Category Archives: Gambling

Valery Bollier: DFS paving the way for social business model


In this interview with CalvinAyre.com’s Becky Liggero, Valery Bollier of Oulala explains why the iGaming industry needs to adapt more of a social business model.

Many gambling operators have tried to optimize their business model in order to cope with the demand of the new generation of players. Unlike the players from the baby boomer generation, millennials tend to be more social and thus prefer games that enables them to interact with other players.

Valery Bollier of Oulala Games said that the iGaming industry needs to adapt more to a social business model if they really want to corner the millennial market.

“Simply because this is what exactly the new generation is expecting. They have been raised playing video games that are of course skilled but are also socials. And it might not be very nice to hear for people that are not doing those types of games for years and have very optimized business model. But it is simply what’s young generation are expecting,” Bollier told CalvinAyre.com. “Playing against the house is boring, and then you don’t like the house, because whenever you lose against the house, the house will take your money. Horrible. You don’t want this. You want to play in the marketplace with friends and the best you going take the money.”

Bollier cited the case of the growing popularity of daily fantasy sports (DFS), which he said is paving the way in the shift toward the social business model.

Unlike other games like the online poker and casino, Bollier pointed out that the DFS was the first game offered to the iGaming sector that is structurally a skilled game and a social game.

“This makes a big difference because now you will see a lot of people that will try to transform the game like casino for example or even poker that are not social games and they will gamify it, and they will try to transform this into social game. It’s going to be very difficult for them because structurally, they are not social games,” Bolier said.  “You need to invent games that are really social and dfs are social games. It’s a game where you basically create a team with your friends and you play against them. Money is not everything. Money is just the ability to prove to your friends and you know, tease them, brag to them because you took their money.”

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Tech firm buy prompts executive reshuffle at Iao Kun


A reshuffle of executives at Iao Kun Group Holding Co Ltd. (IKGH) is under way as the Macau casino junket investor completes the acquisition of a Chinese technology company.

Tech firm buy prompts executive reshuffle at Iao KunLam Man Pou stepped down from his position as chairman and director of IKGH’s board of directors on Wednesday, but will remain and chief marketing officer of IKGH, effective immediately. Vong Hon Kun also resigned from his CEO and board director position, but will stay on with the company as its chief operating officer.

The changes to the management and the company board came following IKGH’s announcement that it has finalized the acquisition of 51 percent of software technology development company Jia-Heng Industrial Ltd, which is the holding company of Guangzhou LiNiu Network Technology Co. Ltd.

LiNiu Network is a software technology development company that is currently developing an electronic business-to-consumer trading platform focused on the Chinese agricultural industry, according to IKGH.

IKGH chief operating officer Lam Chou In has been promoted to take the position of co-CEO at the junket investor group. He will share the chief executive position with LiNiu Network founder Wang Shun Yang. Wang, who was also appointed a director of the board, will be responsible for Iao Kun’s technology industry development while Lam will focus on the group’s Macau gaming business

The group also named Fong Weng Nam as the new chairman of the board of directors. Iao Kun described Fong as an entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience in investment, real estate development and Macau’s gaming business.

Acquiring LiNiu Network is part of Iao Kun’s plans to diversify its non-gaming assets as the group attempts to staunch the financial bleeding as a result of bad VIP debts. Shifting its strategy from the junket to technological industry may provide additional support to the company that has been crippled by financial tailspin.

The company has already shut down four of its promoted VIP rooms in Macau, leaving behind a single VIP room at City of Dreams Macau. The junket group assured that it will not completely exit the junket sector, although it has “no further plans to expand” its gaming operations to additional VIP rooms.

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Mississippi governor prods lawmakers to enact lottery bill


Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant gave lawmakers a last-minute prodding on Thursday to enact a lottery bill, which he said will generate the state multi-millions in revenue annually.

Mississippi governor prods lawmakers to enact lottery billThe Ledger-Enquirer reported that the pro-lottery governor made a last ditch attempt to convince members of the House and the Senate to enact a lottery as tax collections continue to fall short of expectations.

Earlier this week, the cash-strapped state made its third round of spending cuts since the budget year started July 1.

“When you’re looking at some of the challenges that we’re having and you see a revenue bill that would generate somewhere between 50 and 60 million dollars — just an estimate — I think that’s something that needs to be taken seriously by the members of both the House and the Senate,” Bryant said, according to the news website.

The Mississippi governor has been very vocal in supporting a lottery in his jurisdiction. Bryant even supported Mississippi residents driving to Arkansas to buy lottery tickets in his one of his speeches in January.

Mississippi’s lottery proposals died in the House earlier this month but could be revived in the Senate in the next few weeks. The three-month legislative session is about to start and is scheduled to end April 2.

“When I was lieutenant governor and president of the Senate, if I had a majority of my members who wanted to vote, I thought it was incumbent upon me to let them have that opportunity to exercise that right,” said Bryant, who served one term as lieutenant governor before starting his current job in 2014. “It may not be just popular with some members, but I think the majority wants to have an opportunity to vote on a state lottery, and we’d certainly look at that with great interest.”

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BTC China extends bitcoin withdrawal freeze into March


The fallout from the People’s Bank of China’s (PBoC) crackdown on domestic digital currency exchanges continues, and this time BTC China has announced that it will stop cryptocurrency withdrawals for one month.

BTC China extends bitcoin withdrawal freeze into MarchOn Thursday, the Shanghai-based bitcoin exchange said on its website that the hold will be extended to March 15—marking the third time BTC China has extended the ongoing bitcoin and litecoin withdrawal on its platform.

Considered to be one of China’s “Big 3” exchanges, BTC China announced early this month that it will subject all bitcoin withdrawals to a 72-hour review as it upgrades its internal systems. Days later, the 72-hour delay was upped to 10 days.

This time, BTC China said it plans to continue the audit of its system.

“After the upgrade of the industry and the completion of the audit system, the bitcoin and litecoin currency will be back to normal. If the system upgrade can be completed ahead of time, all business will return to normal immediately,” the bitcoin exchange said on its website.

With the withdrawal freeze, existing BTC China clients are unable to get their digital currency deposits out, but the company said withdrawals in Chinese yuan are still allowed, “if customers want to withdraw funds within a shorter period, they can first trade their bitcoins and litecoins for CNY on the exchange and then withdraw the CNY.”

Aside from BTC China, Huobi and OKCoin also halted bitcoin and litecoin withdrawals while they undergo an upgrade to fight “money laundering, exchange, pyramid schemes and other illegal activities.”

Two other companies were also forced to make several changes following PBoC’s harsh warnings. This week, bitcoin mining company HaoBTC announced that it is closing its exchange operation “given the fact that the prospect of a regulatory policy for a bitcoin exchange isn’t clear yet,” while Shenzhen-based bitcoin marketplace BitKan said it will stop new registrations as the company upgrades its anti-money laundering checks.

Current bitcoin price

Bitcoin traded at a high $1,038.5 early Friday morning.

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Shares of fantasy sports app SportsHero up in Aussie market debut


Singapore-based SportsHero is in for a good start in its debut on the Australian Securities Exchange with its share prices up in Wednesday’s trading.

SportsHero, which claims to be the world’s first social network dedicated to sports prediction, opened at a high of AU$0.06 versus its initial public offering (IPO) price of AU$0.05 per share.

Shares of fantasy sports app SportsHero up in Aussie market debutPrior to its debut, the company said that it was able to raise AU$3.2 million ($2.44 million) through the issue of 64 million shares. SportsHero’s listing came via a reverse takeover of Nevada Iron Ltd.

Dinesh Bhatia, CEO of SportsHero, said that the fantasy sports app firm will be focusing on customer acquisition, introducing additional sports, and enhancing the features and user experience while sustaining strong engagement among users over the next 12 to 18 months.

“The Board and management team look forward to creating accelerated value for our shareholders with the successful listing on the Australian Securities Exchange,” Bhatia said in a statement. “The listing will give SportsHero access to both domestic and international investors and the proceeds raised will allow the Company to advance the development and commercialisation of SportsHero on an Asian and global scale, including developing ecommerce and engagement features for further monetisation of the platform.”

SportsHero’s listing comes at a time when mobile penetration in Asia-Pacific and consumer demand and interest in sports are increasing.

Data provided by research firm Statista showed that there will be 2.3 billion smartphone users worldwide in 2017. SportsHero, meanwhile, pointed out that the sports industry has played a pivotal role in the worldwide economic growth.

In China alone, the government there is aiming their domestic sports industry to exceed US$727 billion (5 trillion yuan) in value by 2025. Pursuant to the recent prospectus the SportsHero mobile app has already seen a growing level of engagement with over 80,000 users and retention rates increasing.

“The Company looks to build the world’s largest social network dedicated to sports by bringing together sports fans from around the world and helping them make better predictions on the outcomes of games through harnessing the power of other fans within SportsHero’s social community. The Company’s largest shareholder, MyHero Limited is backed by investors including 500 Startups, Samsung Ventures, KPCB and IPV Capital,” the company said.

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To start with Cagayan vows tech boost to retain on the web gambling licensees


first-cagayan-ceza-online-gambling-licenseTo start with Cagayan Leisure and Resort Corporation designs to spend tens of millions to boost its complex infrastructure in the hope of retaining its on the web gambling licensees, but it might be generating beds in a burning property.

This week, on the web gambling operators licensed in the Cagayan Financial Zone Authority (CEZA) started obtaining letters from To start with Cagayan President Francis Hernando outlining the corporation’s new “strategic direction,” which is meant to support operators craft their “short and prolonged-term business designs.”

Hernando states To start with Cagayan’s new direction spots a “particular concentration on details and telecommunications amenities.” Specially, To start with Cagayan is pledging to spend about $4m to update its current details heart in Cagayan Cyberpark inside the Cagayan Freeport, although a further more $3m will go toward upgrading details infrastructure exterior the Freeport.

Hernando promises the upgrades will make To start with Cagayan’s web hosting and connectivity abilities on par with “established worldwide gaming jurisdictions.” It’s also owning discussions with unnamed events relating to a task “to supply secure electrical energy to the Freeport.”

The 10-hectare Cyberpark is staying pitched as a “fully functional, self-contained group with function-designed structures to property studios and phone centers,” along with household accommodations, usefulness retailers and leisure amenities.

Hernando insists that To start with Cagayan is ready “to make significant investments and exert attempts to carry these strategic designs to fruition” and hopes its licensees “will consider a similar prolonged-term look at as nicely.” To start with Cagayan states it will be consulting with its licensees more than the up coming few weeks, particularly more than the Cyberpark designs.

Hernando’s pitch closes with the hope that To start with Cagayan licensees will “continue to preserve your CEZA license(s) although we re-balance our regulatory and business product toward the Freeport in 2017.”

A HAIL MARY, Entire OF HOPE
Hernando’s pitch is a direct result of To start with Cagayan’s recent plight, which stems from the anti-on the web gambling campaign that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte launched inside minutes of having workplace final summer season. Right until that position, CEZA was the main licensor for the Asian-struggling with Philippine on the web gambling sector.

But inside weeks of Duterte’s announcement, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) verified that CEZA was in its sights. PAGCOR then declared that it was having into the on the web licensing match and that all Philippine-based on the web operators would have to get a new Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) license.

CEZA-licensed operators experienced normally operated in a thing of a legal gray zone, but that gray is increasing darker by the day. Duterte’s intentions are tough to forecast, and CEZA operators know they could occur under considerably sharper scrutiny at any moment.

As these, To start with Cagayan is hunting to do all it can to toe the line, and it possible recognizes that its greatest shot at survival is to hold its licensees’ whole functions confined inside CEZA, as a result the technologies infrastructure upgrades.

Lots of CEZA-licensed operators had been pleased to hold a license in an isolated, largely undeveloped region on the country’s northern shore, but selected to base considerably of their business course of action outsourcing (BPO) and dwell seller functions in additional created city places like Makati.

To start with Cagayan is hoping that its new technique will permit it to retain a very good part of its current licensees, although possibly attracting other operators who couldn’t score a PAGCOR POGO license. Will To start with Cagayan’s gamble function? Only time – and possibly Duterte – will explain to.

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PBoC finds ‘irregularities’ in Chinese bitcoin exchanges’ operations


China’s central lender is placing the highlight again on bitcoin exchanges in the region.

This time, the People’s Financial institution of China (PBoC) has reportedly introduced the outcomes of its inspection of the regional bitcoin buying and selling platforms. In it, investigators from the central lender described the “irregularities” they stated they learned in the operations of main bitcoin exchanges—BTC China, Huobi and OKCoin—which led to the new “abnormal fluctuations” in the price tag of the preferred digital forex.

PBoC finds ‘irregularities’ in Chinese bitcoin exchanges’ operationsAccording to Chinese-language news outlet JF Everyday, the preliminary inspection by the PBoC’s Shanghai branch located BTC China available financial loans, which is outside of the scope of its organization as a bitcoin trade.

In Beijing, central lender investigators also located alleged anomalies in the operations of OKCoin and Huobi. According to a different report from Hexun, the three bitcoin exchanges presents a mortgage attribute known as margin trade, which the PBoC stated not only violates the country’s procedures but has also induced bitcoin’s new volatility.

Furthermore, the investigators learned that the exchanges do not have a third bash depository of investors’ resources or have they founded adequate anti-money laundering measures.

All three exchanges have stopped margin buying and selling and futures buying and selling just after the central lender inspections, in accordance to reviews.

The three bitcoin exchanges have been caught in the center of the Chinese central bank’s new crackdown on virtual money. Various weeks ago, PBoC officials done on-website visits at BTC China, OKCoin and Huobi to check irrespective of whether the exchanges’ operations have long gone outside of the scope of their current market. The inspections had traders concerned that Chinese are likely to tighten their oversight of the digital forex, which, in convert, sent bitcoin tumbling sixteen percent to a reduced of $761.86—it’s cheapest because peaking at $one,140.sixty four in early January.

Recent bitcoin price tag

The price tag of bitcoin dropped to $883 all through early Thursday morning’s buying and selling.

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William Hill Australia revives Centrebet brand name


william-hill-australia-centrebet-revivalBookmaker William Hill’s Australian division has revived its dormant Centrebet brand name only months right after streamlining its down beneath operations into a solitary company existence.

On Tuesday, William Hill Australia formally announced the rebirth of its Centrebet web-site and cellular app, which is becoming positioned as the household of the “serious” racing bettor. Hills Australia CEO Tom Waterhouse mentioned Centrebet was “the only option for all punters who want the ideal selling price and the only position the specialists can get a massive guess on.”

Hills obtained Centrebet in 2013 as portion of its £455m takeover of Sportingbet’s controlled sector business, then promptly announced that it would consolidate its whole Australian operations – such as Centrebet, Sportingbet and TomWaterhouse.com – beneath the William Hill Australia banner.

The laborious customer migration was at last done very last 12 months but this week’s announcement implies that the quantities didn’t assistance the brand name unification tactic, which had been meant to stay clear of “confusion” in the sector. Former Centrebet punters documented receiving electronic mail and social media arrive-ons in late December hinting at the brand name revival.

In a bid to woo back again the punters it forcibly migrated onto the Hills’ web page, Centrebet has fully commited to betting all punters to win A$5k on Saturday and A$two,500 on midweek metropolitan races in all states, not just Victoria and New South Wales, the place these types of minimums are the regulation of the land.

Athletics bettors are also becoming lured to the brand’s Electricity Wager sportsbook by betting on all punters to win at minimum A$10k on head-to-head and line markets, when giving the ideal charges on AFL, NRL, NBA, NFL, Grand Slam Tennis and Major Bash Cricket.

Meanwhile, Hills could have misplaced its Australian Open up courtside existence but the business is generating the most of its remaining privileges as the Open’s official companion. The business just debuted a new tv commercial, starring Aussie actor Axle Whitehead and a Kanye West soundtrack, to endorse the pace of its betting interface. The location, built by the Fenton Stephens agency, will be accompanied by a retail and built-in electronic campaign.