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Emily D. Swoboda

One More for Asia

14 January 2008

Following last week's deal with Entertasia, 888 became the latest addition to a growing list of publicly-traded I-gaming groups to announce partnership agreements in the Asia-Pacific region.

In an interview with IGN, 888 Chief Executive Gigi Levy explained that 888 has been working in the Asian market for "a while" and it comprises a significant part of the company's business -- approximately 9 percent.

Over the last year, he said, the company began making plans to make more out of its position in Asia and found that live dealer services were very important to the Asian audience.

The group then began looking at whether to go it alone or use an established company's services. Ultimately, it decided on Entertasia because they have been successfully providing the live dealer service, he said.

"We're very excited about it," he added. "We think this is the going to be the cornerstone of the proposition we can offer to customers in this region."

Entertasia will work under a Philippines license to manage the live dealer services, which will be offered to all markets that 888 targets, Levy said.

Included in the deal was an Asia-focused sports betting product, which came about through a partnership Entertasia already had in place with Malaysia-based E-sky System Technology.

"The Asian sports book position is very different from the Western common sports book, and rather than building this from scratch, we decided to use an integrated product they (Entertasia) were already using and offer this from day one together," Levy said. "Longer term, we may decide to do this ourselves, but currently this is the deal."

Levy conceded that while 888 has many strengths, when it comes to uncharted territories it could use some assistance.

"In general, we have this approach that says that on the marketing side, we think we're good anywhere; on the customer management side, we think we're good anywhere; on the payment methods, we think we're good anywhere," he said. "But when it comes to the actual games and propositions, we think we're extremely good in Europe and in the Americas because we are very experienced in these markets. But, we're very aware that in some of the evolving markets we don't possess the acquired knowledge to have the best proposition as we have, for example, in the United Kingdom or Spain."

Further partnership announcements are on the horizon, Levy said. And while he would not get into specifics, he said to expect more deals not only in Asia, but in other parts of the world as well.

Financial details of deal were not revealed.

One More for Asia is republished from
Emily D. Swoboda
Emily D. Swoboda