The London-listed 888 Holdings has increased its presence in the US online poker industry by becoming the sole owner of the All American Poker Network, or AAPN. 888 acquired the network from its investment partner, Avenue Capital in a deal said to be worth $28 million.
In 2013, the All American Poker Network was set up as joint venture between 888 and Avenue Capital, with the latter owning 53%. 888 confirmed in a press release that it now owned 100% of the network.
888 Holdings said that the transaction gave the group independent control of its growth strategy in the United States. This strategy includes signing new partnerships and continuing to deploy its proprietary products and technology in new states as they regulate their online poker industries.
888 pointed out that in the past few months, it has further strengthened its position in the United States by launching 888Sport in New Jersey alongside its poker and casino brands. This marked the first time that 888 offered sports betting in the US and paved the way for the group to launch its sportsbook in other states as future regulation allows.
888 also signed a lucrative sponsorship deal with the New York Jets NFL team, marking the first agreement of its kind between and NFL team and an online gaming operator.
The CE of 888, Itai Frieberger said about the acquisition of the AAPN: “The acquisition of the remaining stake in AAPN is an important strategic step towards 888 achieving its exciting long-term potential in the US. Taking outright ownership of AAPN gives 888 additional operational, technological and commercial flexibility to develop innovative and exciting new partnerships and launch in new states – through both B2B and B2C channels – as and when future regulation allows.”
“This acquisition places 888 in an even better position to take advantage of the significant growth opportunities in the US and create additional value for our shareholders,” he concluded.