Track legend Usain Bolt shares a light moment with his coach Glen Mills (R). Sprint King wins Monaco Diamond League 100 metersOn the back of his first sub-10-second (9.95) run of the season at the Monaco Diamond League on Friday, 11-time world champion Usain Bolt is satisfied with his race. He won ahead of American Isiah Young (9.98) and South Africa’s Akani Simbini (10.02) respectively.Bolt, 30, went into his final race before this summer’s world championships with pedestrian times. He ran 10.03s at the Racers Grand Prix on June 10 and 10.06s in Ostrava on June 28. On Friday he ran his season best time before a sold out crowd. Afterwards, he said things are coming together satisfactorily.Going in the right direction“It was good, I’m going in the right direction. I still have a lot of work to do. Sub 10 always good. Exciting race, lot of energy,” he said while revealing he’s competing with bittersweet emotions.“I’m always here for the fans, and of course I will miss the vibe around the track,” he said. “Mixed emotions always. Happy for my career, sad that it’s ending.”Bolt has held the world record in the 100 and 200 meters since 2009. He gave a hint of his plans after he retires at the end of the season. “(I am) planning to chill after London with my family, but I’m not sure what will be my next plan after this season,” he said.The Jamaican will now focus on his preparations leading to his final global campaign, the IAAF World Championships beginning in London on August 4.He has opted out of his pet race the 200 meters leaving speculations open that he is not at full fitness to take on all contenders.
Left to right: Ronald Jackson, Executive Director, Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency; Adriel Brathwaite, Attorney General of Barbados; Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of Dominica; Dr. Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada and Chairman of CARICOM; Dr. Wm. Warren Smith, President, CDB; and H.E. Irwin LaRocque, Secretary-General, CARICOM meet in Dominica on September 26, 2017. President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Dr.. Warren Smith, has reaffirmed the institution’s support for the Government and people of the Commonwealth of Dominica, after participating in a Caribbean Community (CARICOM) high-level mission to that country on September 26.Smith was part of a delegation that met with the Prime Minister of Dominica,. Roosevelt Skerrit in Roseau to discuss rehabilitation and recovery efforts for the country following Hurricane Maria.“CDB stands in solidarity with the Government and people of Dominica as the country seeks to rebuild and recover from this devastating disaster. We are acutely aware of the significant damage that Hurricane Maria has caused, and have mobilized resources for emergency relief and immediate response. CDB reaffirms our continued support for Dominica to help the country rebuild more resiliently in the months and years to come,” said Dr. Smith on his return to CDB’s Headquarters.CDB has begun making preparations to assist with the restoration of essential services including water and sanitation, and lend technical experts to support the recovery efforts.Water and sanitationThe Bank’s focus will include the restoration of the water supply in Roseau, where damage to the treatment plant at Antrim and associated pipelines has cut off water in the capital. CDB, which was in the process of upgrading the plant and equipment through its Third Water Project, is discussing with the Dominica Water and Sewerage Company Limited, ways to overcome the current logistical challenges to conduct the works, which will be critical in getting the water system running again in Roseau.Technical expertiseCDB is in discussions with private consultants and development partners to provide short and medium-term assistance, including engineers and other technical experts, to assist line Ministries in Dominica in the recovery effort. The Bank is also discussing with regional utility groups and engineering associations opportunities for providing financial support and human resources to assist with recovery in Dominica.CDB has also discussed with the Government of Dominica the option of re-prioritising the use of undisbursed balances on existing disaster rehabilitation loans for post-Maria recovery works.The high-level delegation that visited Dominica included Dr. the Rt. Hon. Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister, Grenada and Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM); Hon. Adriel Brathwaite, Attorney General of Barbados; H.E. Irwin LaRocque, Secretary-General, CARICOM; and Ronald Jackson, Executive Director, Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency.To read more on other hurricane relief efforts by the CDB, click this link: https://www.caribbeannationalweekly.com/news/caribbean-news/cdb-provides-funding-hurricane-ravaged-islands/
Kia Moses (centre)shares the moment with cinematographer Gabrielle Blackwood (left) and producer Tashara Johnson at the Black Women Film Network Summit. From a child who excelled in High School, destined for what her family thought was a certain career path to the field of Medicine, Kia Moses broke loose, away from the norms of expectation and headed instead to New York to follow her dreams of becoming a creative leader in the arts.In 2007, Kia Moses (nee Williams) graduated with Honors in Advertising from The School Of Visual Arts in New York, and was ranked in the “top 100 Advertising Students in the USA.” After working with ad agencies in New York and London, plus interning with music director “X”, she returned to Jamaica where she worked for a local advertising agency before going out on her own to co-found TCP Those Creative People, with their own product line of gift cards and bags, and her personal creative writing services, crafting ads for Jamaican television.“Flight is my first time doing both screenwriting and directing; my very first screenplay, and I co-directed it with Adrian McDonald,” said Moses. “It’s always been a dream of mine to evolve into film. Journeying into film was natural. I’ve been doing 15, 30 and 60 second TV ads and I’ve always wanted to go beyond (that) to be able to tell stories in a longer format, but I never went to film school,” she noted. “Then along came JAFTA Propella, the brain child of the Jamaica Film & Television Association (JAFTA)’s script to screen development initiative.” JAFTA Propella is designed to hone Jamaican talent to create diverse Jamaican film, which was for her, the ideal gateway into this new industry. “When I saw their poster on Instagram for the call to entry, I figured it was the perfect opportunity to finally try and venture into film,” beamed Moses.Flight has travelled to Trinidad and Tobago, Bentonville Arkansas, Portland Oregon, Atlanta Georgia, Guadeloupe, and Cannes France, and has won many awards and recognition along the way.Flight is now on its way to Miami. “Coming to Miami is a huge deal,” says Moses. “It’s the largest film festival in the U.S., so it’s really a dream come true.” One of 5 finalists, Flight is scheduled to participate in the HBO short film competition at The American Black Film Festival, June 12 – 16. “Knowing that this film is Jamaican made… it was literally made here in Jamaica with a Jamaican film crew!” beamed Moses. “It’s a film that is written, co-directed, shot and produced by Black women and we worked alongside amazing men who treated us like equals, so it’s true diversity.” Flight synopsis: From Jamaica, the little island of big dreams, an inner city youth, Kemar, has the biggest dream of all – to fly to the moon. This story explores dreams bigger than us, what fuels them, what stands in the way of them, their ability to transport us and those around us, if they take Flight.FLIGHT Accomplishments:Jamaica Film & Television Association, JAFTA Propella – Selected out of 50 entries as one of four 2018 winners to win funding towards the production of the short filmTrinidad and Tobago Film Festival (TTFF) – Private Screening only (did not compete)Portland Film Festival – Portland, Jamaica – Private Screening only (did not compete)BWFN (Black Women Film Network) Film Festival – Atlanta, GA – Nominated in 7 categories and won 3 awards: Best in Festival; Audience Award; Best ScreenplayNouveaux Regards Film Festival – Guadeloupe- Nominated and won 2 awards: Best Short Film; Audience Award (Best Short Film)International Du Film PanAfrican De Cannes – Cannes, France – Nominated and won: Best Short FilmBentonville Film Festival – Arkansas – Nominated and won: Audience Award (Short Film)Diversity in Cannes – Cannes, France – Nominated and won: Audience Award; 2019 Overall Winner of Diversity in Cannes Showcase; Short Film Corner at Cannes Film Festival
RelatedCoronavirus: English Premier League Suspension Extended Until At Least April 30March 19, 2020In “Africa”Summer Transfer Window: Premier League Clubs To Vote On Date ChangeAugust 15, 2017In “England”Angel CorreaJune 30, 2017Similar post “This amendment brings the Premier League Rules into line with UEFA’s regulations for its competitions and follows consultation with the Premier League Club groundsmen.”Leicester City and Southampton have been the most prominent pitch designing clubs in recent years, as the Foxes carved the clubs badge on the King Power playing turf in on of their games last season. The Premier League has announced its decision to no longer allow fancy pitch designs and patterns in the 2017/2018 season.As one of the new developments that will be applied to the coming Premier League season, clubs must now strictly comply with the UEFA regulations which states: “straight lines, across the width of the pitch, perpendicular to the touchline.”According to Premier League’s official website, “Rules state that the playing surface must contain no markings other than the traditional horizontal and white lines.”
Senet Australia appoints Paul Newsom as new client advisory lead August 27, 2020 EU research agency demands urgent action on loot box consumer safeguards July 29, 2020 Share Submit Liverpool FC in agency dispute over £15m BetVictor sponsorship June 9, 2020 Share Despite the unknown circumstances of Brexit negotiations, financial services firm KPMG believes that the future is bright for Gibraltar business and its community of industry stakeholders.This week KPMG hosted its seventh annual ‘eSummit in Gibraltar’ on 23 March ( Sunborn Hotel). As the event organiser, KPMG would host a Gibraltar Brexit ‘current state of play update.Opening the eSummit, the Hon. Albert Isola of the Government of Gibraltar, detailed: “Since Brexit last June, our growth figures have actually increased in both the eGaming and Financial Services sectors. We have been working closely with the UK government to look for the benefits within the challenges we face, including maintaining fluidity at the frontier. We are engaged in a healthy, constructive and very positive view and vision for the future of Gibraltar.”Further KPMG eSummit agenda focused on industry seld-regulating practices, European regulation, new market entry, stakeholder compliance, risk management and future technology impacts. The international auditor would detail that 300 delegates and 40 keynote speakers and experts from the world of eBusiness had taken part in its eSummit in GibraltarMicky Swindale, Head of Advisory for KPMG Gibraltar, and the organiser of the KPMG eSummits since 2010, commented on the 2017 edition:“I was delighted with both the content and the attendance this year – and the generosity of the feedback is really encouraging. On a personal note, it was a pleasure to lead the gender diversity workshop, and I feel there is some really important work we can do in this area to assist the many operators who are missing out on competitive advantage in terms of their talent and customer base. Related Articles StumbleUpon
Submit TVBET passes GLI test for five live games in Malta and Italy August 25, 2020 Share Related Articles Share StumbleUpon Luckbox outlines final TSXV roadmap July 29, 2020 European online gambling group Mr Green & Co (Mr Green) has hired specialist gambling behaviour psychologist Dr Richard Wood to evaluate its ‘Green Gaming Tool’, a major corporate social responsibility initiative launched this September.Seeking to bring full transparency to its player base with regards to ‘risk behaviours’, the Green Gaming Tool was launched allowing its customers to self-assess and gain personal insight on their playing habits.Based in Montreal Canada Dr Wood’s research focuses on developing ‘effective responsible gaming strategies’, researching both the individual causes of problem gambling, combined with structural analysis of games which may influence the gambling behaviour of vulnerable players.Aiding his research Dr Wood has set-up GamRes, an independent research and consultancy service that designs, implements and evaluates responsible gambling strategies.”This evaluation will examine if the players get value from using this sort of high-tech tool. By combining player’s behavioural data and player feedback, we should be able to see the extent to which players agree with and act on the feedback, information and recommendations that they get,” commented Dr Wood on Mr Green’s initiativeMr Green will utilise the findings and assessment of Dr Wood to refine and improve its Green Gaming Tool, which has incorporated a number of customer risk detections. Mr Green players who exhibit an increased risk behaviours may be asked to set different limits for their playing or to step back from playing for a period of time. Mr Green will also refrain from sending direct sales messages to customers who show a high risky behaviour.”The best way to constantly develop and move forward is to test, evaluate and be transparent. This is how we and the gaming industry can learn what works based on our customers’ need to control their own risk behaviour”, said Jesper Kärrbrink, CEO of Mr Green Ltd, Malta. Genesis to appeal UKGC’s ‘disproportionate suspension’ July 23, 2020
Gary ShawEntering a new financial year, London AIM-listed mobile gambling operator and systems supplier Nektan Plc has posted a strong Q1 2018 performance (period ending 30 September).Driven by new product inventory and the continued growth of its European gaming brands, Nektan would report a double in period cash wagers to £126 million (Q1 2017:£56 million).The ‘mobile-first’ gambling firm, noted positive uptake and consumer engagement with its ‘Rapid Games’ mobile gaming solution during the period, which saw its brand portfolio report + 40,000 first time depositors.Increased player activity combined with delivery of five new brands during Q1 2018, would see Nektan governance declare a period Net Gaming Revenue of £3.9 million, up 88% on corresponding Q1 2017’s £2.1 million.Nektan governance continues to expand the firm’s international footprint, announcing that its soon to launch Nektan Evolve technology will be utilised to deliver a mobile casino games platform in up to 23 countries with the business partner responsible for B2B localised licensingGary Shaw, Interim Chief Executive Officer of Nektan, said: “Our core European business continued to progress in Q1 FY18 as expected. The proposed launch of new commercial partners during the current quarter will see that growth continuing. Our strategy to leverage our core technology asset Evolve into geographically diverse markets through platform licensing deals will see the business develop into one of the first gaming technology businesses with its platform live across three major continents. I am particularly pleased with the progress being made in the US where our investment positions Nektan as one of the first movers in mobile casino gaming.” Related Articles Share Submit FSB selects Glenn Elliott as new COO August 12, 2020 StumbleUpon XLMedia completes takeover of 101GreatGoals.com July 17, 2020 Nektan ceases trading on London AIM May 18, 2020 Share
Kambi takes full control of LeoVegas sportsbook portfolio August 26, 2020 Share Share Submit Related Articles Björn Nilsson: How Triggy is delivering digestible data through pre-set triggers August 28, 2020 TVBET passes GLI test for five live games in Malta and Italy August 25, 2020 StumbleUpon Betsson Group has announced the appointment of Roderick Spiteri Schillig as Head of Employer Branding and External Relations.Betsson’s new appointment will be part of the firm’s corporate communications team, and will primarily be tasked with taking care of Betsson Group’s relations with trade media and local media in Malta, acting as the spokesperson for communications matters. He will also be shaping and implementing Betsson Group’s EVP (employer value proposition) and handling the overall employer branding strategy.Jesper Svensson, CEO of Betsson’s operations commented: “We are delighted to have Roderick join the Betsson Group as we are committed to continue improving our position as the employer of choice on the island. Roderick’s local knowledge and understanding of the iGaming industry will help us convey our message and share the Betsson experience.”Speaking on his new role, Schillig added: “I’m thrilled to be joining at this exciting time and am looking forward to supporting in evolving Betsson Group’s story both within the industry as well as beyond. Being the largest gaming organisation in Malta with more than 900 employees gives us the opportunity to bring about positive change within the communities we work in.”Schillig comes from LeoVegas Mobile Gaming Group, where he served as Head of Communications, responsible for all corporate and internal communication activities, including employer branding. Before that, he managed all the marketing and communications efforts of the Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA).
Global: sports rights – hi ho silva lining?MP & Silva has reportedly missed key payments to various rights holders (including EPL) and is in financial difficulties. MP & Silva (only fourteen years old) was once seen as one of the most successful sports rights management agencies and its potential fall signals something much bigger than corporate mismanagement. Significantly, one of the founders took a US$1.1bn valuation and switched into streaming with Eleven Sports – perhaps understanding the shifting dynamics faster than most (and allegedly breaking the news of MP & Silva’s difficulties). So far, we have seen Amazon arrive in the sports streaming market while Perform has invested considerably in its OTT DAZN platform; on the other side of the coin BT Sport’s more traditional approach has failed to gain traction while both Sky and IMG are also struggling to maintain share amid rising costs and increasingly fragmented distribution. These changes potentially mean a great deal for the gambling sector.First, in a market where rights distributors are making increasingly big bets on both the value of sport and the channels through which they are consumed, the costs and risks of winning and losing are rising all the time. At the moment focus still tends to be largely strategic (‘investment phase’) or outcome-driven (‘structural challenges). However, both of these put increasing pressure on monetising existing positions, either offensively or defensively. In this context, betting-related rights are likely to come under increasing focus, especially in markets where betting is prominent/visible/newsworthy (UK, US, Italy especially). This scramble to monetise could coincide with the increasing popularity of ‘bet-and-watch’ streaming, historically the preserve of larger operators and selected events. The problem with this is cost – if a broad range of streaming becomes increasingly a hygiene factor (and especially if streaming is increasingly linked to data), then the ability for small and mid-sized operators to compete becomes increasingly challenged, in our view. On Monday, the cross-bench Earl of Clancarty (a member of both the Irish and Dutch nobility) led a debate in the House of Lords to interrogate the Government on plans to increase sales of the National Lottery (and so funding for good causes). Defending the National Lottery inevitably means attacking umbrella society lotteries and both the Health Lottery and the People’s Postcode Lottery came in for stick. There were also calls for duty reform (migration to a gross profits tax); a reminder that Lottery funds should not allow Government to abandon its funding obligations; while a number of culturally-minded peers pressed the case for the Heritage Lottery to be given greater freedoms. We strongly suspect that so long as there is gambling, there will be gambling-related harm (just as there will always be alcohol-related harm so long as we drink, internet-related harm so long as we surf and retail-related harm so long as we shop). That does not mean that a pledge to do no harm is meaningless. If a bold statement of ambition can inspire meaningful action then it is worthwhile – even if ultimately it falls short of its goal. Second, the way in which people consume sports is changing. The issue is not just the obvious switch from TV to streaming, but also from scheduled viewing to on-demand, from full game formats to snacking on the best bits. Customers are becoming less homogenous and more fickle. Advertising is therefore becoming more complex (unless operators can take a global view) and betting habits are changing faster than UX is responding. We have already seen the benefit of ‘third generation’ technology disrupting mobile gaming, with relative newcomers stealing significant market share while what has looked like relative ease. This effect has not yet been seen in betting, with ‘second generation’ operators largely holding all the cards – this might (we stress might) be about to change, with changes in how sports content is consumed as a key catalyst (it is perhaps telling that Perform, for many years as distant from the betting value chain as ownership of Running Ball can make it now seems to be behind a sportsbook frontend with FSB: dabblebet).UK: In Parliament – Heavy Barrage Precedes Summer InterludeIn a rare turn up for the books, the benefits of gambling were celebrated in Parliament this week. Of course, the plaudits were reserved exclusively for the National Lottery and Heritage Lottery. For the industry at large it was another week of political bombardment – but we must take our good news where we find it. mybet Holdings SE has confirmed it is in talks with a strategic investor regarding the possible sale of its online business – essentially the digital assets operated under the mybet.com domain. These appear to be impressive stats in terms of scale and engagement, but we should not get too carried away. First, comparing a four-year cycle in a growing market is dangerous: from a CAGR perspective is a far less impressive and far more expected 24%. Second, fully 45% of the domestically regulated revenue came from retail, an FDJ monopoly, and demonstrating that mobile mass market is not (yet) ubiquitous, especially where regulatory barriers are in place (in France’s case high turnover taxes limiting pricing and competition; the underlying split is more likely to be 75/25, in our view, suggesting c. 44% ‘leakage’). Third, France’s winning performance is likely to have skewed national figures considerably: 10% of volume was on the final and 3% on the semi, a great deal of this would likely have not been wagered had the French team not performed so well (or other theoretically strong teams so badly). France’s headline stats are therefore impressive, but the underlying trends demonstrate a combination of luck, relatively prosaic underlying growth and a still-dysfunctional market, in our view. Related Articles Björn Nilsson: How Triggy is delivering digestible data through pre-set triggers August 28, 2020 Now comes the suspense element – ‘Nobody Harmed’ is a big promise; indeed, it may not be entirely realistic. As we have observed before, gambling-related harm is not the same as harm caused by gambling. In many areas of human consumption harm happens. Some people suffer harm associated with drinking too much; for others it’s eating too much. There are those who experience harm in relation to working too much and those from working not enough. Other factors are invariably involved and correlation is not the same as causation. It was a busy week for Lord Chadlington, who also submitted eight written Parliamentary Questions on gambling-related harm amongst young people; gambling and mental health problems; plans for research into gambling-related suicides; the number of people imprisoned in relation to problem gambling; support for problem gamblers in British prisons; Government efforts to minimize “the addictive nature” of gambling products; and HM Treasury’s record of engagement with gambling operators and forecast tax receipts from FOBTs. StumbleUpon We believe William Hill deserves credit for recognising in such a public way the severe harms that can attend gambling – and for avoiding the temptation to blame those harms on others. The acceptance that past performance has not been good enough is equally to be admired – both by peers and by those who sit in judgement on the industry. The political pressure on gambling is at something of a fever pitch right now; but there was at least some relief for a beleaguered industry this week. Michelle Donelan, the Conservative Member for Chippenham dropped (for now) the Westminster Hall Debate on gambling advertising that she had planned for next Tuesday in order to make way for her colleague (and fellow critic of the gambling industry), Fiona Bruce (Cons, Congleton) to debate family hubs. Finally, recently renamed MRG has continued its impressive return to growth at the topline level, with Q2 revenue up 43% to SEK413m (€40m), 31% organic and 27% cc, including 200% growth in sportsbook (from a low base). Organic growth was led by Sweden and Denmark, while the Evoke acquisition is outperforming both topline and synergy expectations and the 11.lv acquisition (Baltics) is showing 93% growth even prior to core brand launch. MRG is also starting to develop its own content, the first of which will be launched in Q3 (providing both differentiation and cost synergies if well executed). MRG therefore appears to have shrugged off its 2015-H116 growing pains and is now expanding above the pace of the market again. This is fortunate, since by our estimates Swedish duty will cost 31% of group EBITDA – a material dislocation if by no means fatal (on its own). However, this topline performance seems at least in part bought, with EBITDA falling by 13% and perhaps identifying one of the operators which caused LeoVegas to step aside from spending. It is also worth flagging the dangers of focussing on only the ‘go’ parts of a stop-go performance: three-year CAGR is 27%, including the benefits of currency and acquisition – good but not great, in our view.Japan: landbased casinos – Sun Rises on Resort CasinosIt seems that occasionally, good things do come to those who wait. Today, after a long and at times painful journey through the legislative process, the Japanese Diet finally approved legislation to permit three integrated resort casinos for the country. There may yet be the odd zig or zag ahead (recall that the British Parliament approved a destination casino in 2005 and we are perhaps further away than ever from realising it) but the operators are now in harness in the race to make it happen.Coming just a few months after the repeal of PASPA, the lessons appear to be that the road to positive reform in gambling is a long one – patience and bloody-minded perseverance are much under-rated qualities in this industry, and also that meaningful concessions to responsible gambling really can unlock growth opportunitiesGlobal: cryptocurrency – on the up?The price of Bitcoin has risen over 16% to US$7,400 in the last seven days, its biggest gap up in its tumultuous history (though with the move hardly showing up on a 12m chart), other cryptocurrencies also showed double digit gains. The driver of this latest bounce is possibly one of the most significant to date: David Solomon, incoming CEO of Goldman Sachs, said the investment bank is looking in to adding further Bitcoin and cryptocurrency options to its portfolio, making its position much more direct (and directly, if only implicitly, supportive). Further, this would indicate that the bank is to follow the findings of the US IRS from March 2014 – treating cryptocurrencies as an asset rather than currency. In the Commons, the Labour Party Deputy Leader, Tom Watson (Lab, West Bromwich East) was even more prolific, firing in no fewer than nine PQs on restricting gambling on credit cards; giving local authorities greater powers to address gambling harms; restricting online gambling-style games aimed at minors; analysis of the (negative) effects of gambling advertising; the merits of a statutory levy for RET; gambling addiction amongst children; plans to recognise gambling addiction as “a distinct mental health condition”; and the Government’s assessment of “the effectiveness of responsible gambling messages in tackling problem gambling”. LeoVegas’s increased profit guidance was also instructive. The company spent 35% of revenue on marketing rather than a projected 42% (but still hit €82m revenue), because its data analysis suggested bad marketing value in the World Cup frenzy. To an extent this is likely to be because LeoVegas has a relatively small and undifferentiated sportsbook, meaning bigger and better betting-led operators can outspend with confidence. But it also likely points to a critical mass of operators overspending and under-delivering, especially if Q3 retention is as poor for mass-market customers as it usually is. LeoVegas’s operational discipline is a large part of what has created a business approaching the scale of 888 in B2C terms in less than a quarter of the time it took the once-mighty first mover – in the largely free-wheeling online space, that discipline remains something of a USP. UK: Safer Gambling – First Do No HarmAs the eminent Professor David Forrest is fond of observing, gambling – like other forms of entertainment – is predicated on both suspense and surprise. This week, William Hill proved the point by delivering each of these elements with the launch of its ‘Nobody Harmed’ commitment. In all, no fewer than 23 written PQs on gambling were submitted during the week – ten in the Lords and 13 in the Commons. This highlights two key tensions in cryptocurrencies from a gambling perspective (over and above all the fun of extreme evangelism/cynicism and volatility). First, if major financial institutions are prepared to deal in/with them directly, then they are likely to become increasingly mainstream: gambling companies therefore have a stark choice of potentially being (dangerously) ahead of their political/regulatory masters (and potentially more conservative banks/payment providers) or behind their competition. Second (and in opposition to the first point), if cryptocurrencies are increasingly seen as an asset then this effectively supports volatility (they are unlikely to become AAA anytime soon and are likely to be offered as ‘spice’ – a category that becomes self-fulfilling): the extent to which they are suitable as consumer currency therefore diminishes (further) – adding an additional layer of consumer risk to a sector which really doesn’t need more causes for ‘public concern’ right now… There will be those who criticise William Hill for being long on aspiration and short on detail – but this is just the start and the company deserves the benefit of the doubt. Similarly, it is likely that the ‘Nobody Harmed’ epithet will be flung back in the company’s face whenever a mistake is made – something the company’s management surely knew when they started off down this road. Historically, Hills has not had the best reputation in terms of corporate attitudes towards gambling-related harm. The company has faced high profile regulatory sanctions for licensing failures both here and in Australia whilst the rhetoric of some of its (now departed) executives on the subject of gambling regulation has not helped matters. Yet, the ability to respond positively to criticism is a sign of corporate intelligence. Caesars Entertainment Corporation has completed the acquisition of Centaur Holdings for $1.7 billion in cash. The transaction adds Hoosier Park Racing and Casino in Anderson, Indiana, and Indiana Grand Racing and Casino in Shelbyville, Indiana to the Caesars Entertainment portfolio. Kambi takes full control of LeoVegas sportsbook portfolio August 26, 2020 Tabcorp Holdings has completed discussions with News UK to terminate its Sun Bets joint-venture. News UK confirmed it “will firmly remain in the betting and gaming business”. Perhaps more significantly, the APPG offered a platform to the recently launched Gambling with Lives pressure group. Josephine Holloway and Liz Ritchie, both of whom have lost sons in gambling-related suicides, offered their insights into the impact on people and families of problem gambling. The Conservative peer and PR guru, Lord Chadlington (Peter Selwyn Gummer) is a vice-chair of the FOBT APPG and it is likely that the testimonies from Gambling with Lives was on his mind when he wrote an excoriating piece on Politics Home about the need for policy reform. His six-point plan comprised “more independent and objective research into gambling – particularly the suicide risks and impact on children”; reduction in stakes on FOBTs before 2020; an education programme to raise awareness of gambling-related harm; consideration of a blanket ban on gambling advertising around televised sport; a national, Government backed treatment and support programme for those affected by problematic gambling; and a 1% (£130m per annum) statutory levy to pay for it all. Submit The source of the surprise was two-fold – both that any gambling company would volunteer such an unflinching assessment of the consequences of excessive gambling; and also (frankly speaking) that the company that would eventually break cover on the subject would be William Hill. Harm is likely to prove the theme of these times in gambling. Embracing this subject – in the way that a number of companies are now doing – may well be critical to the future well-being of the industry in this country and others.France: World Cup betting – a winning market?ARJEL has released World Cup turnover stats (for the entire tournament) that demonstrate a number of key points from an overall market perspective. First, the scale of this year’s World Cup from a domestically regulated perspective is prima facie impressive: €690m of turnover represents 81% of Q118 online sports betting turnover and a 137% increase on 2014 WC turnover (when the market was still adjusting to relatively recent ‘re-regulation’). From a key match perspective, the top 5 (of 64) represented 24% of the total (or 4.8% per match vs an average of 1.6%), with the final taking almost 10% of volumes (though almost certainly losing money for domestic operators at the revenue level given France’s victory, significantly skewing margins vs. pan-European / global books). Gambling is – by common consent – in something of a mess in this country right now; something that cannot (by definition) be exclusively the fault of the industry. In the last few months, we have heard expressions of contrition for mistakes made from certain operators (William Hill and Sky Betting & Gaming for example) and – to their great credit – the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board. This is a mark of maturity and a sign of hope. It is precisely because the failure to acknowledge mistakes often leads to their repetition that the ability to admit past errors is a key component in rebuilding trust.We do not know what will follow – commercial pressures compete with the best of intentions – but William Hill deserves credit for demolishing some of the barricades that have frustrated meaningful attempts to reduce harm through cross-interest collaboration. SBC Magazine Issue 10: Kaizen Gaming rebrand and focus for William Hill CEO August 25, 2020 Share The Government’s consultation into reform of society lotteries closes on 7th September. On Tuesday, it was a return to the gambling issue that simply will not go away – the question of maximum stakes on machines in betting shops. Carolyn Harris’s FOBT APPG convened its latest inquiry session, with the Mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz and Councillor Anita Lower of the Local Government Association adding their voices to calls for swift implementation of the new £2 stake limit. The most important results (in our view) came from Svenska Spel: while headline revenue and profit was disappointing (-3% and -12% respectively), this was overwhelmingly VLT and investment led; online achieved 20% growth, cementing online sportsbetting leadership (including 42% mobile growth) while the business readies itself for becoming an even more effective competitor in Sweden (broader offer, including casino). At the other end of the scale, Others will be almost professionally cynical about it all; yet those who refuse to even consider that the company may be on the level (and that this therefore offers the opportunity for progress) may do well to reflect on the true nature of their own priorities. Scandinavia: Q2 so far round-up – Nordic light?Several Nordic operators have reported Q2 results already, illustrating continued performance divisions in the markets. However, four key themes are being reinforced in our view. First, growth is still very much achievable despite increasing maturity, with mean growth so far of c. 22%, with about 10ppts of that directly attributable to the World Cup. Second, monopolies should not be under-estimated, with Svenska Spel taking the largest share of online growth in absolute terms despite product limitations (albeit not necessarily a bad thing in a World Cup period). Third, achieving growth can be expensive for less differentiated operators, with too much focus on topline potentially leading to disappointing earnings – with very few operators having the discipline to achieve the reverse. Finally, the level of Swedish regulatory dislocation is likely to be material, with lingering .com optimism dangerously misplaced, in our view. Global: M&A Watch – PPB / FanDuel; mybet; Caesars / Centaur; Sun BetsPPB’s acquisition of FanDuel has completed with the incorporation of a new company – FanDuel Group Inc – within which sit several brands including FanDuel, TVG, Betfair Casino and DRAFT. PPB holds 61% of the merged entity. Betsson offered a mixed bag (+14% total, 11% organic, c. 8% organic cc): the biggest headwind was Turkey (currency and underlying), down 44% and costing 3.6ppts of growth; Nordics benefitted from the World Cup (3.7% group revenue) but was weak in casino (+18% sportsbook but only 7% overall); Western Europe was strong in casino but weak in betting, despite the first half of the World Cup (+19% organic, largely casino); Central Europe was disappointing (+1% organic). The biggest concern to us, however, is Betsson’s view that ‘re-regulation’ of Sweden will lead to ‘strong growth’ in 2019. Sweden is currently about as open as can be: no tax, not social responsibility requirements, no product restrictions and heavy advertising (roughly one TV ad in 10 is for gambling) – the idea that domestic regulation will lead to growth is naïve at best, in our view (and reminiscent of late naughties operator views/spin that evidence has long since debunked); instead Swedish regulation is likely to create stiffer competition (Svenska Spel entering gaming, ATG entering sportsbetting; both materially bigger than Betsson online in Sweden already) while also costing c. 14% of group EBIT in duties– this is a storm Betsson can weather, but hardly an opportunity, in our view. Share The Lib Dem peer, Lord Foster of Bath joined Labour’s Baroness Andrews in asking for an investigation of the impact of the remote gambling sector on Lottery sales; while the Methodist minister, Lord Griffiths of Burry Port championed a mandatory levy (at 1% of GGR) to pay for gambling harm research, education and treatment (‘RET’).
GVC hires ‘comms pro’ Tessa Curtis to re-energise media profile August 25, 2020 Share Related Articles GVC absorbs retail shocks as business recalibrates for critical H2 trading August 13, 2020 StumbleUpon Share Submit Jason Ader – No Boogeyman… Activism will play a vital part in reshaping gambling August 20, 2020 The Governance of FTSE100 GVC Holdings has this morning published its pre-close full-year 2018 trading statement, detailing that it anticipates delivering an FY EBITDA in the range of £750-755m – ‘ahead of current market consensus’.Completing a landmark year for its business, having merged and integrated the assets of Ladbrokes Coral, GVC governance points to strong growth across its enlarged digital portfolio – up 19% on full-year NGR.The betting group highlights continued digital progress, despite competing against tougher comparatives, with governance further detailing that GVC brands record market share gains across core operational territories.“Growth remained impressive across all major territories with legacy GVC sports brands NGR 21% ahead and legacy Ladbrokes Coral sports brands NGR 9% ahead, including 12% NGR growth in the UK sports brands,” GVC detailed in its performance update.At a retail level, GVC anticipates that like-for-like full-year NGR will be delivered at -3% below 2017 results, as the FTSE betting group adjusts to a tougher UK retail environment for bookmakers.Updating the market GVC Group Chief Executive Kenneth Alexander (CEO) said: “The Group’s performance in 2018 has been excellent with the strong momentum reported at Q3 continuing into Q4. We are materially outperforming the market and taking share in all of our major territories.“As the Group carries this momentum forward into the new year and starts to deliver the opportunities provided by both the Ladbrokes Coral integration and our sports-betting joint-venture in the US with MGM Resorts, the Board is confident that the Group is very well placed for a successful 2019.”GVC governance intends to release its preliminary full-year 2018 results on 5 March 2019.