The tough economic times and growing competition in the UK are cited as reasons behind a 4 percent drop in 888.com's Q1 2009 revenues to $57 million when compared with Q1 2008, the company revealed this week.

Total operating income for 888’s B2C arm was flat compared with the last quarter of 2008 at $5 million, but the Gibraltar-based gambling group’s B2B division came to the rescue with a 13 percent increase in revenue to $12 million.

Slow business in March was reported as the principal reason for the drop in business-to-consumer revenues, which totalled $45 million, down from $49 million in the previous quarter.

Casino operating income fell quarter on quarter to $3 million to $27 million. Poker revenues declined $1 million to $14 million; while emerging offering revenues, which include sports betting, bingo and skill games, were flat on the previous quarter, at $5 million.

First quarter operational highlights included a deal with the Racing Post and a live casino launch, together with a new television campaign for bingo and a revamped poker product featuring new TV tournaments and a platform upgrade.

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