Under African Skies: Starry-eyed Five Launch J-V with 888

It’s Africa calling for a quintet of gambling industry veterans who have announced a new joint venture with online giant 888.com.

Named 888Africa, the new operator will launch in four, still to be confirmed, regulated markets on the Mother Continent, offering 888 brands on a third-party platform that will be specifically designed and tailored for local punters.

The five pioneers comprise three former top executives of the Stars Group—Christopher Coyne, ex-Chief Marketing Officer; Andrew Lee, one-time MD of the group’s sportsbook; Ian Marmion, former Trading Director—and Alex Rutherford, ex-Editec Online, with Helen Scott-Allen, ex-CFO of Premier Bet.

888.com has invested a minority stake in the new African venture, with the option to buy the company outright.

Coyne, who will serve as 888Africa’s CEO, said: ““We are delighted to launch 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.”

Added Itai Pazner, Chief Executive of 888 Holdings: “We are very excited to establish 888Africa alongside such an impressive roster of industry talent.

“This new joint venture 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.

“The structure of this deal enables the group to invest in a strong business with high growth ambitions, without distracting focus from our core business and key strategic markets.

“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.”