LONDON (Reuters) - London-listed 888 Holdings is expecting to start to see the benefits from next year as a number of U.S. states ease a ban on Internet gambling.
888, which runs online gambling and poker sites, is already operating in Nevada, with markets in Delaware and New Jersey expected to go live in the coming weeks.
"In 2014, we should start to see some meaningful revenues come through," Chief Executive Brian Mattingley said, talking about prospects in the American market.
Internet betting was banned by the U.S. Congress in 2006, dealing a blow to companies such as 888 which had set up in the United States. However, tax-hungry states are now relaxing rules, creating opportunities for European players with years of expertise in the sector.
Mattingley said he was optimistic that larger states such as New York and California could be among the next to liberalise, although adding that the regulatory process was notoriously hard to predict.
"California is the prize. We are working flat out to identify some quality partners out there," he said.
In a trading statement, 888 said group revenues rose two percent to $94 million in the third quarter and that it was trading in line with its expectations.
Shares in the company were slightly up, 0.24 percent, to 164.4p at 0730 GMT, valuing it at around 575 million pounds ($918 million).
Analyst Ivor Jones of Numis noted that revenues had been increasing more rapidly earlier in the year.
"Growth in the U.S. is coming along just in time to offset slowing growth in some of the current core products," he said.(Reporting by Keith Weir; Editing by Pravin Char)