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Cassava Enterprises

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Title: Cassava Enterprises  
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Subject: Online poker, Online gambling, Poker Nations Cup, Shane Warne
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Cassava Enterprises

888 Holdings
Traded as
Industry Gambling
Founded 1997
Headquarters Suite 601/701, Europort, Gibraltar
Key people Richard Kilsby, Chairman
Brian Mattingley, CEO
Revenue $375.8 million (2012)[1]
Operating income $51.9 million (2012)[1]
Net income $35.4 million (2012)[1]
Employees 929 (2011)
Subsidiaries Dragonfish

888 Holdings plc is a company which operates several high-profile gambling websites. It was founded in 1997 and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.

It has an operating subsidiary, Cassava Enterprises, which is incorporated and operates under the laws of Gibraltar.

Brothers Avi and Aaron Shaked owned approximately fifty percent of the parent-company through family trusts. Another pair of brothers, Shay and Ron Ben-Yitzhak, control approximately eleven percent through a family trust.[2]


The business was founded by Avi and Aaron Shaked and Shay and Ron Ben-Yitzhak in May 1997 as Virtual Holdings Limited.[3] Casino-on-Net was launched at that time and an administrative centre was established in Antigua.[3] In 2002 Reef Club Casino and Pacific Poker were launched.[3] In 2003 its administrative center was moved to Gibraltar.[3] It was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2005.

In late 2006 Ladbrokes and announced merger discussions.[4] However in April 2007 the companies announced that due to recent changes of Tax laws in the UK and fears of legal actions by the US government, both parties had amicably agreed not to continue discussions.[5]

In March 2007 888 announced its acquisition of Bingo business of Globalcom Limited for up to $43.4 million in cash.[6]

After some downswings in terms of player volume from February 2010 to July 2010, one could finally see signs of recent investments paying off. overtook the 4th place on the poker network list in April 2012 after almost having tripled their peak number of players from July 2010 to February 2012.[7]


The company operates under a gaming license granted by the government of Gibraltar. Under the terms of the gaming license Cassava Enterprises owns and operates a number of gaming sites (both for real money and educational sites) including: is Cassava's flagship website. It serves primarily as an 'easy to remember' location and brand and encapsulates Casino-on-Net and Pacific Poker websites. Although it houses no games of its own, 888 is often billed as 'the largest casino website on the Internet'.

Casino-on-Net / 888casino

Casino-on-Net is Cassava's online casino branch. It was originally launched in May 1997 and has served 13 million people. The site offers a number of traditional casino games for play, including slot machines, blackjack, baccarat, roulette, craps, pai gow poker, keno, and video poker. Casino-on-Net also offers free 'practice money' versions of its games.

Reef Club Casino

Reef Club Casino is a casino offering by Cassava which features an 'underwater' theme. It was launched in May 2002 as a more fantasy-style alternative to the real-world style of Casino-on-net. It offers a selection of games similar to that of Casino-on-Net, and also allows players to play for 'practice money' if they prefer not to use real money.

888poker is Cassava's online poker room branch .[8] It was launched in July 2002 and focuses exclusively on variants of poker and other card games. Traditional poker variants are offered, including Texas Hold'em, Omaha, and Seven-card stud. Like Casino-on-Net,888 poker offers free play versions of its games for players who prefer not to risk real money. 888 Poker is Microsoft Windows and Mac compatible. Players can choose to play on the site's software program or on the non-downloadable game version available online.

888ladies is Cassava's online bingo room.[9] The bingo site was launched in February 2008 after 888 acquired online bingo company, Globalcom. 888ladies offers 75-ball and 90-ball bingo games.

888bingo is Cassava's second online bingo site after 888ladies.[10] With a totally different look and feel, 888bingo was formally launched on December 2009. It offers the players a wide selection of games such as 75 and 90 ball bingo, team bingo, slots, instant games, video poker, table games and more.

888sport is Cassava's sports betting site. The online bookmaker was launched in March 2008. Bets can be placed on a variety of sporting events including horseraces, cricket, football, rugby and other events, such as the Big Brother television programs. 888sport is currently offered in six countries: Germany, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Austria and the United Kingdom.

888games is Cassava's casual gaming site. Hosts a variety of games, from video slots to scratchcards, table games and classic casino games in a non-download platform. 888games currently offered in three countries: Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

The deal with Daub Ltd agreed to purchase "Wink Bingo" from Daub LTD among a few other Bingo brands like "Posh Bingo" & "Tasty Bingo". The online bingo market has grown rapidly in the UK while traditional bingo halls have been struggling. Reuters news agency reported about that on Dec 2009.

US players

On 2 October 2006, 888 Holdings announced that it had indefinitely suspended business from US customers in light of the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 by the US Congress three days before.[11] On 14 August 2007, the US Department of Justice asked to recoup all profits made by the company in the US. This would amount to nearly $120m for 888.[12]

Sponsorship group was the main sponsor of the Middlesbrough Football Club the logo appeared on the club's strip, but was replaced in August 2007. More recently the group has become the main sponsor for Sevilla Football Club. In 2006, became the main sponsor of the World Snooker Championship but terminated the five-year contract in August 2008 after just three years. 888poker sponsors Shane Warne.

In 2005 and 2011, was the sponsor of the Premier League Darts.

Senior management

Gigi Levy served as Chief Executive until 2011, he was paid an annual salary of $841,000 and an annual bonus of $1,007,000 in 2010.[13]

In March 2012, Brian Mattingley was appointed as Chief Executive of 888 Holdings[14]


External links

  • 888 Official website
  • 888 Holdings PLC share price

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