Gambling firm 888's annual revenue jumps 14% on casino gaming demand

FILE PHOTO: 888 Holdings logo are seen through magnifier near Sports Illustrated logo in illustration taken, June 24, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

(Reuters) - 888 Holdings reported a 14% rise in full-year revenue on Tuesday despite a slowdown in the fourth quarter, as the British online gambling firm benefits from sustained growth in casino gaming during the pandemic and expansion into regulated markets.

The company's revenue for the year ended Dec. 31 rose to $972 million, while fourth-quarter revenue fell 16% compared with 2020 when pandemic-related lockdowns drove online gaming and betting.

Betting firms have benefited from people spending more time online playing games and betting on sporting events in the past couple of years during curbs put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Annual revenue growth at 888 was helped by strong performance in the UK and other European markets except Germany.

The company last year agreed to buy William Hill's non-U.S. assets, including retail shops, with the deal expected to close in the second quarter this year. 888 sold its bingo businesses in December to focus on its core operations and in the U.S. market.

(Reporting by Amna Karimi in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Shounak Dasgupta)

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