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July 17, 2023

888 Holdings Could Lose Its Operating License in the United Kingdom

Emily Thompson
Written byEmily ThompsonWriter
Researched byPriya PatelResearcher

Online gambling giant 888 Holdings, the owner of William Hill, has announced that its operating license in the United Kingdom is under review. This follows the dramatic intervention by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission to disrupt a leadership bid from three seasoned iGaming professionals.

888 Holdings Could Lose Its Operating License in the United Kingdom

Following this statement that alarmed investors, the London-listed online casino and bookmaking company's shares fell by over 25%.

The company has announced it has suspended talks with the potential leadership trio. This is after the UKGC questioned the company's participation in Entain, a rival firm that's currently under investigation by HM Revenue and Customs for multiple offenses, including bribery.

This statement prolongs a turbulent period for 888 Holdings after the company declared the suspension of its CEO, Itai Pazner. The operator did not follow anti-money laundering rules, suspending its VIP players' accounts on its online casino sites in the Middle East, including 888 Casino and 777 Casino.

888 Holdings also recently accepted a €28.3 million offer from Paf Consulting Abp to take over its businesses in Latvia. Following this agreement, the company told investors the funds would go towards general corporate purposes.

After the suspension of its CEO earlier in the year, shares of the Gibraltar-based company, which paid £2.2 billion to purchase William Hill's international assets in 2017, fell by more than 25%, as investors fueled 888's most significant share decline since 2006.

Since these tribulations, 888 has sought new leadership to stabilize the ship. FS Gaming, a company founded by three former executives of Entain, seemed to be the answer. In June 2023, FS Gaming recommended the appointment of Lee Feldman as chairperson and Kenny Alexander as CEO, resuming their prior positions at Entain. The company also recommended Stephen Morana, a former senior independent director at Entain, to serve as the finance chief.

The regulator's concerns about the potential appointments have since been addressed, according to 888 Holdings. But the company says the UK Gambling Commission had notified that it would consider any existing criminal investigation before approving anyone applying for a leadership post.

888 said:

"The [Gambling Commission] strongly recommended that the board, as well as all shareholders, give very serious consideration to the above factors before acting. We will be fully cooperating with the review, arising from potential issues with respect to FS Gaming's investment and proposal, and look forward to bringing the review to a conclusion expeditiously."

About the author
Emily Thompson
Emily Thompson
About

Emily "VegasMuse" Thompson is a seasoned online casino enthusiast from down under. With a keen eye for details and an inherent knack for strategizing, she has turned her passion for the online casino world into a successful writing career.

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