888 Online's annual revenue drops 3%

888 Online, which bought William Hill last year, said its total revenue was down about 3% to £1.9 billion ($2.38 billion) in the year to the end of December.

As a result, the 15% decline in online revenue “which was driven by proactive investment in enhanced player security measures” in the UK and the closure of its Dutch operation was largely mitigated.

It was the same year that 888 successfully negotiated a deal to acquire William Hill’s non-US operations, including its approximately 1,400 UK betting shops. Due to one-time expenses, including some associated with the acquisition, the business recorded a pre-tax loss of £115.7m.

888 Online reported an adjusted pre-tax profit of £80.5m, a decrease of 10% from the previous year due to higher interest expense the company incurred due to the acquisition of William Hill.

President of 888 Online evaluates performance and cites difficulties to be overcome

Lord Mendelsohn, Chief Executive of 888, said: “Joining William Hill has transformed the group and brought together two exceptional and complementary businesses to create one of the world’s leading betting and gaming businesses.”

The company announced in January that it had investigated shortcomings in the way it handled Middle East VIP customers. As a result, it is expected to suffer a loss of revenue of between £25m and £30m this year.

Added Mendelsohn: “The group’s financial performance over the period primarily reflected the extensive actions taken to drive higher standards of player protection.”

“While the recent compliance issues in the Middle East have been very disappointing, they have highlighted the importance of our improved and proactive risk management framework.”