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E-casino 888 to float

Could raise £700m

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888 - the online gambling outfit - is to float on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) it announced today.

The IPO of the Gibraltar-based business values the operation at around £700m.

The revenue generated from the float will help execs build the business and improve the firm's "profile and credibility".

888 - which includes online casinos Casino-on-Net.com and ReefClubCasino.com as well as PacificPoker.com - has some 20m punters and generated net gaming revenues of $178m in 2004 and profits of $41m.

Chief exec John Anderson said: "Today's announcement marks an important step in our goal to become the market leader in the global online gaming entertainment industry and will enable us to increase further our brand profile, recognition and credibility."

In June online gambling outfit PartyGaming completed a £4.64bn float on the LSE - making it bigger than British Airways and electrical retail giant Dixons. ®

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