Finance news sponsored by SBTech

With the company posting a 6% decline in total operating income to US$246.7 million in its final results for the year ended December 31st, 888 Holdings plc said Tuesday that 2010 is set to be a year of growth with a number of strategic initiatives in the pipeline, including the completion of its rebranding exercise and refocusing around core products, as well as expansion into new markets.

Despite the discontinuation of its online poker business and a renewed focus on casino, Canada's Chartwell Technology Inc has reported a tripling of its pre-tax loss from continuing operations to CAD$0.88m in its first financial quarter ended January 31st 2010.

The Italians' love affair with online poker and sports betting may not be as intense as it was in the early days but there is no suspicion yet that the relationship is souring. Gone are the double digit percentage monthly increases but spending on poker continued to rise in February as did the amount staked on sports betting. However whilst growth is definitely slowing, it is clear that the market is consolidating at an ever faster rate as just three or four operators command the majority of the market for each product.

Following another significant year of growth for the company which included a number of highly accretive acquisitions and investments, Playtech Limited has reported a 3% increase in total revenues to €114.8 million in its audited full year results for 2009, with the first time share of income from the company's interest in William Hill Online contributing €22.5 million.

The Italians' love affair with online poker and sports betting may not be as intense as it was in the early days but there is no suspicion yet that the relationship is souring. Gone are the double digit percentage monthly increases but spending on poker continued to rise in February as did the amount staked on sports betting. However whilst growth is definitely slowing, it is clear that the market is consolidating at an ever faster rate as just three or four operators command the majority of the market for each product.

Ahead of its planned merger with rival Churchill Downs, America's horse racing content and advance-deposit-wagering provider Youbet.com has reported a 2% increase in total revenues to $111.4 million for the year ended December 31st 2009, which coupled with a 26% reduction in operating expenses has led the company to its first annual profit in four years.

Shares in Centrebet International Limited gained more than 10% this morning after the company announced that it is facilitating discussions with a number of parties interested in acquiring the Australian and European-facing online gaming operator.

Against a backdrop of significantly reduced volatility in both equity and forex markets, IG Group Holdings plc has reported trading revenue of £69 million for the third quarter ended February 28th 2010, an increase of 11% compared to the same period last year following strong growth in the company's UK, Australian, European and Singaporean financial businesses.

Ahead of the planned launch of online gaming next year, Danish gaming monopoly operator Danske Spil has reported a third consecutive year of revenue decline with 2009 revenues down 7.5% versus the previous year.

32Red plc said Wednesday that total revenues fell marginally by 2% to £12.75 million for the year ended December 31st 2009, despite earning record revenues during the second half of the year on the back of strong growth from the company's flagship operation, 32Red Casino.

U.S online horserace betting provider Youbet.com has announced a special meeting to take place on April 6th 2010 where stockholders will consider and vote on the planned $126.8 million merger with Churchill Downs Incorporated, the rival advance deposit wagering operator which this week posted a 2% increase in net revenues to $439.7 million following strong growth in the company's online wagering service TwinSpires.com.