888 Holdings PLC made two big announcements this week ahead of the company’s push for dominance in the American market.Â The first snippet of news was confirmation that Brian Mattingley will be stepping down as 888’s CEO next year.Â Following his recent comments that PokerStars gained an “unfair advantage” by remaining operational in the US post-UIGEA, Mattingley will now move into a less active role within the company.
After clarifying that he is ready to do battle with PokerStars, but that his opponent should receive a two-year ban for operating illegally in the US, Mattingley will help the fight as executive chairman of the board from January 2015.Â According to a recent press release, Mattingley will leave his current role as CEO and replace Richard Kilsby who is currently serving 888’s as non-executive chairman.
With Kilsby riding off into the distance and Mattingley taking a step back, 888’s Chief Operating Officer Itai Frieberger will step into the fray as CEO after the company’s Annual General Meeting.Â Despite not leading from the front, Mattingley will still have a prominent role within the company; something 888’s Chairman of the Nominations Committee, Amos Pickel, believes is an exciting move.
“We are very excited at this move, which will allow the company to continue to take advantage of Brian’s wealth of experience, wisdom and knowledge, particularly in maintaining and developing relationships with existing and future regulators,” said Pickel.
With one notice out of the way, 888 decided to strike while the proverbial iron was hot and confirm that it will be launching a shared poker network between Delaware and Nevada.Â In an address to the company’s shareholders, representatives of 888 explained that it will be taking advantage of the recent agreement between the two states to share iGaming liquidity.
At present, 888 is the primary provider of software in Delaware with three sites sharing a player pool. On top of this, 888 operates the WSOP’s Nevada site and has additional plans to launch a Treasure Island skin as well as its own online portal in the state.Â In total, 888 will be in control of six online poker sites across Delaware and Nevada, all of which will now be connected under the banner: the All American Poker Network (AAPN).
Aside from giving 888 a unique position in the US, the move is being touted as a way to create an “enhanced customer experience.”Â Although there is no definitive deadline for 888’s network expansion, the company reiterated that it is “fully committed” to the American market and will be looking to establish itself as the dominant operator in 2015.