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888poker Down 26 Percent in 2010

Full Year Poker Income Down But Fourth Quarter Growth Encouraging At 888

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888 Holdings Plc today reported total operating income from its business to consumer) poker unit down 26 percent in the 12 months to December 31, 2010 to US$38 million from US$52 million in the same period of 2009.

However the company also reported some encouraging signs that its decline in the online poker market had been arrested with total operating income from business to consumer poker rising 28 percent to US$11 million from the third to fourth quarters of 2010.

Additionally the number of active customers in the business to consumer poker unit jumped 74 percent to 201,000 in the same period.

Gigi Levy, chief executive officer at 888 said, “"We are very pleased with the results delivered during the last quarter of 2010 – especially the record 18% quarterly sequential growth. Our marketing activities have driven record numbers of players to our sites, and growth was achieved across our business lines. We are particularly encouraged by our Poker business, which showed 28% sequential growth.

He also said of the merger discussions with Ladbrokes, “There’s still interest on both sides. Our current numbers only make us more appealing.”

Other good news saw total operating income across all business units up 6 percent to US$262 million in 2010 compared to a year earlier.

Also the company said it was launching a PokerCam product in the near future which will allow players to use real-time video streams in real-money poker games.