High profile European sports betting operator 888 Sport has broken new ground with the news that it has gained a foothold in three US states.
The operator, which is listed on the London stock exchange, has announced that it will be debuting its well-known 888Sport brand in the states of Indiana, Iowa, and Colorado next year as competition in the fast growing US sports betting market continues to heat up.
888 has gained the rights to access the market in all three of those states to provide online poker, casino games, and sports betting and will be operating under a variety of names.
In Colorado, the company is set to launch with a license held by the Colorado Grande Casino, which operates a land-based gambling venue in Cripple Creek. Over in Iowa, 888 will be operating in partnership with the Catfish Bend Casinos group, while in Indiana, the company has struck up a partnership with Harrah’s Hoosier Park, part of the Caesars Entertainment Group.
When the three launches are complete, it will leave 888 operating its services in six US states, a list that also includes New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada.
Sports betting was legalized in Colorado back in May this year, although only through sportsbooks that are registered and operate within the state. In Iowa, legalization came in August 2019, and there has been a rapid expansion of sports betting operators, both online and retail, throughout the state over the last year. Iowa’s legalization came just a month before sports betting was authorized in another mid-western state, Indiana, at the time, the 13th state to legalize.
It is clearly a big moment for 888, which will effectively be doubling the size of its US operations, and it was no surprise to hear Yaniv Sherman, who works as the Head of Commercial Development for 888 describing the agreements as a ‘major milestone’ in the company’s expansions:
And it seems that 888 is eager to continue its expansion. Sherman said that they were looking at signing up with a media partner. Names such as Bleacher Report, SBNation, The Athletic, and Fansided have all been suggested as possible partners.
888 Sport is certainly in a strong position. The company owns its own proprietary betting technology and could offer access to the tech to any potential partners as part of the deal.
Another notable feature of the announcement in the three states is that online casino and poker operations have not yet been legalized in those territories, and at present, there are no immediate plans in those states to change that situation.
But clearly, 888 thinks that these arrangements will put them in a strong position and that they will be well placed to capitalize on any future expansion in these sectors. Earlier this year, the CEO of 88, Itai Pazner, spoke to investors and signaled that he was confident in the prospects of online gambling being legalized across many new areas of the US during 2021, although the development and implementation of that legislation may be relatively slow to materialize, as the US states continue to battle the effects of the coronavirus pandemic that has played havoc with the land casino sector.