888 Holdings Hires Head of US Sports Betting Operations

As a major UK-based sportsbook operator, 888 Holdings holds a prominent position in the global regulated sports betting industry. As a strategic partner with Authentic Brands Group for the Sports Illustrated Sportsbook, further expansion in the legal US market remains a top priority.

As part of that ongoing commitment in the US, 888 Holdings announced the hiring of Howard Mittman. The former CEO of Bleacher Report will be the new president of 888 Holding’s US operations.

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SI Sportsbook Expansion

The partnership between 888 Holdings and Authentic Brands Group chose Colorado as its initial market for SI Sportsbook. The SI mobile betting app went live in September or 2021. Leaning heavily on SI brand recognition, the company views the early results as positive in a highly competitive marketplace.

The addition of Mittman as company president precedes SI Sportsbook’s planned expansion into Virginia in May. Additional states will be added to the legal US operational footprint in the coming months.

Itai Pazner is CEO of 888 Holdings. He released the following comment in reference to Mittman filling the US role:

“Howard has an exceptional track record at some of the world’s best known media brands. He brings a huge amount of knowledge of the US digital landscape, has exceptionally strong relationships across the world of sports and media and was the outstanding candidate after a thorough search.”

In his role at Bleacher Report, Mittman was responsible for the launch of B/R Betting. This was the digital publication’s foray into legal sports betting in the US market. He also formulated working partnerships with US-based sportsbook operators as part of his role.

Excited by the new opportunity, Mittman added the following comment:

“The partnership with ABG and Sports Illustrated gives us a unique opportunity to deliver world-class betting and gaming products as part of a fully integrated experience with a leading sports media brand.”

SI Sportsbook Performance

The SI sports betting app was built on the BetBright platform. This platform was first acquired by 888 Holdings in 2019. As part of the original launch in Colorado, SI Sportsbook was fully mitigated over to this platform in 2021.

As part of recent review by industry analysts at Eilers & Krejcik, the comments below had this to say about the SI sports betting app:

“Sports Illustrated’s entry into the online sports betting market largely landed with a thud among our tester group. It fails in key areas and has enough technical problems (some crashing reports and many bet placement issues) to question its launch state.”

Colorado sports betting regulators to not post monthly gaming numbers by individual operators. This makes it hard to gauge SI’s sportsbook actual performance in the market. The recent addition of Mittman to run 888 Holding’s US operations could single a change in strategy in light of the Colorado market.

Virginia only offers legal online sports betting through the use of mobile sportsbook app. With a little more than a year’s experience with legal sports betting (January, 2021), this could be a good test for SI Sportsbook as an expansion market.

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