888.com to Float
By philip
Rumors that 888.com, the world’s biggest online casino, is planning to float have been confirmed this week with the news that the company will list later this year with a valuation of about $1.6 billion. According to Reuters, a source close to the company has revealed that Cassava Enterprises, the owner of 888.com, has enlisted the help of Credit Suisse First Boston to prepare the flotation. Both Cassava and CSFB have as yet declined to comment on the issue.

Although it’s not known where the company plans to float, it’s reasonable to assume that it will be the London Stock Exchange, with the UK forthcoming Gambling Bill creating favorable conditions for internet gaming companies. In January, PartyPoker.com, the world’s biggest online poker room, said it was considering a listing that would value it at over 3 billion pounds.

A report earlier this month by investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein said the online gambling industry had grown to $9.2 billion worldwide. 888.com, themselves, recently announced that the amount Britons gambling over the Internet has increased sixfold in the last year alone.

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