All posts by iltondi

OPAP revenue jumps as pace of VLT rollout accelerates


opap-vlt-revenueGreek betting and lottery operator OPAP reported double-digit revenue gains in Q3 on strong growth in its betting and expanded video lottery terminal (VLT) divisions.

On Tuesday, OPAP reported that its revenue in the three months ending September 30 was up 12% year-on-year to €357.4m, while earnings shot up 49% to €93m and net income rose nearly two-thirds to over €48m.

It’s worth nothing that the earnings figure got a wind-assisted boost from a €14.7m reversal of litigation provisions, while Q3 2016 also suffered from €6.4m in one-off VLT arbitration-related costs. Absent those factors, earnings were up a more modest 13.6% to €78m. Similarly, adjusted net profits came in at €37.6m.

Delving deeper into the revenue numbers, OPAP’s betting revenue was up 21.4% to €112.3m in Q3, thanks in part to the ongoing deployment of its new self-service betting terminals (SSBT). The company’s virtual sports products were also credited with having a particularly strong quarter.

The mainstay lottery segment reported a modest 1.7% revenue gain to €193.9m while the Instant & Passive segment saw revenue fall 3% to just under €34.9m.

OPAP’s new VLT segment contributed nearly €16.3m, bringing the segment’s year-to-date contribution to €25.6m. OPAP had an installed VLT base of just under 5,300 at the end of Q3, up from 3,031 at the end of Q2.

OPAP says the pace of the VLT rollout has picked up in Q4 to date, with over 7k operational units as of November 15. The company expects to have around 10k VLTs in place by the end of the year.

On Tuesday, the Greek parliament approved legislation that will cap the total number of VLTs at 25k, a reduction of 10k from what OPAP was originally promised. To compensate, the new legislation frees OPAP from the requirement of subcontracting out a portion of its VLT business while also extending OPAP’s betting license by a further eight years.

Greek legislators have also promised to address two other gaming industry issues before the year is through. One bill would overhaul Greece’s land-based casino market, authorizing the relocation of the Regency Casino from its current spot on Mont Parnes while reducing casino gaming revenue taxes to something more compatible with operator profits.

The other piece of legislation would finally implement long-promised changes to online gambling regulations. The changes would include formal licensing of international operators, but questions remain as to whether the tax rates will be reduced to a level that would entice operators to submit applications.

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WATCH: How to detox from your Halloween candy binge


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    Bank of America – Merrill Lynch: Time to bet on William Hill


    It’s the time of the year for window dressing and the folks over at Bank of America Merrill Lynch (Merrill) are suggesting that the stocks of British bookmaker William Hill are already ripe for plucking.

    Bank of America – Merrill Lynch: Time to bet on William HillThe international financial investment institution has given the stocks of William Hill a “buy” rating from “underperform,” its biggest upgrade in more than three months that helped propel it toward the top of the FTSE 250, according to The Evening Standard.

    Most investors are wary of making a bet not only on William Hill but also on other bookies, especially after the British government launched a crackdown on fixed-odds betting terminal (FOBTs).

    The UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is conducting its 12-week consultation on the sector and investors expressed fears that a potential reduction in maximum stakes to just £2 will cost the industry as much as £639 million a year and a whopping £5.5 billion over 10 years.

    Merrill, however, urges investors to look way beyond the DCMS consultation since Hills’ shares have already priced in the worst-case scenario of a £2-per-spin cap on roulette machines.

    The brokerage firm told investors to focus on the developments in the U.S., where the issue of the federal sports betting ban will now be tackled by the Supreme Court.

    At this moment, only Nevada is allowed to offer single-game sports betting. The ban is currently being challenged by New Jersey before the high tribunal.

    Should DCMS decide to impose a £2 cap on FOBTs, Merrill pointed out that the U.S. market could offer William Hill a lifeline. The financial investment firm pointed out that William Hill dominate sports betting in Nevada with a 55 percent share of the market and this will grow even bigger if the Supreme Court decides in favor of New Jersey.

    “Even if William Hill lost market share it could prove to be a very large driver of growth,” the brokerage firm said.

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    Bloomberry set for record year as mass market buoys Solaire’s Q3


    bloomberry-resorts-solaire-casino-razonPhilippine casino operator Bloomberry Resorts Corp reported Q3 profits rising nearly one-third based on a thriving mass market business at its flagship Manila integrated resort.

    On Thursday, Bloomberry released its Q3 earnings report, which showed revenue of P9.6b (US $187.2m) in the three months ending September 30, a 22.3% rise over the same period last year. Earnings were up 33% to P3.4b, while net profits rose 31% to P1.85b.

    Business was booming at Bloomberry’s Solare Resort & Casino in Manila’s Entertainment City gaming district. Mass table drop was up 22% year-on-year to P9.7b, a new quarterly record, while mass electronic gaming machine (EGM) coin-in shot up 38% to P49.7b, also a record.

    Solaire’s VIP gaming turnover declined 13% but VIP revenue improved 14% to P5.4b based on Q3 2016 having endured a pitifully low 2.16% VIP win rate, which rebounded to 2.83% in the most recent quarter. And while turnover and revenue were both down from Q2, the VIP turnover figure still ranked third-best since Solaire opened in 2013.

    Jeju Sun Hotel & Casino, Bloomberry’s South Korean property, reported its first ever positive quarterly earnings since Bloomberry acquired the property in 2015. Jeju Sun’s gross gaming revenue was up a whopping 436% to P151m, as the property was wholly preoccupied last year with its ultimately aborted sale to a Macau junket operator.

    Bloomberry boss Enrique Razon Jr. (pictured) hailed his company’s ongoing growth and held out hope that this “uptrend” would persist through the remainder of 2017. “Our top line and bottom lines are positive and, despite some minor hiccups, I am confident that 2017 will be a banner year.”

    Year-to-date figures are rosy indeed, with revenue up 28% to P28b, earnings up 30% to P10.2b and profits jumping 275% to just under P6b.

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    WATCH: Nutritionist shares her best diet tips to help boost your workouts


    Transcript for Nutritionist shares her best diet tips to help boost your workouts

    you I you you. And we are back now on “Gma” with simple secrets to boost your workout. I’m here with registered nutritionist and a spokesperson for kefir. We have to start with strong bones. We can get it through nutrition. It’s really important for everyone to have good bone health. Okay, so we have some foods here that will improve bone health. Salmon, almonds and kale. These have strong nutrients like vitamin D, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous partnered with exercise can help reduce your risk of osteoporosis, isn’t it crazy, absolutely nuts so when you partner those together you can reduce your risk of osteoporosis. They seem to show up on everything. These are super foods. Do this. When you’re done working out. People don’t know this. You do need to refuel. It’s Sporn to refuel with carbohydrates and protein. Livway kefir has carbohydrates and protein but a cool part is it has 12 live and active cultures in it which help the absorption of carbohydrates in protein so the carbs help refuel the body and protein helps to repair the muscle. Plus, a really even cool fact, is that this has natural electrolytes in it which will help the hydration get into the cells. After you’ve gotten all that out in your hard workout. We have it in the morning too so livway kefir is amazing any time of day. We have our amazing audience. They will help us out. I know they’re over there. This is Kelly’s choice. This is the power five. Power five. And so everybody, how many fingers do you have? All: Five. This is how you can remember. Protein, we have vegetables, we have fruits and we have dairy and also we have our whole grains, okay. So by getting in the power of five, it’s going to ensure you get all the vitamins and minerals and nutrition you need all day long. It’s so simple. It’s so simpf? We’ve heard it before but feels like I’ve got to do it today because Kelly said so. So totally easy. You don’t have to be a four day chef. Everyone thinks dietitians are chefs but they’re not. Cucumber, tomato, apple, glass of milk, that simple. Thanks so much. Kelly. Thank you all. We’ll all be healthy today. Mike: Good morning.

    This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.



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    BetStars wins license in Czech Republic, gets banned in Slovakia


    betstars-czech-betting-license-slovakia-banOnline gambling operator The Stars Group had a mixed week in the former Czechoslovakia, gaining a betting license in the Czech Republic while having other operations banned in Slovakia.

    Late last month, Czech gambling affiliate PokerArena reported that The Stars Group’s BetStars brand had been granted an online sports betting license in the Czech Republic, the first online betting license the market has issued to an international operator. In February, The Stars Group’s flagship PokerStars brand became the first international operator to launch a Czech-facing online poker site.

    But last week saw PokerStars and BetStars domains added to the growing online gambling blacklist in neighboring Slovakia. The finance ministry debuted its online blacklist in July and has been steadily adding naughty names of international companies not authorized to accept action from local punters.

    Among the Stars-related domains making (or failing to make) the grade in Slovakia are BetStars.com, BetStars.eu, PokerStars.eu and PokerStarsCasino.eu. Unlike in the Czech Republic, Slovakia hasn’t opened up its online poker and casino market, choosing to leave those products as the sole responsibility of the state-owned TIPOS national lottery.

    Among the other international names earning spots on Slovakia’s blacklist are numerous Bet365-affiliated domains, the Kindred Group’s Unibet and Stan James Online brands, JetBull, lottery betting operator Lottoland, Betfair.com, Betsafe, Betway, Winmasters and sports betting mainstays Pinnacle.

    However zealous Slovakia’s ban-happy finance ministry may appear, they’re rank amateurs when it comes to the continent’s ban-hammer (and sickle) champs, Russia. In the month of October alone, Russia’s Roskomnadzor telecom watchdog brought its gavel down on 7,417 gambling domains.

    Among these domains, a stunning 1,026 were related to online betting operator Fonbet, which has a Russian-licensed site but also operates an international .com business that offers products beyond those permitted under Russia’s sports betting-only regime. The fact that one single company could have over a thousand mirrors blocked in a single month amply demonstrates the inherent folly of such tactics.

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    Clarifying LatAm gaming market myths at Berlin Affiliate Conference


    There is a host of opportunities waiting for businesses, particularly online gambling, in Latin America. For several years now, many of the biggest players in the iGaming industry have set their sights on the growing LatAm market. The question is, why are affiliates missing the opportunity?

    Clarifying LatAm gaming market myths at Berlin Affiliate ConferenceAt the Berlin Affiliate Conference, held in Messe Berlin from Nov. 1 to 4, Egamingservices founder Tiago Almedia will provide an overview of the most important gaming markets in Latin America, along with the most important payment methods for the region. He will also discuss the most popular products, leading operators in each Latin American country, as well as where affiliates should recruit their players.

    Almedia started his career in the online gambling industry in 2006 and has professional experience in companies like Bwin and Dragonfish, where he was involved in different senior operational and marketing roles focused on the Latin American market. In 2016, Almedia founded Egamingservices to provide marketing and operational services to online gambling operators willing to monetize opportunities in the region. Egamingservices has offices in Brazil, Uruguay, Malta and Portugal.

    Almedia said his session aims “to create a bridge between leading brands in LatAm and affiliates willing to monetize their traffic” as well as “to clarify some myths about the LatAm gaming market and why this region should be absolutely essential for affiliates and operators.”

    Delegates will be able to take away five key points from Almedia’s session. The first takeaway is that the profitability in LatAm is easy to achieve, with proper insight and cultural understanding. Also, there are opportunities in the region and competition is still low. The learning curve is now over, and it’s the moment for the second comers. Another takeaway is that synergies exist between online and offline channel and affiliates can benefit from it.

    For the list of speakers, full schedule and workshops, visit the official BAC website.

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    Brazil police raid Winfil casino for offering real-money gambling


    brazil-police-raid-winfil-casinoA Brazilian brick-and-mortar casino operator’s impetuousness has brought down the long arm of the law.

    Last week, Grupo Pefaco opened its Winfil casino in Porto Alegre, but its 460 slot machines were restricted to ‘demonstration’ mode, i.e. free-play gambling only, due to Brazil having yet to explicitly authorize real-money casino gambling.

    But Saturday saw the casino commence real-money gambling based on a court injunction barring local law enforcement from seizing any of Winfil’s gaming machines. However, the judge who issued that injunction told local media on Monday that her injunction applied only if the machines were still in demonstration mode and had offered no comment regarding the illegality of casino gambling.

    As one might expect, the authorities didn’t tolerate Winfil’s boldness for long. Brazilian affiliate Games Magazine Brasil reported that officers from the Civil Police and the state Prosecutor’s Office rolled up in “dozens” of vehicles to disrupt the goings-on, much to the dismay of the casino’s patrons, who chanted ‘we just want to play.’ (See video at bottom of page, which includes said chanting as well as the furious but ultimately futile arguments of Winfil’s lawyers.)

    The authorities reportedly took no chances of clashing with the injunction barring them from seizing gaming machines by producing warrants referencing “objects directly related to the exploitation of games of chance.”

    In practice, this meant the cops left the machines where they stood but seized the money inside the machines as well as their controller boards, effectively leaving Winfil with row after row of mute cabinets and monitors.

    Winfil executives were reportedly detained and taken to the local booking facility where they were required to sign documents acknowledging their wicked, wicked ways.

    Brazil is currently in the process of approving sweeping gambling reforms, which will reportedly include the authorization of multiple casinos across the country. There are two competing gaming bills in each house of the bicameral legislature, and the Chamber of Deputies has promised to bring its version to the floor for a vote in November.