888 Holdings CEO steps down with immediate effect

January 30, 2023
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Amid Itai Pazner's departure, 888 has also ceased all VIP activities in the Middle East amid a compliance probe.

888 Holdings has announced that its CEO Itai Pazner will be departing the company with immediate effect, following alleged impropriety in his Middle East dealings. Pazner’s VIP activities in the Middle East have been suspended amid a compliance probe by authorities.

888 did not give an official statement regarding Pazner’s sudden departure. In response, the company’s stock has slumped from £1.04 ($1.29) to £0.73 on the London Stock Exchange.

The departure of Pazner comes only two weeks after the company announced Yariv Dafna would be stepping down as CFO. 888 will replace Pazner with non-executive Chairman Jonathan Mendelsohn, who will take over on an interim basis while the company looks for a permanent replacement.

There had been prior concerns flagged around 888’s operations in the Middle East, with the gambling company acknowledging that this region had fallen short of several responsible gaming standards. In particular, it had failed with its Know Your Customer and anti-money laundering protocols.

An 888 spokesperson commented: “While further internal investigations are underway, the board has taken the decision to suspend VIP customer accounts in the region, effective immediately. The board currently estimates that the impact is less than 3% of the group revenue, should the suspensions remain in place.”

888 has established a strong presence in the US, especially since the repeal of PASPA in 2018. At this time, it expanded its US poker online presence by becoming the sole owner of the All American Poker Network.

Before that, in 2013, it was the first exclusively online casino to be licensed in the US. It operates in Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, Colorado, Indiana and Iowa, via its 888casino, 888sport and 888poker brands.

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