888 backs Christopher Coyne led AFRICA joint venture

888 Holdings has backed plans to launch 888AFRICA as a joint venture business, expanding the FTSE250 firm’s presence within ‘select regulated African markets.’

This morning, 888 confirmed that it had “invested in a minority stake in 888AFRICA, with the option to increase its control, and ultimately own up to 100% of the venture in the future”.

The business will be led by Christopher Coyne, former CMO of The Stars Group Inc, who will serve as the JV’s Chief Executive.

Coyne will be joined by Andrew Lee and Ian Marmion, both former sportsbook executives from The Stars Group who will help establish the business.

Alex Rutherford, former Chief Product Officer at Editec Online, and Helen Scott-Allen, former Chief Financial Officer of Premier Bet, will provide the business with African market expertise. 

Coyne commented: “We are delighted to launch 888AFRICA alongside 888. With our team of experienced professionals and significant knowledge of the African markets, it is our ambition to build the business towards market-leading positions in selected regulated markets across the region.

“Partnering with 888 will give us access to a world-class brand, as well as a broad team of experts to support our growth plans, further enhancing our confidence in our future prospects.”

Under the terms of the agreement, the joint venture will pay a brand licence fee to both use and operate the 888 brand within the agreed upon regulated markets.

African joint venture brands will operate via a third-party technology platform, with products and content designed for the local preferences of the African market.

Initially, 888AFRICA expects to launch in four markets on the continent during 2022, subject to licensing requirements.

Itai Pazner, CEO of 888 Holdings Plc, commented: “We are very excited to establish 888AFRICA alongside such an impressive roster of industry talent. 

“The new JV will launch 888’s world-class online betting and gaming brands to millions of new customers in the exciting and fast-growing African online market.

“We look forward to being a part of 888AFRICA’s journey as it grows its footprint and increases brand awareness, while also offering potentially significant long-term opportunities for the Group in the future.”

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