888 Casino Owner

Established as a cornerstone in the online gambling industry, 888 Casino has etched its name as a premier destination for digital gaming enthusiasts. Launched in 1997, it has grown from a fledgling startup into a colossal figure in the world of online casinos, renowned for its diverse range of games and user-friendly experience. At the heart of 888 Casino’s success story lies the vision and ambition of its founders, Avi and Aaron Shaked alongside Shay and Ron Ben-Yitzhak, a team combining entrepreneurial spirit with a deep understanding of the evolving digital landscape.
This article delves into the fascinating journey of 888 Casino’s founders. We explore their initial foray into the digital gambling arena, their remarkable achievements in shaping the industry, and their current standing in terms of net worth and influence. As we navigate through their story, we will uncover how their innovative approach has not only propelled 888 Casino to new heights but also significantly impacted the online gambling sector as a whole. Join us as we explore the compelling narrative of ambition, innovation, and success that defines the legacy of 888 Casino’s ownership.

Early Beginnings

888 Casino, a leader in the online gaming industry, was founded by two sets of Israeli brothers, each bringing unique backgrounds and skills to the venture. Here is a look at their early lives and education:

Avi and Aaron Shaked

  • Avi Shaked: Born in Netanya, Israel, Avi Shaked pursued a degree in Chemical Engineering from Ben Gurion University. Before embarking on the 888 Casino journey, he was employed in a telecommunications company.
  • Aaron Shaked: Aaron, also a student at Ben Gurion University, was studying dentistry when the concept of an online casino began to take shape. His idea for a virtual casino emerged during a dentistry conference in Monte Carlo. Gambling between seminars and lectures at the conference sparked the revolutionary idea in Aaron to take casino gambling online​​.

Shay and Ron Ben-Yitzhak

  • Shay Ben-Yitzhak: Shay initially worked as a software engineer for Tower Semiconductor Limited. He played a crucial role in developing the unique software platform that brought 888 Casino to life. His expertise in software engineering was instrumental in the creation and success of the online gaming platform​​.
  • Ron Ben-Yitzhak: Ron, with his strong background in mathematics and engineering, studied at the Israel Institute of Technology. His expertise was further honed as a head engineer for Ziax-Av Engineering. Together with Shay, they had a keen interest in probability games like roulette, craps, and poker, which significantly contributed to their vision of bringing these games online​​.

Their combined skills, ranging from engineering and software development to a keen understanding of probability and gaming, were the foundation upon which 888 Casino was built. This diverse educational and professional background among the founders not only shaped the early days of 888 Casino but also set the stage for its evolution into a global online gaming giant.

Rise of 888 Casino

The inception and early years of 888 Casino, originally known as Casino-on-Net, marked a significant period in the online gambling industry’s history.

Inception of the Idea

The idea for an online casino was conceived by Aaron Shaked during a dentistry conference in Monte Carlo in 1997. Inspired by the gambling atmosphere he experienced there, Aaron envisioned taking casino gambling online. This novel concept led to the collaboration between the Shaked and Ben-Yitzhak brothers, combining their diverse skills to create something unprecedented in the digital gambling space​​.

Early Key Developments

  • Launching Casino-on-Net: The first major step was launching their website, Casino-on-Net, in 1997. This venture was the first of its kind and laid the foundation for future online casinos.
  • Expanding and Rebranding: The company was rebranded as 888casino in 2010, unifying its appearance with other 888 brands. This change was part of a broader strategy to expand the brand’s reach and offerings.
  • Global Licensing and Expansion: By 2015, 888casino had acquired licenses and was operating in multiple countries, including Gibraltar, New Jersey, Denmark, and Spain. This expansion significantly contributed to its position as a global leader in the online gambling industry​​.
  • Innovative Partnerships: In 2017, 888casino signed a deal with Berlin-based Merkur Interactive Services GmbH to include slot games, enhancing its gaming portfolio and user experience​​
  • Strategic Acquisitions: A major development occurred in 2021 when 888casino acquired William Hill International’s European business for £2.2 billion. This acquisition was a strategic move to expand its market presence and consolidate its position in the online gaming industry​​.

Expansion and Growth Strategies

888 Casino, operated by 888 Holdings, has been a pioneer in the global gambling industry. The company’s growth in the highly competitive and regulated gambling markets, particularly in the United States, showcases its strategic approach to expansion. Acknowledging the highly competitive nature of the US market, 888 shifted its strategy from establishing a nationwide, sports-led operation to focusing on specific demographics and market segments. This adaptability was crucial for identifying new opportunities for market capitalization, especially in the online gambling segment, which was perceived to hold even greater potential than sports betting​​​​.
A key aspect of 888 Casino’s growth has been its ability to evolve and adapt to market demands and competitive landscapes. The “evolve plan” or “Betting 2.0” strategy highlights this adaptability. By targeting specific demographics like the older male audience, who statistically spend more on gambling and prefer casino and betting games, 888 Casino managed to carve out a niche in a highly competitive market. This strategy not only expanded its presence but also ensured a more sustainable and targeted approach to growth​​.

Role of Technology and Innovation

888 Casino has been at the forefront of technological innovation in the online gambling sector. The use of HTML5 technology in their online slots, as opposed to the previously used Adobe Flash, significantly improved the mobile gaming experience. This shift was important in catering to the modern smartphone user, enhancing accessibility and user experience. The introduction of features like megaways in slot games and the avalanche feature further diversified the gaming experience, keeping it engaging and novel for users​​.
Moreover, 888 Casino has leveraged live streaming technology for its live casino games, providing a realistic casino experience from the comfort of the user’s home. This technological advancement allowed players to engage with live dealers and other players, enhancing the authenticity and excitement of the online gaming experience​​.
The partnership with Playtech, a leading gambling technology company, further emphasizes 888 Casino’s commitment to technological advancement. This partnership allowed the integration of Playtech’s Live Casino and random number generator (RNG) games into 888 Casino, starting in New Jersey with plans to expand into other states. This move is a part of both companies’ strategic expansion into the U.S. market, showcasing their focus on delivering innovative and entertaining gaming experiences to users​​.
888 Casino’s use of sophisticated AI to personalize the gaming experience also highlights its technological edge. By combining the best external games with unique and exclusive games developed by its in-house content studio, Section8, 888 Casino provides a high-quality, safe, and enjoyable gaming experience. This approach has been recognized with industry awards, reinforcing its position as a leader in product innovation​

Financial Success and Net Worth of 888 Casino

888 Casino, operated by 888 Holdings, has demonstrated significant financial growth over recent years. The company reported a record revenue in 2021, a period marked by an increase in online gaming due to the closure of land-based gambling venues. This surge led to a 14% rise in its fiscal year revenue, reaching $972 million. Furthermore, in the first half of one year, 888 Holdings saw a staggering 165% revenue growth, reaching $1.12 billion. Their adjusted EBITDA in 2021 was $165 million, a 6% increase from the previous year’s $155.6 million, despite a slight decrease in adjusted EBITDA margin excluding U.S. operations due to increased investment in new ventures like the SI Sportsbook​​​​​​​​​​.

Estimation of Founder’s Net Worth

  • Avi Shaked: Avi Shaked, one of the co-founders of 888 Holdings, is estimated to have a net worth of NIS 1.5 billion.
  • Aharon Shaked: The heirs of Aharon Shaked, another co-founder, share a similar net worth of NIS 1.5 billion.
  • Shay and Ron Ben-Yitzhak: The other founding brothers, Shay and Ron Ben-Yitzhak, have a combined net worth of NIS 1 billion. Unfortunately, Shay Ben-Yitzhak passed away in a plane crash in 2020​​​​​​​​​​.

Comparison with Other Industry Leaders

888 Casino, as a part of 888 Holdings, is recognized for its diverse range of gambling options, including casino, poker, and bingo, with a particular emphasis on its successful sportsbook offering. The company has notably moved away from traditional bookie-style betting to a more modern approach, featuring competitive odds and promotions, allowing it to make significant strides in international markets.

In comparison, other major players in the online gambling industry include:

  • Flutter Entertainment: Founded in 2016, this conglomerate boasts a revenue of around $3.8 billion, owning renowned brands like Paddy Power, Betfair, and PokerStars.
  • William Hill: A pioneer in the iGaming industry, William Hill has a significant global presence, particularly in sports betting, operating over 108 sportsbooks in Nevada and owning the largest mobile sports betting app in the state.
  • Bet365: Established in 2000, Bet365 is a major force in sports betting and online casinos, known for its extensive range of betting products and pioneering esports betting facilities.

These comparisons showcase the dynamic and competitive landscape of the online gambling industry, with 888 Holdings carving out a distinctive position through its varied offerings and strategic market expansion

Contributions and Impact of 888 Casino Founders

888 Holdings, founded in 1997, has been a significant contributor to the online gambling industry. As one of the first companies in this domain, 888 Holdings quickly became a leader with popular sites such as 888Casino, 888sport, and 888poker. The company’s early success was driven by innovative products and strategic market expansion. Their first product, Casino-on-Net, was quickly followed by other offerings, propelling their growth. By the mid-2000s, 888 Holdings had diversified into various forms of online gambling and had become a publicly listed company on the London Stock Exchange. Their involvement in forming eCOGRA, a consumer protection organization, also highlights their commitment to responsible gaming and industry standards​​.

Philanthropic Activities and Social Responsibility Initiatives

Regarding philanthropic activities and social responsibility initiatives of 888 Casino, detailed information is not readily available. However, it’s common for major companies in the online gambling industry to engage in various forms of social responsibility and charitable activities, often focusing on responsible gaming, community support, and environmental sustainability.

Impact on Legislation and Industry Standards

888 Holdings’ role in shaping legislation and industry standards primarily manifests through its compliance with various regulatory bodies and its proactive involvement in responsible gaming initiatives. The company’s global expansion into regulated markets, like Italy and Spain, demonstrates its adaptability to different legislative environments. Additionally, its participation in organizations like eCOGRA indicates a commitment to upholding and influencing industry standards, particularly in consumer protection and fair play.
While specific legislative impacts are not explicitly outlined, 888 Holdings’ international presence and adherence to diverse regulatory requirements suggest an influential role in shaping industry practices and standards.

Founder’s Achievements and Impact on 888 Casino

888 Casino, recognized as one of the most iconic brands in online gambling, owes its inception and growth to its founders – Aaron and Avi Shaked along with Ron and Shay Ben-Yitzhaq. Their vision materialized into one of the earliest online gambling platforms, initially launched as Casino-on-Net in 1997. The founders’ innovative approach and strategic expansion played a pivotal role in establishing 888 Casino as a leading name in the industry. Under their guidance, the platform evolved with the rebranding to 888 Casino in 2010, enhancing brand recognition. The subsequent years witnessed immense growth, with 888 Casino expanding globally and diversifying its offerings. Key milestones include becoming the title sponsor of the World Seniors Championship in snooker in 2013 and gaining recognition as the only truly pan-European casino. The inclusion of Merkur Interactive Services GmbH slot games and earning eCOGRA’s Safe and Fair assurance seal further cemented their reputation for quality and trust​​​​​​​​​​.

Reflection on the Founder’s Legacy in Online Gambling

The founders of 888 Casino have left a lasting legacy in the online gambling world. Their pioneering efforts not only established a successful business model but also set a precedent for the industry in terms of innovation, expansion, and responsible gaming. They were instrumental in navigating the changing legal landscapes, such as the legalization of online gambling in various U.S. states, which enabled 888 Casino to become the first online gambling company licensed in the U.S. The strategic partnership with Caesars Entertainment Corporation and sponsorship deals like the one with the New York Jets NFL team exemplify their forward-thinking approach. These achievements highlight the founders’ ability to adapt to market changes and their foresight in expanding 888 Casino’s global footprint


  • Who is the current owner of 888 Casino?

    The current owner of 888 Casino is 888 Holdings plc, a company listed on the London Stock Exchange and headquartered in Gibraltar.

  • When was 888 Casino founded and by whom?

    888 Casino was founded in 1997 by Avi and Aaron Shaked in partnership with Shay and Ron Ben-Yitzhak.

  • What makes 888 Casino stand out in the online gaming industry?

    888 Casino is known for its diverse range of games, user-friendly interface, and strong commitment to responsible gaming.

  • Has 888 Casino won any industry awards?

    Yes, 888 Casino has won numerous awards, including the prestigious Casino Operator of the Year award at various industry events.

  • What future plans or developments are in store for 888 Casino?

    While specific plans are often subject to change, 888 Casino continuously works on expanding its game offerings and improving user experience.

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Ianne Fields

Ianne Fields, a distinguished graduate of the prestigious UK School of Finance, is an experienced finance analyst and consultant in the realm of both local and online casinos. With her attention to detail and expertise in legal matters, she has become a sought-after industry expert. Ianne Fields Gamble, her blog, provides comprehensive information on casinos, from game strategies to industry trends, making it a trusted source for casino-related information. Join the growing following of Ianne Fields Gamble to enhance your understanding of the fascinating world of casinos.

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