was among those who chose to leave the U.S. online gambling space following the introduction of the UIGEA in 2006, but 888 is now looking to return thanks to a partnership deal with Caesars Entertainment in Nevada.
But the reentering won't mean the end to 888's American ambitions, says Mattingly. On the contrary, the partnership with WSOP brand owners Caesars will likely just be the first step in what appears to be a consolidation strategy to recoup lost market shares.
"It does seem that it is a matter of when rather than if, and we are in a strong position," the CEO said.
"We are in the license application process to operate in Nevada. Given our deal with Caesars is non-exclusive, we are unsurprisingly in discussions with a number of relevant partners regarding the opportunities that may become available in this exciting market."
"We are definitely the prettiest girl in town. Our aim is to sign the right agreements with the right partners in order to build significant market share – both for 888poker and for our partner brands," he added.
While Mattingly does not reveal who these other partners may be, he does admit that 888poker will be looking to establish itself on the U.S. market if regulation is introduced elsewhere in the United States.
A way of doing this could be through signing celebrity pros like Canadian MMA World Champion Georges St-Pierre, who was recently signed to represent the brand at this summer's WSOP.
"Should the U.S. market open up, we will explore a number of different avenues through which to build brand awareness and drive players to our sites," Mattingly said.
"We have found the acquisition of brand ambassadors to be a good way of doing this, and so this may very well be something that we look to do with prominent US people."
Outside the U.S., 888poker has seen remarkable progress over the past year, and is currently the fastest-growing online poker site
in the world.
The Gibraltar-based company last week presented results that pointed to an 88% year-on-year growth in revenues, and is now the fourth largest online poker network
on the market after PartyPoker