Sports BettingCasinoOnlineInterview 888 CEO exclusive: If anything, we’re more bullish about the US 12 months on January 13, 2020 | By Tim Poole Itai Pazner, 888 Holdings CEO, speaks to Gaming America about the US market. You were very confident and bullish about the US market when we last spoke a year ago. How have 888’s operations developed there recently? If anything, we’re more bullish about the US in general as a marketplace. I think this is a general notion in the industry among contacts, discussions with peers, obviously, inside 888 as well. The US at the beginning of this year looked like it had big potential; that potential is more and more becoming a reality, with more sports betting markets launched and New Jersey showing to be a sizable market in itself. There are many markets in the US the size of New Jersey in terms of population, so I think everyone’s realizing the US is moving from potential to reality and it’s happening quicker than everyone probably estimated. Do you see FanDuel and DraftKings maintaining their high market share? I thought they would have a prominent position, but I didn’t think anyone expected them to have such a prominent position; because you have all these very capable companies coming from across the sea, with a lot of experience in sports betting and a lot of knowledge. But, it is still very, very early days. Are regulators and politicians warming more towards mobile in the US? I think there are 20 states that have passed regulation for mobile sports betting. Mobile is happening and will start with sports. Probably at least half of those states will evolve into other sorts of gaming. I think sports will be the opener but then states will open to casino, poker and other formats of gaming, like New Jersey. Nevada has poker and mobile sports betting. Pennsylvania has all three verticals. I think it’s going to be a mix and match of different opportunities for US. There is a lot that’s going on there and a lot of markets that are opening. It does require a lot of investment, both from a technological and infrastructure perspective; but also marketing investment. We’re (888) not going to originally be in all the markets. We’re going to pick and choose which ones will have the biggest potential in terms of taxation, products and more. There are many parameters that will define the financial viability of markets. Some of them will be on the higher end and some on the lower. We’re trying to prioritize the markets with the biggest potential and focus on them. In the future, when you look at the bigger picture of the online gaming industry, the big groups will have a big part in Europe, a big part in the US, but the common thing is they will all eventually have to own their own technology and as many products as possible. That’s where I think 888 has a unique position in terms of our scale and quality of products. I think there’s also room for a partnership and strategic moves in the US for us, with let’s call it companies or entities looking to be significant players in the US market. You can read the full interview with Pazner in the January/February edition of Gambling Insider magazine, which will be available in late January and distributed at ICE London.