Posts Tagged ‘professional sports betting software’

SAP betting big on business opportunities around global sports and …

close


close


The software vendor, which tied up with ICC, has so far forged alliances with over 50 sports properties across the globe. 

The software vendor, which tied up with ICC, has so far forged alliances with over 50 sports properties across the globe. 

MELBOURNE: Europe’s biggest software maker SAP, which had last month unveiled its crucial next generation unified database cloud platform HANA for the cricket world cup, is now betting big on huge business opportunities around the fast-growing global sports and entertainment industry.

Fuelled by the advent of new sensor and video collection technologies coupled with huge database on various sports, the software maker is offering real-time data-driven services to various stakeholders -players, teams and league, and venue owners.

These real-time data-driven services will help all stakeholders in the sports and entertainment industry to not only maximise their performance but also improve revenues, says Chris Burton, SAP’s vice-president for global sponsorships. Accessing the data instantly to any level of granularity and running predictive models quickly will help stakeholders take real-time action to improve performance. “The global sports and entertainment industry is currently estimated at around 5 billion (approximately Rs 34,000 crore) and it ` is now at a very incubating stage with massive-growth potential,” Burton told a team of visiting Indian journalists in Melbourne last week.

The business software vendor, which recently teamed up with the International Cricket Council (ICC) to enhance the experience around the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, has so far forged alliances with over 50 sports properties, including football, tennis, sailing and Formula One.

SAP is providing over 40 years of ICC Cricket Cup historical statistics to fans for the first time in ICC Cricket World Cup history. “As cricket is one of the world’s mostpopular sports, we saw a great opportunity to work with the ICC to help them simplify the way they analyse and share data with their passionate fan base,” said Scott Russel, SAP’s chief operating officer (Asia Pacific Japan).

Though there are a number of small-point solutions providers in the sports and entertainment space at present, there are no big players so far.

“We are the largest integrated platform solutions provider in this segment,” said Burton.

(The journalist travelled to Melbourne as a guest of SAP)

Have something to say? Post your comment

Comments are moderated and will be allowed if they are about the topic and not abusive.

Characters remaining (1500)

To post this comment you must

Log In/Connect with:

Log In with FacebookLog In with TwitterIndiatimes Network

Fill in your details:

Will be displayed

Will not be displayed

Will be displayed


Share this Comment:


Please answer this simple math question.

Have something to say? Post your comment

Comments are moderated and will be allowed if they are about the topic and not abusive.

Characters remaining (1500)

To post this comment you must

Log In/Connect with:

Log In with FacebookLog In with TwitterIndiatimes Network

Fill in your details:

Will be displayed

Will not be displayed

Will be displayed


Share this Comment:


Please answer this simple math question.

Article source: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/software/sap-betting-big-on-business-opportunities-around-global-sports-and-entertainment-industry/articleshow/46741538.cms

The Cautionary Tale Of A Big-Time Bracket Bust

Oklahoma's Buddy Hield, right, and Denzel Valentine of Michigan State played in Friday's East Regional Semifinal of the 2015 NCAA tournament in Syracuse. If you've got money riding on this year's NCAA tournament, you might want to hear about what happened to John Bovary's football pool.i

Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield, right, and Denzel Valentine of Michigan State played in Friday’s East Regional Semifinal of the 2015 NCAA tournament in Syracuse. If you’ve got money riding on this year’s NCAA tournament, you might want to hear about what happened to John Bovary’s football pool.

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images


hide caption

itoggle caption

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Oklahoma's Buddy Hield, right, and Denzel Valentine of Michigan State played in Friday's East Regional Semifinal of the 2015 NCAA tournament in Syracuse. If you've got money riding on this year's NCAA tournament, you might want to hear about what happened to John Bovary's football pool.

Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield, right, and Denzel Valentine of Michigan State played in Friday’s East Regional Semifinal of the 2015 NCAA tournament in Syracuse. If you’ve got money riding on this year’s NCAA tournament, you might want to hear about what happened to John Bovary’s football pool.

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

About 25 years ago, John Bovery started a modest football pool out of his home in New Jersey. It had 57 participants, all friends and co-workers.

But thanks to word of mouth — and the multiplying factor of email — Bovery’s pool grew to staggering proportions. At one point, it got too large for Bovery to handle himself, so he contacted a software company to custom-build something suited to his needs.

By 2009, it included more than 8,000 entries from people around the globe, with a total payout of more than $800,000.

The following year, the New Jersey police raided Bovery’s home, seized all the money in his house and his bank accounts — something called civil forfeiture, when assets are confiscated by the state because they’re believed to be connected to illegal activity — and sent him to jail.

“They said, ‘Make it easy on yourself, give us the betting slips and the cash,’ ” Bovery recalls. “And I said, ‘There is no cash in this house; it’s all checks. And there’s no betting slips. I’m not a bookie.’ “

Five months later, Bovery was arrested on money laundering charges and spent 25 nights in jail.

One of the main questions in his upcoming criminal trial is whether or not Bovery took a fee for his services. “This did not get started as a venture to make any money, OK?” he says. “This was a guy who had an idea to have fun with 50 guys at work and [it] took a life of its own. Yes, at some point in time when people won, they said, ‘Hey, don’t forget about taking care of Bovery, he spends a lot of hours running this pool for us, you know, take care of him.’ And people started giving me something at the end of the pool. It was always at the discretion of the players or the winners, and we referred to that as a gift.”

Now, he says, he’s “just hanging in there till the finish line.” His teacher certification was temporarily revoked, and he says it’s hard to find a job with pending charges. His case is scheduled for June; if convicted, he says, he could face 10 to 20 years in jail.

Warren Buffett with Harlem Globetrotter Chris Handles Franklin at Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting in May 2013.

New Jersey’s Monmouth County prosecutor’s office declined NPR’s interview request, but offered this statement: “There is always more than one side to a story. The State looks forward to presenting its evidence to the jury in June. Stay tuned.”

Marc Edelman, an expert in gaming law at New York’s Baruch College, helps explain the prosecutor’s side of things.

“It’s illegal to operate a contest with entry fees and prizes if that contest is deemed to be one of chance,” he says. “And most of the time, it’s been presumed that anything involving picking the winners of actual sports games is a contest of chance. Maybe the law’s silly, maybe it shouldn’t exist, but under the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, this seems to be a clear violation.”

One possible result in the Mighty Mini Mammals division of 2015's Mammal March Madness tournament. If the species that's seeded highest always wins its bracket, the fennec fox will beat out the rest of the division and advance to the final four.

He’s not saying John Bovery will lose in court; there are many avenues of defense available. But according to the letter of the law, his football pool — like many of the basketball pools going on right now in this country — was illegal.

If you’re the one holding the money in your office’s March Madness pool, you might find this a cautionary tale. But as to the question of whether or not your brackets are safe, Edelman says there is some wiggle room.

“Many, but not all, states have what’s known as ‘recreational gaming exceptions,’ ” he says. “The recreational gaming exceptions are what allow a group of six to eight friends to get together and have a poker game within the privacy of their own home, but prevents you from opening up your home to offer a poker game to the outside public.”

So if you keep it small and private, don’t sweat the cops. At least, not much.

Article source: http://www.npr.org/2015/03/28/395983111/the-cautionary-tale-of-a-big-time-bracket-bust

The Cautionary Tale Of A Big-Time Bracket Bust

Oklahoma's Buddy Hield, right, and Denzel Valentine of Michigan State played in Friday's East Regional Semifinal of the 2015 NCAA tournament in Syracuse. If you've got money riding on this year's NCAA tournament, you might want to hear about what happened to John Bovary's football pool.i

Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield, right, and Denzel Valentine of Michigan State played in Friday’s East Regional Semifinal of the 2015 NCAA tournament in Syracuse. If you’ve got money riding on this year’s NCAA tournament, you might want to hear about what happened to John Bovary’s football pool.

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images


hide caption

itoggle caption

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Oklahoma's Buddy Hield, right, and Denzel Valentine of Michigan State played in Friday's East Regional Semifinal of the 2015 NCAA tournament in Syracuse. If you've got money riding on this year's NCAA tournament, you might want to hear about what happened to John Bovary's football pool.

Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield, right, and Denzel Valentine of Michigan State played in Friday’s East Regional Semifinal of the 2015 NCAA tournament in Syracuse. If you’ve got money riding on this year’s NCAA tournament, you might want to hear about what happened to John Bovary’s football pool.

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

About 25 years ago, John Bovery started a modest football pool out of his home in New Jersey. It had 57 participants, all friends and co-workers.

But thanks to word of mouth — and the multiplying factor of email — Bovery’s pool grew to staggering proportions. At one point, it got too large for Bovery to handle himself, so he contacted a software company to custom-build something suited to his needs.

By 2009, it included more than 8,000 entries from people around the globe, with a total payout of more than $800,000.

The following year, the New Jersey police raided Bovery’s home, seized all the money in his house and his bank accounts — something called civil forfeiture, when assets are confiscated by the state because they’re believed to be connected to illegal activity — and sent him to jail.

“They said, ‘Make it easy on yourself, give us the betting slips and the cash,’ ” Bovery recalls. “And I said, ‘There is no cash in this house; it’s all checks. And there’s no betting slips. I’m not a bookie.’ “

Five months later, Bovery was arrested on money laundering charges and spent 25 nights in jail.

One of the main questions in his upcoming criminal trial is whether or not Bovery took a fee for his services. “This did not get started as a venture to make any money, OK?” he says. “This was a guy who had an idea to have fun with 50 guys at work and [it] took a life of its own. Yes, at some point in time when people won, they said, ‘Hey, don’t forget about taking care of Bovery, he spends a lot of hours running this pool for us, you know, take care of him.’ And people started giving me something at the end of the pool. It was always at the discretion of the players or the winners, and we referred to that as a gift.”

Now, he says, he’s “just hanging in there till the finish line.” His teacher certification was temporarily revoked, and he says it’s hard to find a job with pending charges. His case is scheduled for June; if convicted, he says, he could face 10 to 20 years in jail.

Warren Buffett with Harlem Globetrotter Chris Handles Franklin at Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting in May 2013.

New Jersey’s Monmouth County prosecutor’s office declined NPR’s interview request, but offered this statement: “There is always more than one side to a story. The State looks forward to presenting its evidence to the jury in June. Stay tuned.”

Marc Edelman, an expert in gaming law at New York’s Baruch College, helps explain the prosecutor’s side of things.

“It’s illegal to operate a contest with entry fees and prizes if that contest is deemed to be one of chance,” he says. “And most of the time, it’s been presumed that anything involving picking the winners of actual sports games is a contest of chance. Maybe the law’s silly, maybe it shouldn’t exist, but under the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, this seems to be a clear violation.”

One possible result in the Mighty Mini Mammals division of 2015's Mammal March Madness tournament. If the species that's seeded highest always wins its bracket, the fennec fox will beat out the rest of the division and advance to the final four.

He’s not saying John Bovery will lose in court; there are many avenues of defense available. But according to the letter of the law, his football pool — like many of the basketball pools going on right now in this country — was illegal.

If you’re the one holding the money in your office’s March Madness pool, you might find this a cautionary tale. But as to the question of whether or not your brackets are safe, Edelman says there is some wiggle room.

“Many, but not all, states have what’s known as ‘recreational gaming exceptions,’ ” he says. “The recreational gaming exceptions are what allow a group of six to eight friends to get together and have a poker game within the privacy of their own home, but prevents you from opening up your home to offer a poker game to the outside public.”

So if you keep it small and private, don’t sweat the cops. At least, not much.

Article source: http://www.npr.org/2015/03/28/395983111/the-cautionary-tale-of-a-big-time-bracket-bust

Private equity owner HgCapital sells spread betting giant Sporting Index

Get our morning update in your inbox

Article source: http://www.cityam.com/212305/private-equity-owner-hgcapital-sells-spread-betting-giant-sporting-index

Quebec Remparts to launch electronic 50/50 raffle to benefit education fund … – SYS


<![CDATA[

]]>

TORONTO, March 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Bump 50:50, a division of Sportech Racing and Digital, announced that they have been selected by Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and Canadian Hockey League team, the Quebec Remparts, to provide the software and ancillary services for an electronic 50/50 raffle program to benefit the Quebec Remparts Education Fund. 

Sportech’s Bump 50:50, a leading provider of 50/50 raffles to the charitable foundations of major North American sports teams, will provide point-of-sale software, hardware and central processing services, as well as program design and coordination, sales team training, reporting, and data analytics.

Dan Tanenbaum, President of Bump 50:50, stated, “This marks the second Quebec customer deployment for Sportech’s Bump 50:50 since new province regulations permitting the raffles were passed earlier this year.  We have already achieved impressive results with the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation raffle, generating jackpots that average CN$52K per game.  We fully expect our program to perform similarly well for the fans of the Quebec Remparts, one of the Canadian Hockey League’s most popular teams.”

About Bump 50:50
Sportech’s Bump 50:50 provides the technologies and services to allow charitable foundations affiliated with professional sports teams to design, manage, execute, and promote 50/50 raffle programs.  50/50 raffles help charitable foundations of professional sports teams raise money for the charities they support, leveraging the excitement and passion of fans during live sporting events. Raffle winners and charities share the net raffle proceeds 50/50, making the fans and participating charities equal partners in the success of the program.  More information is available at www.bump5050.com.

About Sportech Racing and Digital:
Sportech Racing and Digital, a division of Sportech PLC, is a leading global provider of wagering technology solutions to licensed racetracks, off-track betting networks, Internet wagering operators and casinos.  In addition to the software, hardware and services that facilitate land-based pari-mutuel wagering, the division provides customized Internet, phone and mobile technologies and services as one of the largest digital wagering technology providers and operators in the U.S.  Through its Bump 50:50 division, Sportech provides technologies and services to allow charitable foundations affiliated with professional sports teams to design, manage, execute, and promote 50/50 raffle programs.  For more information about Sportech, please visit www.sportech.net.

Contact:

Bump 50:50
Dan Tanenbaum
[email protected]
+1 (416) 268-9399

Sportech Racing // Digital
Jennifer Conning
[email protected]
+1 (678) 427-3881

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/quebec-remparts-to-launch-electronic-5050-raffle-to-benefit-education-fund-with-technology-from-sportechs-bump-5050-300056945.html

SOURCE Sportech Racing and Digital

Article source: http://www.sys-con.com/node/3317261

Anchor Capital: Essential market review, 26 March

Corporate Updates
South AfricaPSG Konsult Limited: The financial services company, in its trading statement for FY15, indicated that it expects recurring headline EPS would be between 26.80c and 27.30c, compared with 20.60c posted in the preceding year. Its headline EPS is expected to be between 33.0% and 36.0% higher than reported in the previous year of 20.00c; and attributable EPS to be between 26.70c and 27.30c, compared with 20.40c reported in the last year.Howden Africa Holdings Limited: The industrial equipment supplying company, in its FY14 results, stated that revenue dropped 5.6% from the previous year to R1.59bn. Its headline EPS stood at R4.10, compared with R4.75 recorded in the last year. The company revealed that it would not declare dividend, in the light of the potential BEE ownership transaction.Times Media Group: The media company, in its trading statement for six months ended 31 December 2014, indicated that it expects to announce EPS of 82.00c, a decrease 78.1% from the corresponding period of last year. It anticipates headline EPS of 67.00c, which is 65.8% lower from the same period a year ago.Nampak Limited: The manufacturing company revealed that it would not proceed with the sale of the Sacks division as previously announced and would instead continue to remain part of its operations. Last year, the company announced that it would be disposing of its Corrugated, Sacks and Tissue divisions in South Africa to Ethos Private Equity. As a result, the purchase consideration for the transaction would reduce from R1.58bn to R1.53bn. Meanwhile, the company stated that it has subsequently agreed to sell its Recycling business to Ethos for a purchase consideration of R76.30mn. Additionally; the company indicated that it would be selling its flexible division to Amcor Group for a purchase consideration of between R250.00mn and R300.00mn, dependent on the profitability of the business during the twelve months ending June 2016.

Illovo Sugar Limited: The sugar producing company announced the appointment of Mr. Trevor Munday as Chairman in place of Mr Don MacLeod, with effect from the close of the FY15 AGM.

Investec Australia Property Fund: The company announced that it has entered into a contract for sale with the Trust company to acquire the property located at 21 – 23 Solent Circuit, Baulkham Hills NSW 2153 for AUD38.92mn.

UK and US

Paychex Inc.: The human resources related services company, in its 3Q15 results, indicated that total revenue increased 8.3% from the same period of preceding year to $704.30mn. Its diluted EPS stood at $0.46, compared with $0.44 recorded in the corresponding period of previous year. For FY15, the company expects its net income to grow in the range of 6.0% to 8.0% from FY14.

Red Hat: The software company, in its FY15 results, stated that its total subscription, training and services revenue climbed 16.6% from the previous year to $1.79bn. Its diluted net EPS was $0.95, compared with $0.93 posted in the prior year. Furthermore, the company announced that it has authorised the repurchase of up to $500.00mn of its common stock from time to time on the open market or in privately negotiated transactions. The company also stated that it was honored by Google for Work as the 2014 Global Partner of the Year: Technology.

PVH Corporation: The clothing company, in its FY15 results, revealed that total revenue was up 0.7% to $8.24bn, compare with the prior year. Its diluted net EPS rose to $5.27 from $1.74 recorded in the previous year. The company projected its EPS for FY16 to be in the range of $6.75 to $6.90 on a non-GAAP basis, which reflects the expected $1.30 negative impact related to foreign currency exchange rates and pressures on the company’s Russia businesses.

Verint Systems: The software company, in its FY15 results, indicated that total revenue increased to $1.13bn from $0.91bn recorded in the last year. However, its diluted net EPS decreased to $0.52 from $0.99 posted in the preceding year. For FY16, the company expects revenue in the range of $1.20bn to $1.25bn.

Apollo Education Group: The company, in its 2Q15 results, stated that net revenue dropped 14.0% from the corresponding period of previous year to $578.57mn. It incurred a net diluted loss from its continuing operations of $0.31/share, compared with EPS of $0.15 posted in the same period a year ago. For FY15, the company expects net revenue of $2.63bn to $2.68bn.

Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical: The biopharmaceutical company, in its FY14 results, revealed that its research and development expenses increased to $45.97mn from $27.83mn recorded in the previous year. Its basic and diluted net loss totaled to $2.25/share, compared with a loss of $14.87/share posted in the prior year. The company stated that it is now in or entering Phase 3 for two of its six clinical programmes, and it expects to see Phase 2 data for all four of the others in FY15 or early FY16.

Five Below: The discount store company, in its FY15 results, indicated that net sales increased 27.0% from the last year to $680.22mn. Its diluted net EPS stood at $0.88, compared with $0.59 recorded in the previous year. For 1Q16, net sales are expected to be in the range of $150.00mn to $152.00mn, based on opening 18 new stores and assuming a 1.0% to 2.0% increase in comparable store sales.

Kraft Foods Group: The company alongwith H.J. Heinz announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement to create the Kraft Heinz Company, forming the third largest food and beverage company in North America with an unparalleled portfolio of iconic brands, wherein Kraft shareholders will own 49.0% stake in the combined company, and current Heinz shareholders will own 51.0% on a fully diluted basis.

TUI AG: The company, in its pre-close trading update ahead of its 1H15 results, indicated that it is on track to deliver results ahead of last year on a like-for-like basis. It stated that the winter closing was as expected, with higher average selling prices in most source markets up 1.0% overall and in summer, bookings were up 1.0% and average selling prices were up 1.0%. The company indicated that is confident of delivering full year underlying operating profit growth of 10.0% to 15.0%.

United Utilities Group: The company, in its trading update for FY15, stated that the current trading is in line with its expectations. It indicated that revenue is expected to be slightly higher than last year, reflecting the regulated price allowance for FY15 partly offset by the impact of the previously announced one-off special customer discount of around GBP20.00mn.

Balfour Beatty: The infrastructure company, in its FY14 results, indicated that total revenue dropped 0.7% from the previous year to GBP8.79bn. It reported a diluted loss of 8.60p/share, compared with a loss of 5.10p/share posted in the prior year. The company stated that it would not recommend a final dividend after reporting losses during the year.

Nostrum Oil Gas: The oil and gas company, in its FY14 results, revealed that total revenue dropped 12.6% from the previous year to $781.88mn. It stated that net income was $146.40mn, compared with $220.00mn reported in the prior year. It recommended a final dividend of $0.27/ordinary share, payable on 26 June 2015 to shareholders.

Card Factory: The retail company, in its preliminary FY15 results, stated that revenue increased to GBP353.30mn from GBP326.90mn recorded in the previous year. Its basic and diluted EPS was 10.60p, compared with 7.50p posted in the last year. The company stated that it is confident in the group’s future prospects, and in its ability to continue to grow sales profitably and to increase market share consistently over the medium term.

Stagecoach Group: The transport company announced that its subsidiary, Stagecoach South Western Trains Limited, has agreed a Deed of Amendment (DoA) to the South West Trains franchise with the Department for Transport. The company stated that it does not currently expect the DoA to have a material impact on profit for the remaining period of the South West Trains franchise.

IP Group: The intellectual property business company indicated that Diurnal Limited, in which it holds a 51.7% undiluted beneficial interest, has been granted Orphan Drug designation by the US Food and Drug Administration for its lead product Chronocort.

Financial Times

Website launched to compare current accounts: People will be able to compare current accounts from the big six high street banks for the first time using a government-backed service launched on Thursday by the Gocompare.com website.

Drugs companies unite to mine genetic data: Several of the world’s biggest pharmaceuticals companies have formed a partnership with Genomics England in the first step towards using genetic data from NHS patients in medical research.

Jon Moulton-backed biotech company to list on Aim: A Liverpool-based biotech company, backed by venture capitalist Jon Moulton, will float in London on Friday in a sign of life for Britain’s life science industry beyond the southeast.

Premier League clubs score first collective profit since 1999: Premier League football clubs made their first collective profit in 15 years last season. Clubs kept a lid on wages to avoid falling foul of rules designed to curb the spending of wealthy owners.

MPs question Sports Direct over collapse of USC chain: Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct empire has been branded “a backstreet outfit” that withheld payments to suppliers and landlords by MPs investigating the collapse of its USC fashion chain.

Employers told to factor commission into holiday pay: Employers must take account of commission payments when they calculate holiday pay for their staff, according to a legal ruling that will push up some companies’ wage bills.

BT returns to mobile market with handset offer: BT has returned to the British consumer mobile market with low-cost offers for existing broadband customers in its first move towards offering bundles of telecoms services.

Tata Motors confirms $1.00bn rights issue: Tata Motors has set out plans to raise as much as Rs75.00bn ($1.20bn) through a rights issue, as it seeks to cut debt and jump-start its loss making Indian car business.

FCA proposes ban on selling of opt-out insurance add-ons: Insurance products that customers default into buying will be banned under plans put forward by the UK’s financial watchdog. Monitise rules out sale as founder Alastair Lukies moves on: Once considered a high-flyer of the UK technology scene, the struggling mobile money group Monitise has decided to go it alone – in more ways than one.

AA to raise GBP935.00mn to cut annual interest costs: The AA has unveiled plans to raise almost GBP1.00bn in equity and debt as part of refinancing measures that will allow the roadside assistance group to cut its annual interest costs.

Hungary bows to EU pressure on nuclear fuel deal: Hungary has agreed to EU demands that it diversify its nuclear fuel supply away from Russia, removing one of the main obstacles to the Kremlin-backed expansion of a landmark atomic power plant.

Kraft deal offers glimpse into Berkshire’s future: Warren Buffett turned Berkshire Hathaway into the second-largest company in the US by buying businesses and letting their existing management get on with running them. The times are a-changing.

Investment in financial technology groups triples to $12.00bn in year: Investment in financial technology companies trebled last year, providing a hint of the scale of digital disruption banks face, according to research from Accenture.

RBS raises value of Citizens sale to $3.70bn: Royal Bank of Scotland on Wednesday increased the value of shares it is selling in Citizens Financial to as much as $3.70bn after receiving stronger than expected demand from investors to own a stake in its recently listed US subsidiary.

Facebook opens Messenger to developers: Facebook is betting that its growing messaging app will be its next big revenue generator, mimicking the model of Asian internet companies such as Tencent’s WeChat by integrating other apps.

O2 deal catapults Three from smallest to biggest UK mobile group: Hutchison Whampoa’s GBP10.00bn purchase of UK mobile group O2 from Spain’s Telefónica will catapult Three from being the UK’s smallest mobile group to the biggest, with an enterprise value of more than GBP15.00bn.

Etihad backs IAG EUR1.35bn Aer Lingus bid: Etihad Airways, the third-largest shareholder in Aer Lingus, has said it would sell its stake if Dublin backs International Airlines Group’s EUR1.35bn offer for Ireland’s flagship carrier.

Money supermarket: Dived 3.4% to 276.30p after founder Simon Nixon abandoned plans to sell part of his stake for around GBP100.00mn.

Balfour Beatty: Edged 5.5% higher to 244.00p as bearish investors cut their trades.

Article source: http://www.biznews.com/sa-investing/2015/03/26/anchor-capital-essential-market-review-26-march/

Six cricket bookies arrested in Kolkata

Six people were arrested for allegedly operating a cricket betting racket here and cash, mobile phones and laptops seized from them on Wednesday, police said.

“The bookies from Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal were operating the betting business here and they were using a software to conduct the betting operations… we have seized the software,” Bidhannagar Deputy Commissioner of Police (Detective Department) Kankar Prasad Barui told media persons.

Acting on a tip off, police raided the house at Bangur in the north eastern fringes of the city where the betting racket was being run in the guise of a share trading business.

Police said they seized 14 mobile phones, two laptops, hard disks and Rs.37 lakh cash, among other items.

Barui said the bookies were using mobile phones to fix the rates for the cricket matches in the ongoing World Cup.

“The rates were getting updated every 10 minutes,” he said.

Barui said remittances between Rs.10 lakh to Rs.50 lakh per day were made during the course of the cricket matches.

Police have found names of several people from other states like Delhi who used to place bets on cricket matches.

“We are enquiring about the possibility of a bigger racket or the people behind it,” he said.

–Indo-Asian News Service avr/ssp/vd/vm

( 225 Words)

2015-03-25-17:00:30 (IANS)

Article source: http://news.webindia123.com/news/Articles/Sports/20150325/2560396.html

888 betting on industry consolidation, says chief

There has been an error (403).

The request was seen as incorrect. Please restart the browser and try again.

For help please contact customer services or go to the FT.com homepage.

We apologise for any inconvenience.

Article source: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/d51b183e-d22d-11e4-a225-00144feab7de.html

Contagious Gaming Adds International Soccer Star Rodney Marsh as Goal …

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwired – March 23, 2015) -

NOT FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE US OR THROUGH US NEWSWIRE SERVICES

Contagious Gaming Inc. (TSX VENTURE:CNS) (“Contagious Gaming” or the “Company“) is pleased to announce the addition of Rodney Marsh, former England and Manchester City player, as Contagious Sports’ Goal Time Specialist Commentator. As Goal Time’s Specialist Commentator, Rodney will provide weekly in-depth analysis which includes pre and post-match overview and scoring analytics. The Specialist Commentator content will deliver players an exclusive insight on all relevant up and coming UK soccer matches on the Goal Time Platform.

Peter Glancy, CEO and Director commented: “We are thrilled to welcome Rodney Marsh to Goal Time. He added, “The addition of Rodney’s Specialist Commentator content to our Goal Time Platform enriches the player experience and makes strides in establishing our platform as a one-stop destination for soccer betting, news, and in-depth analysis.” Mr. Glancy also commented, “Rodney was a very special player and a true entertainer, one of the England’s finest.”

Rodney’s coverage will begin in April 2015 and will include matches in the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup games, Championship League Play offs and FA Cup Final.

About Rodney Marsh

Rodney Marsh is an internationally renowned English soccer media personality, and a former player, coach and general manager. Rodney currently hosts a show on SIRIUSXM’s dedicated 24/7 soccer channel.

Rodney Marsh began his football career as a youth player at West Ham United and went on to play professionally for Fulham, Queens Park Rangers, Manchester City, and England. He then played for Tampa Bay Rowdies in the North American Soccer League where he went on to become Head Coach and General Manager.

Following his career as a player, coach and manager, Rodney worked with several leading international media companies including Sky Sports, BBC, CNN, CBS, NBC, ITV, Channel 4, UK TV, ESPN, Yahoo! and Talk Sport. Rodney Marsh has also published two books “I was born a loose Cannon” and his Autobiography “Priceless”.

About Contagious Gaming

Contagious Gaming Inc. (TSX VENTURE:CNS) is a rapidly emerging developer of unique and engaging software solutions for regulated gaming and lottery markets around the world. The Company is currently focused on deploying its first-to-market lottery-style sports betting platform in the United Kingdom and its proprietary digital instant lottery content in United States and other international jurisdictions. Contagious Gaming’s sports betting platform is the first sports betting system to allow players to chase a dynamic jackpot live during Premier League soccer matches. The Company is a first mover in the roll-out of digital instant lottery content in the United States. For more information on Contagious Gaming please visit www.contagiousgaming.com.

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Certain information in this news release is considered forward-looking within the meaning of certain securities laws and is subject to important risks, uncertainties and assumptions. This forward‐looking information includes, among other things, information with respect to the Company’s beliefs, plans, expectations, anticipations, estimates and intentions. The words “may”, “could”, “should”, “would”, “suspect”, “outlook”, “believe”, “anticipate”, “estimate”, “expect”, “intend”, “plan”, “target” and similar words and expressions are used to identify forward‐looking information. The forward-looking information in this news release describes the Company’s expectations as of the date of this news release.

The results or events anticipated or predicted in such forward-looking information may differ materially from actual results or events. Material factors which could cause actual results or events to differ materially from such forward-looking information include, among others, risks arising from general economic conditions and adverse industry events.

The Company cautions that the foregoing list of material factors is not exhaustive. When relying on the Company’s forward-looking information to make decisions, investors and others should carefully consider the foregoing factors and other uncertainties and potential events. The Company has assumed a certain progression, which may not be realized. It has also assumed that the material factors referred to in the previous paragraph will not cause such forward-looking information to differ materially from actual results or events. However, the list of these factors is not exhaustive and is subject to change and there can be no assurance that such assumptions will reflect the actual outcome of such items or factors.

THE FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS NEWS RELEASE REPRESENTS THE EXPECTATIONS OF THE COMPANY AS OF THE DATE OF THIS NEWS RELEASE AND, ACCORDINGLY, IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE AFTER SUCH DATE. READERS SHOULD NOT PLACE UNDUE IMPORTANCE ON FORWARD‐LOOKING INFORMATION AND SHOULD NOT RELY UPON THIS INFORMATION AS OF ANY OTHER DATE. WHILE THE COMPANY MAY ELECT TO, IT DOES NOT UNDERTAKE TO UPDATE THIS INFORMATION AT ANY PARTICULAR TIME.

Article source: http://www.stockhouse.com/news/press-releases/2015/03/23/contagious-gaming-adds-international-soccer-star-rodney-marsh-as-goal-time-s

GVC Holdings: From cash-cow to cash-calf

GVC Holdings From cashcow to cashcalf

TL;DR:

A fairly priced, high yield company GVC Holdings is benefiting from competent management but may never shake off the negative perceptions that surround the online gaming sector.

Background

GVC Holdings began life in 2004 as a speculative venture to take-over the assets of CasinoClub from its private founder. This turned out to be a pretty shrewd move as the platform boasted a solid, profitable and growing audience of German gamblers who enjoyed using the product. On the other hand, as made clear in the AIM admission document, it was a high risk play due to the uncertain regulatory environment, need for a gaming licence and total reliance on Boss Media to provide all software and operations support.

In the five years following this impressive start the company churned out astonishing levels of cash-flow, far in excess of reported profits, and yet after an initial flurry of excitement the stock market remained unconvinced. Logically this might have been down to the unremitting regulatory uncertainty or it might have been because management never pulled their finger out and moved into markets such as Spain and Italy; which is what they’d promised to do on admission. Either way new management signed up in 2007/08 and not a moment too soon as the business began to fall apart in 2010 and headed towards its first ever loss.

The problem with on-line gaming companies, as I understand it, is that it’s a cut-throat, and often unregulated, sector where punters have little loyalty. So brands have to be constantly refreshed, new money attracted, eye-catching jackpots financed and competitors repulsed. It’s a sign of strength that CasinoClub managed to capitalise on its tailored offering for so long; but by 2010 lack of investment caught up with GVC Holdings with sibling brands Betaland, Betpro and Winzingo failing to take up the slack with their low-margin contribution.

Fortunately, in 2012, management demonstrated their acumen by buying Sportingbet in a huge, all-share acquisition; doubling the size of the business to access new markets and improve the cash generation of firm (having totally failed to achieve this organically). Harking back to the glory days of 2004 this brave decision proved a masterstroke; headline growth has returned to the business, cash-flow has recovered and the previously moribund share-price has more or less tripled in three years. The real question, now that this reverse-takeover has bedded in, is whether management can continue growing the business and expand into new regions more successfully than they have done in the past.

Trading history

A key element of GVC Holdings’ attraction for investors is, and always has been, it’s outstanding ability to generate cash. Even when profits slumped in 2010/11 the cash kept accumulating although this happy state of affairs reversed in 2013 as a result of the Sportingbet takeover (driving a hike in technology expenditure and other exceptional charges to deal with its indebted and loss-making state). Either way in the first half of 2014 cash-flow returned with a vengeance and there’s every sign that this trend will continue into the full-year results:

GVC cash flow

The flip-side of this cash-flow is that it has generally been matched by a cash-outflow in the form of dividends. From the outset this company has placed shareholder returns, in the form of ordinary and (recently) special dividends, front and centre. On the whole this has worked out just fine as the business model requires very little in the way of capex or working capital and 60-80% of the net operating cash-flow can be safely disbursed in this manner:

GVC dividends vs cash flow

As might be expected this handsome payout has led to some quite outlandish historic yield values, as the share price has oscillated; over 40% a few times in 2007 and right up to 60% in 2010 (although the latter preceded the dividend being slashed by 2/3). This volatility makes the reasonably stable yield of 8% that has persisted over the last few years appear quite mundane! That said even this level lies in the upper echelon of all shares paying a sustainable dividend in the UK market and is something of an outlier:

GVC yield history

One consequence of so little cash being retained by the business is that it never accrues into a buffer and as there are precious few other tangible assets to speak of then the balance sheet remains weak; this is not an asset-backed business and the bulk of shareholder equity boils down to a mountain of post-acquisition intangible assets. So if we consider the current ratio it’s pretty crummy with assets barely covering the liabilities:

GVC current ratio

On reflection though I don’t consider this to be a problem in that GVC Holdings is very much a cash-in-hand business with punters handing over their credit card details up-front and winnings only being paid out later on. A sign of this is that the vast bulk of receivables consist of funds held by third-party payment processors; these should pay up in a timely and consistent manner, assuming that the customer doesn’t initiate a charge-back, and the recent downward trend in debtor days is both welcome and reflects this type of operation:

GVC debtor days

A side-effect of the weak balance sheet and acquisition led strategy is that while the business is very profitable, with little need for investment in tangible assets, it suffers from a huge overhang of intangibles. This, and a reasonably volatile profit history, is why the ROCE is neither stable nor unusually high. Even so if the full-year results for 2014 come in at twice the half-year results (or better) then we could see the ROCE heading sharply above 20%. Probably best not to get too excited about this though:

GVC ROCE history

On a related note it’s worth considering the margins achievable by an online gambling business since these directly feed into the ROCE calculation (via the operating profit in this case since little cash interest is either paid or made). Back in the early days the margins stood at a stupidly high level but gently declined as GVC Holdings began drumming up trade via third-party affiliates. Latterly though margins are flattening off and perhaps on the rebound to a healthy 20% or so:

GVC margins

A separate margin, which is a KPI for management and worth keeping an eye on, is the sports betting margin. This metric is a composite measure that takes in both the efficiency of trading teams monitoring and pricing sports events together with the robustness by which the impact of adverse results is mitigated. On the whole GVC Holdings appear to have settled at a level of 9-10% but it’s important that this remains the benchmark as sports betting becomes the dominant profit driver:

GVC sports margins

 Special Offer: Invest like Buffett, Slater and Greenblatt. Click here for details »

Linked to margins and profitability, of course, is just how much control the board have over costs within the business. With respect to the Sportingbet acquisition this is what the board had to say: To make the acquisition financially enhancing for our shareholders, deep cuts were needed and it was necessary to reduce the inherited headcount by around a third, which, along with property and other cost reductions, reduced the expenditure base by around 50%. A number of in-house functions were outsourced and GVC has a number of significant partnerships in cost-efficient jurisdictions. GVC sees this as a blueprint for its future expansion. While it’s hard to verify the details here what I can say is that the average salary has been falling for a number of years despite the staff count increasing by an order of magnitude:

GVC staff cost

So it’s reasonable to believe that the directors are concerned about minimising costs within the business and running it efficiently. In other ways they’re certainly acting in the best interest of the shareholders with the high level of distribution coupled to a share count that remained entirely unchanged from 2004 to 2010; latterly, of course, some options have been exercised and Sportingbet shareholders took a large slice of equity but there’s no doubt that this is a self-financing business. In addition director bonuses are directly aligned with the dividend pay-out and while the resulting bonuses are large there’s a contractual requirement for them to re-invest not less than 20% of the post-tax amount back into the company. So again the alignment between executives and owners is strong.

Future prospects

The most recent trading statement in January certainly paints a very positive picture of a business continuing to grow following the World Cup: 2014 ended strongly with Net Gaming Revenue (“NGR”) exceeding €20.3m for the month of December (€656k per day; up 17% on December 2013 at €535k per day) with a sports margin of 9.9% (December 2013: 9.1%).

Even better the current year has started in a similar vein although it would be foolish to draw any conclusions from such a short trading period: 2015 has started strongly. In the eight days to midnight eight January 2015, and compared with the same period in 2014, deposits made by customers grew 22% to an average of €1.6m per day (2014: €1.3m) Sports wagers grew 9.7% to an average of €4.0m per day (2014: €3.6m). Sports margin was a strong 12.8% (2014: 9.4%), leading to a pleasing daily NGR of €779k (2014: €534k).

That said the previous trading statement in December drew a slightly more cautious picture, while remaining encouraging overall: This positive outlook is set against a background that includes the commencement of the UK Point of Consumption tax and the fact that 2015 does not include a major sporting event on the scale of the football World Cup. The Board views the future with confidence.

What goes unmentioned in these statements is any reference to CasinoClub and the fact that the customer base has matured; leaving GVC Holdings to either swallow the decline in NGR or step up marketing efforts in a bid to reactivate lapsed customers. Perhaps, given recent increases in the Gaming NGR over successive quarters, this is less of an issue at the moment but I can’t help feeling some concern about the loss of such profitable business in Germany. At the same time I wonder how much of this NGR growth will drop through to the bottom-line when an increasing proportion of new business is being sourced through affiliates? These middle-men take a hefty chunk of the profit but I suppose that it’s better to have 40% of something rather than 100% of nothing?

Either way all will be revealed on Monday 23rd, with the full year results, and we’ll discover just how closely management have stuck to their given strategy of:

  • investing in and using management expertise to develop highly cash-generative internet gaming and gambling brands
  • providing these services to third parties for a share of revenues
  • running multiple brands across diversified jurisdictions, where each brand is run separately with its own highly incentivised and motivated managers and employees

Conclusion

On the face of it GVC Holdings presents as a turnaround success story with management reporting strong growth and high expectations for the future. Even more appealing the price being asked for the business is not outrageous (although on-line gambling operations tend not to achieve a warm rating) and the yield is high. So what’s the catch? Well to try and avoid over-exuberance I’ve started looking at the reasons why I shouldn’t invest before trying on the bull case and this is how I see things:

Reasons not to invest

  • constant threat of government legislation and litigation
  • weakness in Euro against Sterling impacting dividend payment
  • lack of major sporting events of a similar scale to the World Cup in 2014
  • total reliance on third-party contracts for software offering
  • potential for third-party lawsuits to resolve contractual difficulties
  • poor record of generating commercial organic growth
  • continued decline in profitable ClubCasino gaming
  • financial risk of a significant jackpot(s) being won
  • unknown impact of 15% point of sale tax on profits in UK
  • low level of director holdings

Reasons to invest

  • low price and high dividend yield (even after conversion to Sterling)
  • continued momentum in sports revenue growth and raising of expectations
  • successful integration of Sportingbet from unpromising material
  • expansion into new regions such as Scandinavia
  • recent management track-record in operations and acquisitions
  • actual management action to resolve ongoing lawsuits with Boss Media
  • focus on cost-control and managing outgoings despite growth
  • alignment of management rewards with absolute level of dividend payout
  • good control of share count with no dilution of shareholders
  • simple business model

It has to be said that I find the decision here to be quite finely balanced; there are so many macro considerations where GVC Holdings could be destroyed as a business and yet this hasn’t happened. At a micro level the board are acting effectively and re-building a profitable enterprise. Whether it has a long-term future I don’t know but I guess that the same can be said for any company no matter how stable their niche is.

It’s also true to say that while the firm was once shunned by investors, and left on a very low P/E multiple (5), this is no longer the case. That was definitely a time when online gambling companies active in unregulated markets were viewed in the same light as Chinese companies on AIM are today! However now GVC Holdings sits on a sensible P/E rating just above 10:

GVC price earnings

Given that the full-year results will be released on Monday, and it’s now impossible to trade before then anyway, then both my gut and my head are telling me to wait with GVC Holdings. If the outlook is convincing, with momentum in sports betting driving higher revenue and gaming betting stable, then I may well be tempted to add this stock to my income portfolio. Based on the trading statements this feels like a plausible outcome but if the outlook for 2015 contains elements of uncertainty then I’ll probably hold off and respect the share price fatigue so evident over the last nine months.

Disclosure: the author holds no shares in this company

Article source: http://www.stockopedia.com/content/gvc-holdings-from-cash-cow-to-cash-calf-95149/