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888’s Dragonfish Signs Leading S. African Casino Group

28th September 2009 8:15 am GMT

888 is set to enter the South African gaming market following the signing of an exclusive agreement between its independent B2B division, Dragonfish, and one of the country's largest hotel and entertainment groups, Tsogo Sun Gaming.

Under the terms of the agreement, Dragonfish and TSG will establish a joint venture to offer sports betting under a new TSG online brand and to promote the 888 brand in South Africa, with plans to expand into poker, bingo and casino gaming when regulations allow.

The agreement will see Dragonfish provide TSG with comprehensive gaming solutions including games, technology, payment processing systems, call centre services, customer relationship management, online marketing and business analytics.

Formed in 2003 through an empowerment deal between SABMiller plc and Tsogo Investments, TSG currently owns seven casinos in South Africa with a combined annual footfall of 21 million people.

SABMiller, the brewing giant who's brands include Grolsch, Miller and Peroni, retains a 49% interest in Tsogo Sun Group.

Commenting on today's announcement, Dragonfish CEO Gabi Campos, said: "This partnership is the first of many targeted at regulated markets, where Dragonfish's partners operate under local licenses and enjoy the benefits of such regulatory arrangement.

"TSG's casinos provide a world-class, personalised gaming experience, and through partnering with Dragonfish we can provide them with the expertise and cutting-edge online gaming solutions to convert their strong brand into a successful position in the online gaming world. "

The agreement also gives 888 access to a broad market in South Africa through integration with TSG's databases for marketing and CRM activities, as well as the combination of online payment methods with land-based membership cards.

Shares in 888 Holdings plc (Co. Profile) (LSE:888) gained 1.23% to 94.50 pence in early trading this morning in London following the announcement.

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