888 Holdings lays off employees in Israel, cites changes in economic conditions

Betting company 888 has laid off dozens of its employees in Israel, according to CTech. The company had employed around 590 people there before introducing cutbacks, but late last year the group admitted that changes in economic conditions since announcing the acquisition of competitor William Hill in September 2021 for £2.2 billion ($2.7 billion) had forced it to take action.

The group’s operating environment has become more challenging. Global macroeconomic conditions are shifting, and key countries in which we operate are facing increasingly high inflation, energy costs hikes, higher interest rates, and, in some cases such as the UK, potential further regulatory changes,” the company said.

888 also admitted at the time that it needed to cut costs. “Since 2020, the 888 organization has increased operating costs to manage the greater number of customers and increased regulatory and player protection requirements,” it noted.


According to 888, William Hill experienced the same trends, which were “compounded by corporate M&A activity distracting its focus and allowing operational inefficiencies to creep in.” Across the organization, the group now “needs to readjust the cost base and its priorities to reflect the wider market environment.”


Yariv Dafna
Earlier this month, the firm announced its finance chief would leave the company after posting a drop in revenues. CFO Yariv Dafna is expected to step down from his role at the end of March. In a statement, the company said that the decision was “mutual” and confirmed it had begun a search for his successor.  


Revenues fell 3% to GBP 1.85 billion ($2.2 billion) in the year to the end of December, despite being lifted by the FIFA World Cup in the final quarter. Meanwhile, online revenues were 15% lower year on year at GBP 1.33 billion ($1.6 billion), hampered by a tightening of UK online player safety measures and the temporary closure of 888’s Dutch operations following the loss of its local license. 


888 was founded in 1997 by brothers Avi and Aaron Shaked and brothers Shay and Ron Ben-Yitzhak. The company went public on the London Stock Exchange in 2006 and currently has a market cap of around £450 million ($558 million). The company is headquartered in Gibraltar and employs around 12,000 worldwide following the merger with William Hill.