UK-gaming giant hires new President of US Operations, announces plans to launch SI Sportsbook in Virginia next month. “This key appointment comes at a hugely exciting point in our long-term growth strategy in the US online betting market as we look forward to launching SI Sportsbook in multiple states in the coming months and years.”888 Holdings made a move to get its Sports Illustrated (SI)-branded sportsbook off the ground by appointing a new Head of US Operations with previous experience bringing a similar product to market.
The UK-based gaming giant announced this week that it has hired Howard Mittman as its new President of US Operations. 888 said Mittman’s responsibilities will include working with Authentic Brands Group (ABG) — the parent company of SI — to launch SI Sportsbook “in multiple additional states in the coming months.”
The announcement also said Mittman would be responsible for “888’s B2B partnerships in the US, including the pioneering World Series of Poker (“WSOP”) brand’s hugely popular online poker rooms across three states, with more in the pipeline including in Michigan.”
The words “more in the pipeline” could be telling. WSOP MI launched in Michigan on March 28 . And while Ontario is not a state, 888 launched its 888poker product in the Canadian province on April 4 .
888 has limited options if it plans to open more poker rooms under either the 888poker or WSOP brands It could really only launch in West Virginia, since 888 has a monopoly in Delaware through a partnership with the Delaware Lottery and three racinos in the state. The operator also can’t expand to Connecticut because the state’s gaming law prohibits its two tribal casinos from having separate operators per vertical, and the Connecticut Lottery Corporation can’t offer poker.
However, neither of the states have online poker up and running and operators are unlikely to launch unless they become part of the multi-state agreement. One possibility is that 888 could launch B2B poker in its existing states under the SI Poker brand.
Last June, ABG formed a joint venture with 888 to offer sports betting and iGaming products under the SI […]
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