If every 24 hours changed the landscape of an industry as dramatically as Friday’s activities in online gambling, investors would need to constantly sleep with one eye open. Our portfolio holding in the space, 888 Holdings. went from scorned marriage partner to one of the industry leaders as the FBI shuttered the majority of the leading players for illegally offering services to U.S. customers.
888 is trading up 25% this morning after selling off about 16% on friday morning after deal talks broke off with Ladbrokes. This makes me think management at 888 knew what was coming and didn’t want to sell out too cheap giving the coming dramatic change in the competitive landscape. The move by the FBI obviously came as a shock to many people as even WYNN had recently announced a partnership with Pokerstars that it pulled out of after the news on Friday.
My take is that online gambling is coming to the U.S. and the government wanted to establish control of the market before it opened the doors. This leaves non offending players like 888 Holdings in a much better position than before and even more likely to be acquired by leading U.S. gaming companies looking for a presence in the online space. I am not selling any of my 888 shares this morning.
Keep you posted