It appears that 888 will soon become a household name among poker and casino players. Despite many online poker sites being hit hard by Black Friday, 888 Poker did extremely well in 2011. Their poker site revenue increased 58%, the number of active customers increased a reported 58% while new player recruitment was up 77%.
2011 also saw 888 Holdings sign many large deals with some major players in the gambling and entertainment industries. The most important of which was the partnership between 888 Holdings and Caesars Entertainment which will give them a big step up on the competition should online poker become legalized within the United States. Over the summer they also signed a deal with Warner Brothers Digital Distribution, which led to the development of many exclusively branded casino games, such as the “Nightmare on Elm Street” franchise.
More recently, 888 has aggressively added sponsorship deals to create an even stronger brand name. Just last week, they signed on popular MMA world champion George St-Pierre to Team 888poker as one of their poker ambassadors. St-Pierre’s contract with 888 Poker will continue for at least 12 months. 888 Poker also recently replaced PokerStars as the sponsor of the Canadian University Poker Championships- a fairly large series of online tournaments.
According to the online poker tracking site pokerscout.com, 888 Poker is now the 4th largest network. 888 Poker is only a short ways behind both PartyPoker and the iPoker network. All three companies are still very far behind PokerStars in terms of daily traffic.
The triumph of both 888 Poker and 888 Casino stems from their ingenuity of adding new and unique features. Over the past year they’ve added such things as webcam face-to-face poker tables, truly 3-D slot machines (3-D glasses required) and Live dealer casino table games. These new features have had a big impact in drawing in new and old players alike. The success of this innovative business model is a testament to the evolution of online poker and casino players. They are no longer easily pacified by the same plain old games. It is likely that we will see more online gaming sites scurry to catch up by introducing their own new features and games in the future.