888 Holdings PLC / Dragonfish

Published: 07/01/2013

In 1997, the company today known as 888 Holdings PLC was founded in the British Virgin Islands as Virtual Holdings Limited. That same year, its Antiguan subsidiary was granted a gaming license, which led to all management, gaming servers, member support functions and technical and payments staff being based in Antigua. By May, 888’s platform and first proprietary product were ready and Casino-on-Net was launched.

The following year, Random Logic Limited was established in Tel-Aviv, Israel to provide research and development and marketing services to 888. Over the next four years, the platform and games were refined, so that by 2002, 888 was ready to introduce not only its second casino product, Reef Club Casino, but also its inaugural multi-player online poker room known as Pacific Poker. That set the stage for the launch and development of the 888.com brand and a U.K.-focused marketing office, Virtual Marketing Services (UK) Limited, in London.

A milestone was reached in 2003, when 888 obtained a gaming license in Gibraltar, which quickly became its new base of operations. The Antigua headquarters, management and operational centre, along with all of the gaming and deposit servers and the dedicated member support centre, were moved to the new Gibraltar home, where the company has remained ever since.

What started out as proprietary software development quickly blossomed into the ability to provide business-to-business (B2B) gaming solutions for other companies. Early in 2009, 888 rebranded and relaunched its B2B business as Dragonfish, solidifying its position as a stand-alone, but complementary, part of the 888 Group. Dragonfish is able to offer flexible, dynamic services to third parties, including Games & Technology, Marketing, Operations and ePayments.

Today, 888 Holdings Public Limited Company (888) ranks among the world’s most popular online gaming entertainment and solutions providers. It is third behind Microgaming and Playtech in terms of the number of gaming web sites served by its software—a total 229 of them worldwide. They include all of the 888-related venues, such as 888 Casino, 888 Games and 888 Poker, plus a host of major gaming sites, like WSOP – World Series of Poker Online, Lucky Ace Casino, bwin Italy, Foxy Bingo, FiveBet, Bingo Scotland, PlayWin Italy and many, many more.

Among the various milestone achieved by 888 over the years were the introduction of pilot programmes for skill games (888.tv and 888.info) in 2004 in concert with the creation of a betting exchange platform, Betmate.com, for non-US customers. The company was subsequently listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange in 2005.

In 2006, all activity with US-based customers ceased, in response to the passage of America’s Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act. Localised video slots, poker and blackjack applications were rolled out in 2007, just as white label B2B agreements were reached with several third-party casino operators. By 2010, the company had acquired Mytopia to serve as the cornerstone of 888’s social gaming and mobile strategy. Along the way, 888 also became a founding member of eCOGRA, the pre-eminent industry benchmark for consumer protection.

Because 888 operates so many web sites under its own brand, many players are surprised to learn of the extent to which it serves the online gaming market as whole, offering Total Services through Dragonfish to partners who wish to benefit from 888’s decade and a half of industry experience. Those services range from multi-player casino and poker room gaming software to marketing, business development, back office payment processing, risk management, and member relationship management.

Products include blackjack, roulette, craps and other table games, bingo, slot machines and video poker, poker ring games and tournaments. Multi-player casino and poker room software is available in download and non-download versions, too.

Published on: 07/01/2013

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