UK-listed online gambling operator 888 Holding is now the sole owner of the All American Poker Network (AAPN) following the $28 million buyout of the remaining 54% of its investment partner Avenue Capital.
888 Holdings’ CEO Itai Frieberger believes this move has given the company more flexibility to exploit new opportunities in the regulated US iGaming market.
“The acquisition of the remaining stake in AAPN is an important strategic step towards 888 achieving its exciting long-term potential in the US.”
“Taking outright ownership of AAPN gives 888 additional operational, technological and commercial flexibility to develop innovative and exciting new partnerships and launch in new states – through both B2B and B2C channels – as and when future regulation allows,” Frieberger added.
The operator acquired the 53% stake previously held by few minority shareholders and Avenue OLG Entertainment, the private equity firm with which it established this joint venture back in 2013.
They launched operator’s B2C brands in the US regulated market in November 2013 with 888poker and 888casino in Nevada and New Jersey. At the time online poker was not a huge deal in the US and good times are yet to come with more and more states legalizing the online poker in the future. Legalizing online poker in Pennsylvania might turn things around for poker, and other states are expected to begin pooling its players with other states in the upcoming years.
The gaming giant 888 has since strengthened its position in the US through the launch of 888sport in September this year.
The company has also agreed the first sponsorship deal between an iGaming operator and National Football League (NFL) team through its partnership with the New York Jets.
888 Holding informed its investors that it had paid $28 million to acquire the remaining share of AAPNN Holdings. 888 will initially pay $10 million and the remaining $18 million will be paid until the end of March 2019. This acquisition will allow 888 to seek better opportunities for growth in the US and also create additional value for shareholders.
With this move, 888 gains total control over the US market and can now sign partnerships and deploy products and technology in new states as they regulate without partner’s approval.