Online poker boom nets 888 winning hand of £152m

THE boom in online poker has helped gaming firm 888 post a 52 per cent rise in 2005 revenues to some £152.5 million.

Its big earner remained casino games - such as roulette and blackjack - which netted around 90.6m, up 16 per cent on 2004.

However, it was poker which saw a real surge in interest over the last year, with revenues up 179 per cent to 61.9m.

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Although it operates out of Gibraltar, 888's 23.2 million registered players are based across 150 different countries.

The number of "real money" members - those who have registered and also take part in games - hit 5.5 million by the end of 2005, up 49 per cent since December 2004.

The poker popularity trend has been seen in other online gambling firms - with 32Red last month reporting a 339 per cent increase in revenues from the game.

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