888 appoints Howard Mittman as US President as Q1 trading slumps YoY

888 has appointed Howard Mittman as its President of US, responsible for all operations in the country, including overseeing its partnership with Authentic Brands Group
Image: Shutterstock

888 has appointed Howard Mittman as its President of US, responsible for all operations in the country, including overseeing its partnership with Authentic Brands Group

Boasting over two decades of executive leadership experience, Mittman will be charged with continuing the rollout of the SI Sportsbook, a result of the partnership with ABG using 888’s technology which was unveiled in Colorado last year.

Additionally, he will be responsible for leading the group’s B2B partnerships in the US including its World Series of Poker brand’s online poker rooms across three states.

Itai Pazner, CEO of 888, commented on the appointment: “We are delighted to announce the appointment of Howard as our new President 888 US. This key appointment comes at a hugely exciting point in our long-term growth strategy in the US online betting market as we look forward to launching SI Sportsbook in multiple states in the coming months and years.

“We have established a platform for strong growth in the US through our world-class technology and operational expertise, with the Sports Illustrated brand, and the appointment of Howard, which will enable us to maximize the potential of this unique combination to further grow a profitable business in the US.

“Howard has an exceptional track record at some of the world’s best-known media brands, brings a huge amount of knowledge of the US digital landscape, has exceptionally strong relationships across the world of sports and media, and was the outstanding candidate after a thorough search.”

Mittman joined 888 following a lengthy career at Bleacher Report, where he most recently served as CEO following a stint as Chief Marketing and Revenue Officer. 

He added: “I am thrilled to be joining one of the online betting industry’s most respected and successful businesses. 888 has an outstanding reputation for innovation, product leadership, and customer-centricity. I have been hugely impressed by the people I’ve met within the business, particularly their passion for product and the customer experience, and I share their excitement about the significant opportunities ahead.

“The partnership with ABG and Sports Illustrated gives us a unique opportunity to deliver world-class betting and gaming products as part of a fully integrated experience with a leading sports media brand.”

Mittman’s appointment comes as 888 published its financial update for Q1 of FY2022, revealing that revenues had decreased by 18% year-on-year down to $224m. 

Despite a revenue slump in the most recent trading period, the group noted that strong performance in key US regulated markets was offset by poor UK performance, driven by increasing player restrictions. 

In North America, the group completed the launch of its WSOP brand in Michigan, and was awarded a license to operate in the newly regulated igaming and sports betting market in Ontario. 

The opening of 2022 also saw 888 revise the terms of its acquisition of William Hill’s non-US items from Caesars Entertainment, including a $327m reduction in consideration payable at closing.

The group’s B2C Gaming division posted revenues of $191m, a yearly decrease of 14% but still making up the vast majority of whole group revenues for the period. 

Meanwhile, B2C Betting drew in $24m in Q1, a 42% slump YoY and B2B revenue totaled $9m, down 6% YoY. 

The decline in revenue was mainly attributed to the monthly active players dropping 8% YoY and a temporary exit from the Netherlands market. 

Pazner assessed the Group’s Q1 results: “The start of 2022 has been another busy period of progress for 888. We have launched in Michigan and Ontario, with Virginia planned to follow in May. Having revised the transaction terms for William Hill and completed an equity placing to part-fund the deal, we are on track to complete in June and continue to execute our plan to build a global online betting and gaming leader. 

“Alongside these important strategic milestones, Q1 2022 revenue was slightly ahead of Q4 2021 as we previously announced. I am pleased with the Group’s progress, and we are looking forward to returning to year-over-year revenue growth in the second half of the year, as we benefit from further launches in additional US states, together with our expectation of relaunching in the Netherlands and ramping up our recent launch in Ontario.”