888 was founded in 1997 in the British Virgin Islands as Virtual Holdings Limited. In the same year, its Antiguan subsidiary obtained a gaming licence in Antigua where it based all of its management, gaming servers, member support functions and technical and payments staff. 888's platform and first proprietary product, Casino-on-Net, was launched in May 1997.
Random Logic Limited was established in 1998 in Tel-Aviv, Israel to provide research and development and marketing services to 888.
888 launched its second casino product, Reef Club Casino, in June 2002. In 2002, 888 Holdings launched its 888.com brand and also its multi-player online poker room, Pacific Poker. 888 Holdings also established an additional marketing office, Virtual Marketing Services (UK) Limited, in London in 2002 to source its offline advertising in the UK.
In July 2003, 888 obtained a gaming licence in Gibraltar. At that time, 888's headquarters, management and operational centre, including all of its gaming and deposit servers and its dedicated member support centre, were moved from Antigua to Gibraltar. Towards the end of 2003, 888 launched version seven of Casino-on-Net.com.
In August 2004 888 introduced a pilot programme for skill games (888.tv and 888.info). In October 2004, 888 Holdings launched access to a betting exchange platform, Betmate.com, to non-US members.
In October 2005, 888 was listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange. The company was also a founding member of eCOGRA, the pre-eminent industry benchmark of consumer protection.
The year proved to be a watershed for the online gaming industry following the passing of the UIGEA in the United States on 29 September 2006 - as a consequence all activity with US based customers was ceased. In January 2006, 888 had launched an entirely new Casino product with a new graphical user interface, new industry leading video-slot machines and promotion features.
888 made its first acquisition, with the purchase of the Bingo business and assets from Globalcom Limited. The first quarter saw the rollout of innovative products such as localised Video Slots, Blackjack in Poker and Blackjack. The year also saw 888 sign its first white label agreements, as the company moved into the B2B arena.
The launch of 888sport in March meant that 888 offered all four key online gaming segments: Casino, Poker, Sports and Bingo. The hugely successful 888ladies Bingo offering was launched in February 2008, with innovative social aspects.
Early in 2009 888 rebranded and relaunched the B2B business as Dragonfish, crystallizing its position as a stand-alone, but complementary, part of the Group. In December the acquisition of the Wink Online Bingo business added to the tremendously successful emerging offering, and Reef Club Casino was introduced as a recession-friendly offering
The look and feel of the umbrella brand was updated early in the year and sub-brands refocused to reflect the four core gaming products — 888casino, 888poker, 888sport and 888bingo. The acquisition of Mytopia in June added assets that form the cornerstone of 888’s social gaming and mobile strategy.
In March 2011, 888’s agreement with Caesars Interactive Entertainment gained regulatory approval from the Nevada Gaming Control Board and the Nevada Gaming Commission. This marked first strand of 888’s strategy to launch in the US online gaming market, once regulated.
In July 2011, the Italian regulated market opened for Casino following which 888 launched in that market.
Dragonfish continued to receive industry accolades and won two of the most prestigious awards at the eGaming Review B2B Awards: Poker Software of the Year and Bingo Supplier of the Year.
2012 was a very busy year for 888 starting in January when 888 extended its relationship with Caesars Interactive Entertainment to power a number of their poker brands including the "WSOP" into the US market, once regulated.
Following the award of a Spanish eGaming Licence in June 2012, 888.es launched in Spain and built significant market share. Slot games were introduced to 888’s offering in Italy in December 2012.
During the year, 888 also signed an agreement with Facebook to launch real-money products on the social network.
In 2013, 888 entered the regulated US online gaming market, starting with the WSOP brand, powered by 888’s gaming platform, launching in Nevada in September.
iGaming in Delaware was launched in November with poker, casino table games and casino slots powered by 888 and, later that month, the 888casino and 888poker brands launched alongside the WSOP brand in New Jersey. Together this meant that 888 was the only online gaming operator with a presence in all three regulated US online gaming markets.
In May, 888Sport relaunched with a new partner, Kambi Sport Solutions with encouraging results.
888’s consistency and leadership was recognised at the 2013 eGaming Review Operator Awards when 888 was the winner in the prestigious Poker Operator of the Year, Casino Operator of the Year and Best Operator of the Year categories.
In February 2014, 888’s US presence stood to benefit from the signing of a new interstate liquidity agreement allowing poker player pooling between the states of Deleware and Nevada.
The Company continued to build its presence in regulated online gaming markets with the launch of 888sport in Spain in the second half of the year as well as a mobile offering in Italy at the end of the year.
2015 was another busy year for 888 with the opening of a new retro-themed casino brand, 777, as well as launches of Casino, Poker and Sport offerings over Mobile and PC platforms in Denmark. In the first half of the year, the company also launched slot games in Spain and its multistate poker network in the US went live.
Itai Feiberger was appointed CEO and Brian Mattingley Non-Executive Chairman in March. 888 continued to develop its presence in regulated European markets with the launch of Italy early in the year.