The broker who says small firms have to come up with big solutions

first_imgMonday 3 January 2011 10:53 pm KCS-content The conventional wisdom is that it is next to impossible for small firms to raise cash, but Phil Adams, chief executive at independent investment broker Altium, says that the picture is more complicated than that.“It is pretty straightforward to raise cash if you are a well-run high-growth firm expanding by around 15 per cent a year,” says the 43-year-old banker from Liverpool. “But it is harder now if you have a speculative venture or are a start up.”Adams, sitting in the firm’s bright wood-panelled ground-floor meeting room in St James’s Square, adds: “Investors also like to seem a firm that has some exposure to the fast growing markets in Asia or the Middle East. This is because the perception is that the UK and Europe will undergo years of low growth.”The banker, who caters for small and mid cap firms, adds that life in the retail industry “will remain tough” over the year ahead. However, he sees a lot of investor appetite for green energy companies or businesses with a strong ecommerce element. And indeed his bank is investing in these areas by hiring analysts and other staff to work in these sectors.Altium is a mid cap investment bank that raises cash for firms with market capitalisations of between £50m to £250m. It raised £26.5m to take restaurant chain Carluccio’s onto Aim in 2008, and advised on the £178m management buyout of drug maker Goldshield last year.The bank, which was originally created as the finance arm of private equity house Apax Partners in the early 1980s, is retained by 35 clients – including Domino’s Pizza, Irn Bru-maker AG Barr, and retailer Mulberry – and can also offer them financial modelling and debt and turnaround advice. The bank has a regional office in Manchester, and a number of European in cities such as Zurich, Munich, Madrid and Milan. Adams says the firm, which is owned by its 140 employees, turns in sales of £35m a year “in a bull market.” This dropped to around £20m in 2010, in the wake of the financial crisis, when lucrative initial public offerings (IPOs) for banks remained way off the levels seen during the boom just four years ago.Currently, the bank’s business is spilt evenly between its securities and corporate finance arms, but when cash was freer five years ago this split was two thirds/one third in favour of the securities side of the business. The banking industry, particularly at the mid cap level, is living on nervous energy, waiting for the return of the IPO market. This is because the retainers mid cap stockbrokers are paid by clients are quite small, but are accepted on the understanding that they will be allowed to take part when the firm wants to raise some cash. “We operate on success-based fees,” says Adams. “If a deal does not go ahead, we do not make any fees.”The boom times at the start of the decade allowed over 140 brokers to grow up around the Aim market alone. Many observers expected a wave of failures and consolidations in this area after the credit crunch. This has not happened, partly because of the egos and the different cultures that abound between the various brokers, making consolidation painfully hard. But there is another, more prosaic reason: a fundraising brings so much cash into a brokerage it can often survive on this cash for extended periods.Adams says: “The market is overbrokered. There is room for consolidation, but there is not much of it about. It is amazing how weaker houses can keep going. IPOs are superprofits. Firms can keep going on the back of these, even though there are fewer of them around.” Altium was itself the subject of intense merger speculation in 2007, when it came close to a deal with City rival Arden Partners. “We had reasonably meaningful discussions,” Adams admits. “But they came to nothing.” He now says that although they get approaches “the business is very much not for sale.”As an example of how weak the IPO market has been, Adams says his firm has handled 10 public-to-private deals in the last 12 months alone. He says: “You don’t see a lot of public-to-private deals when the IPO market is strong.”However, flotations at the lower end of the market may take some time to come back as investors become more discerning. During the boom years for Aim IPOs throughout much of the last decade, a number of firms came to market with leaky business models and inadequate corporate governance. Some investors paid the price. Adams admits: “A lot of stuff went out on Aim that was not of the right quality.” Some of the firms traditionally operating in the small-cap arena – the likes of Collins Stewart, Numis or Evolution – have reacted to this by trying to take on the bigger investment banks in a bid to attract blue chip clients. Collins Stewart, for instance, became the broker to its FTSE 100 client goldminer Randgold Resources in November. But Adams says Altium has instead tried to cover more of the mid cap area it already occupies. Over the last two years the business has began for the first time to raise cash for other funds, and to move into money management for wealth funds. The business has also spent the last several months trying to get approval to open offices in the Middle East.Adams says: “We have hired a guy out there and he and his team have been working on regulatory approval. We expect this to happen in the first half of next year. This will then allow us to get to the sovereign and family wealth funds out there to raise cash.”The days of IPO superprofits may be off the agenda for a while, but Adams says investors are still willing to lend cash to resourceful companies with strong business plans. He also adds: “Private equity is back in the market strongly, and are paying good prices for firms.”The figures seem to back Adams up. Last year 164 deals were completed worth £18.2bn, compared with just £4.7bn from 122 deals in 2009, according to the Centre for Management Buy-out Research, which is sponsored by Ernst & Young and Barclays Private Equity. The largest buyout deal in the UK was the £2.9bn public-to-private buyout of engineering company Tomkins by US private equity group Onex, but a flurry of smaller deals came underneath that.Sales are undoubtedly being made, but these are still way off their 2007 levels. At the beginning of 2011 the signs are that investors are not ready to swallow the riskier investments they thought little of just four years ago. The City shall soon find out whether this changes as the year progresses.CV | PHIL ADAMSAge: 43Work: Arthur Andersen as a chartered accountant for four years until 1995; joined Apax (as it was called then) in 1996; ran the firm’s Manchester office from 2002 to 2007; became UK chief executive in 2007; became group chief executive in October 2010Education: Nottingham University, where he read Classics Family: Married, four children Lives: Family home in Manchester, Hale and spends three to four days a week in London at the Landsdown HotelHobbies: Liverpool FC, tennis, running The broker who says small firms have to come up with big solutions Sharecenter_img whatsapp whatsapp Show Comments ▼ Tags: NULLlast_img read more

Service sector growth jumps to eight-month high

first_img whatsapp Service sector growth jumps to eight-month high Show Comments ▼ Activity in the dominant services sector expanded at its fastest pace in eight months in January as business recovered after December’s snow disruption, a survey showed, which may bolster the case for higher rates.The purchasing managers’ survey from Markit/CIPS also showed a record jump in input cost inflation in the services sector, which is likely to worry Bank of England policymakers who hold their rate-setting meeting next week.The headline services PMI activity index rose to 54.5 in January from a 20-month low of 49.7 in December, the highest since last May and well above forecasts for a reading of 51.4.Markit said some businesses had received additional orders in January, displaced from December because of the snow.“The service sector rebounded in January as the country thawed out from the coldest December in a century,” said Chris Williamson, chief economist at survey compiler Markit.“But the underlying trend remains one of only very modest growth, and well down on the strong rate seen in the first half of last year,” he added.He said that taken together, this week’s PMI surveys indicated the economy was growing at an underlying quarterly rate of around 0.4 per cent.The Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee is divided over whether to raise interest rates from record lows to tackle above-target inflation or wait longer to see how the recovery fares.Britain’s economy contracted by 0.5 per cent in the last quarter of 2010, a worrying development for a government that is introducing deep cuts to public spending. whatsapp John Dunne center_img by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeTotal PastThe Ingenious Reason There Are No Mosquitoes At Disney WorldTotal PastLuxury SUVs | Search AdsThese Cars Are So Loaded It’s Hard to Believe They’re So CheapLuxury SUVs | Search AdsBlood Pressure Solution4 Worst Blood Pressure MedsBlood Pressure SolutionBrake For ItThe Most Worthless Cars Ever MadeBrake For ItSerendipity TimesInside Coco Chanel’s Eerily Abandoned Mansion Frozen In TimeSerendipity TimesBetterBe20 Stunning Female AthletesBetterBeBlood Pressure For LifeWhy Doctors May No Longer Prescribe Blood Pressure MedsBlood Pressure For LifeLiver Health1 Bite of This Melts Belly And Arm Fat (Take Before Bed)Liver HealthAlphaCute30 Rules That All “Hells Angels” Have To FollowAlphaCute Thursday 3 February 2011 4:55 am Tags: NULL More From Our Partners Police Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgKansas coach fired for using N-word toward Black playerthegrio.comNative American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgLA news reporter doesn’t seem to recognize actor Mark Currythegrio.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgFans call out hypocrisy as Tebow returns to NFL while Kaepernick is still outthegrio.comRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comColin Kaepernick to publish book on abolishing the policethegrio.comBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.org Sharelast_img read more

CHALLENGE FOR CITY FIRMS TO GO OFF ROAD

first_img KCS-content CHALLENGE FOR CITY FIRMS TO GO OFF ROAD whatsapp FOR frustrated finance workers who fancy themselves as a bit of a Bear Grylls-type come the weekend, CARE International’s Finance Adventure Challenge might be just the opportunity to show your colleagues what you’re made of. City A.M. is supporting the Challenge this summer, giving City professionals a chance to ditch the suits and prove their mettle stretches further than the boardroom. It takes place in Exmoor on 25 June, and will see corporate teams from financial firms pitted against each other in a series of testing trials, including cycling, canoeing and hiking. For real suckers for punishment there’s even a mystery bonus stage – an extra hour of challenges pitched to the most competitive members in the field. But the more cerebral types shouldn’t be put off by the physical demands of the course – it also promises to test teams’ mental ability, and with fundraising targets set at £3,000 per team, companies will need to call on their best mathematical brain to make sure that all the effort is worthwhile. Funds raised will support CARE International’s poverty-fighting work in over 70 countries, which includes microfinance projects and village savings and loans schemes.Website: www.carechallenge.org.uk/financeTel: 020 7934 9470SEAL OF APPROVALIn the first six months following their launch in July 2010, tourists, commuters and weekend daytrippers have cycled to the moon and back 13 times on their ‘Boris’ bikes ?– and the distance is likely to skyrocket even further once the scheme is extended out towards Canary Wharf.So the scheme’s 110,000 registered users will be delighted to hear that their chosen mode of transport is now also officially “cool”, having just been nominated for a Brit Insurance Design Award. Tagged as “the Oscars of the design world”, the awards recognise innovation in architecture, fashion, furniture, graphics, interactive, products and transport. The bikes face stiff competition in their category, with the world’s first folding electric bicycle and the Riversimple hydrogen car also up for the prize, which will be announced on 15 March at the Design Museum. But the blue bikes’ supporters will surely be heaving a sigh of relief that they’re not nominated in the “interactive” category alongside ultra-addictive iPhone game Angry Birds. Not even Colin Firth would want to be shortlisted next to a competitor like that.GIFTS KEEP ON GIVINGIf there were any doubt that the British entrepreneurial spirit lives on, a simple eBay search this morning would prove otherwise. Just hours after the end of Sunday night’s Bafta ceremony, freebies from the heavily-sponsored goodie bags started appearing on the popular auction site. Top of the search pile last night was a Bafta-themed Lancome skincare and make-up gift set in a red carpet box ?– yours for just £20 “brand new, unused and unopened” – proving perhaps that high-street products just aren’t enough to impress those more used to having private access to London’s best botox experts. But The Capitalist sincerely hopes that no one whose other halves attended the ceremony received a Hotel Chocolat solid chocolate Bafta mask as their Valentines Day present. There’s entrepreneurial, and then there’s just plain cheap. Monday 14 February 2011 9:57 pm Tags: NULL whatsapp More From Our Partners Fans call out hypocrisy as Tebow returns to NFL while Kaepernick is still outthegrio.comNative American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgKansas coach fired for using N-word toward Black playerthegrio.comBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.orgFort Bragg soldier accused of killing another servicewoman over exthegrio.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgColin Kaepernick to publish book on abolishing the policethegrio.comBiden received funds from top Russia lobbyist before Nord Stream 2 giveawaynypost.comPorsha Williams engaged to ex-husband of ‘RHOA’ co-star Falynn Guobadiathegrio.comSupermodel Anne Vyalitsyna claims income drop, pushes for child supportnypost.comA ProPublica investigation has caused outrage in the U.S. this weekvaluewalk.comKiller drone ‘hunted down a human target’ without being told tonypost.comLA news reporter doesn’t seem to recognize actor Mark Currythegrio.comFlorida woman allegedly crashes children’s birthday party, rapes teennypost.comMan on bail for murder arrested after pet tiger escapes Houston homethegrio.com980-foot skyscraper sways in China, prompting panic and evacuationsnypost.com Show Comments ▼ Sharelast_img read more

WALL STREET WEEK AHEAD

first_img Tags: NULL Investors will continue to ride the speediest rally in US stocks since the Great Depression despite growing concerns the market is overbought and due for a correction.Wall Street posted its third consecutive week of gains with the S&P 500 now up 6.8 per cent for the year and more than 20 per cent in just six months. “I’ve never seen a market like this,” said Paul Mendelsohn, chief investment strategist at Windham Financial Services in Vermont, a market watcher for 35 years.“I’m showing, by every technical and quantitative standard I have, this market is at extreme levels. But no matter where we start out in the morning, buyers come in.”The trend of stocks starting off lower in the morning session but ending higher by the afternoon has been ongoing for weeks as investors view the small dips as reasons to buy.But there is a perceptible level of anxiety in the market. Trading volume has been exceptionally low recently and the CBOE Volatility Index, Wall Street’s so-called fear gauge, is up on the week despite the gains in stocks.The index is usually inversely correlated to the S&P 500, and a rise in the VIX typically means a drop in the stock market.The VIX, which ended at 16.43, up 4.7 per cent on the week, is still low but substantially higher than in recent months. It suggests investors see more share gyrations ahead.The driving force behind the rally is the money that poured into riskier assets like stocks in the last quarter of 2010 after the US Federal Reserve pledged to keep interest rates low.About 7.13bn shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange, NYSE Amex and Nasdaq on Friday, below last year’s daily average of 8.47bn. whatsapp Sunday 20 February 2011 10:14 pm Show Comments ▼ KCS-content whatsapp Share Read This NextRicky Schroder Calls Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl ‘Ignorant Punk’ forThe WrapNew England Patriots’ Cam Newton says no extra motivation from Mac Jones’SportsnautCNN’s Brian Stelter Draws Criticism for Asking Jen Psaki: ‘What Does theThe Wrap’Sex and the City’ Sequel Series at HBO Max Adds 4 More ReturningThe WrapDid Donald Trump Wear His Pants Backwards? Kriss Kross Memes Have AlreadyThe WrapPink Floyd’s Roger Waters Denies Zuckerberg’s Request to Use Song in Ad:The WrapHarvey Weinstein to Be Extradited to California to Face Sexual AssaultThe Wrap’Black Widow’ First Reactions: ‘This Is Like the MCU’s Bond Movie’The Wrap’The View’: Meghan McCain Calls VP Kamala Harris a ‘Moron’ for BorderThe Wrap WALL STREET WEEK AHEAD last_img read more

UBS chief Gruebel waives bonus

first_img UBS chief Gruebel waives bonus Show Comments ▼ by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeMisterStoryWoman Files For Divorce After Seeing This Photo – Can You See Why?MisterStoryMoneyPailShe Was A Star, Now She Works In ScottsdaleMoneyPailTotal PastThe Ingenious Reason There Are No Mosquitoes At Disney WorldTotal PastPeople TodayNewborn’s Strange Behavior Troubles Mom, 40 Years Later She Finds The Reason Behind ItPeople TodaySerendipity TimesInside Coco Chanel’s Eerily Abandoned Mansion Frozen In TimeSerendipity TimesBetterBe20 Stunning Female AthletesBetterBeElite HeraldExperts Discover Girl Born From Two Different SpeciesElite Heraldautooverload.comDeclassified Vietnam War Photos The Public Wasn’t Meant To Seeautooverload.comDrivepedia20 Of The Most Underrated Vintage CarsDrivepedia John Dunne Oswald Gruebel, chief executive of UBS, is the first head of a major bank to say he will forego his 2010 bonus after the wealth manager’s share price fell during the year.While the Swiss bank has succeeded in stemming wealth management outflows – one of Gruebel’s stated priorities – and returned to profit in 2010, the CEO renounced his payout for the second successive year.“The fact that the share price did not increase in 2010 has led to Mr Gruebel’s decision,” UBS said in a statement.The bank said Gruebel, who was brought out of retirement two years ago to revive UBS, was entitled to a bonus based on profit, an improvement in results and progress towards medium-term strategic goals.UBS shares fell 4.4 per cent in 2010 but outperformed the Stoxx European Banks index .SX7P, which dropped 11.6 per cent.Like Gruebel, many other CEOs at top banks renounced their bonus for 2009.But many have said they will take their awards for 2010 while others are expected to do so after profits recovered and political pressure eased on them to pass up extra payments.Some have taken their bonus in deferred share awards. Sharecenter_img Tags: NULL whatsapp whatsapp Friday 4 March 2011 10:50 am Read This NextRicky Schroder Calls Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl ‘Ignorant Punk’ forThe WrapCNN’s Brian Stelter Draws Criticism for Asking Jen Psaki: ‘What Does theThe WrapDid Donald Trump Wear His Pants Backwards? Kriss Kross Memes Have AlreadyThe WrapPink Floyd’s Roger Waters Denies Zuckerberg’s Request to Use Song in Ad:The WrapHarvey Weinstein to Be Extradited to California to Face Sexual AssaultThe Wrap2 HFPA Members Resign Citing a Culture of ‘Corruption and Verbal Abuse’The Wrap’Black Widow’ First Reactions: ‘This Is Like the MCU’s Bond Movie’The Wrap’The View’: Meghan McCain Calls VP Kamala Harris a ‘Moron’ for BorderThe WrapKatt Williams Explains Why He Believes There ‘Is No Cancel Culture’ inThe Wraplast_img read more

Zeal shareholders approve Lotto24 acquisition bid

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Shareholders of London-listed lottery brokerage Zeal Network have voted in favour of necessary preconditions for the company’s disputed takeover offer for its former subsidiary Lotto24.At the meeting, which was held despite lottery betting operator and Zeal shareholder Lottoland calling for its postponement, 60% of shareholders voted in favour of the required capital increase to facilitate the all-share deal.Shareholders also waived the requirement for Günther Group to make a full takeover offer for the combined business, with 51% voting in favour of this move. The investment vehicle will own 30% of the combined Zeal and Lotto24 business, meaning that under German company law it would have been required to file a bid to take full ownership of the new entity. Günther Group was not able to vote on this resolution.“Our plan to reunite Zeal and Lotto24 offers a fantastic opportunity for sustainable growth and creates significant value – for shareholders of both companies, customers and the German Federal States and their lottery beneficiaries,” Zeal chief executive Dr Helmut Becker (pictured) said.“We are pleased that Zeal’s shareholders share our vision and today approved the important preconditions which now enable us to make our offer for Lotto24,” he continued. “We look forward to launching our offer to Lotto24 shareholders shortly and to bringing our organisations together.Plans for the acquisition, which would see Zeal retake control of the subsidiary that was spun off in 2012, were first announced in November 2018. The deal aims to create a lottery brokerage giant, with billings of around €500m (£440.7m/$570.1m), a customer database of five million and a diversified international footprint.It will also see Zeal pivot its Germany-facing Tipp24 lottery betting business into brokerage following the Lotto24 combination.However, the acquisition has been attacked by Lottoland, which claims the deal will only benefit a small number of shareholders, and destroys value for the majority of investors. The lottery betting giant first attempted to have today’s Extraordinary General Meeting delayed – something Zeal said would force it to withdraw its offer – then lodged a €76m bid for Zeal’s Tipp24 business.This offer was rejected by Zeal, which said the bid significantly undervalued its German business, and would strip the business of its most valuable asset.Having secured shareholder approval for the Lotto24 acquisition, Zeal will announce the beginning of the acceptance period for the takeover once its Offer Document is approved by the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin). It expects the acceptance period to begin by the end of January. 18th January 2019 | By contenteditor Topics: Lottery Zeal shareholders approve Lotto24 acquisition bid Lottery Email Address Tags: Mobile Online Gambling Regions: Europe UK & Ireland Central and Eastern Europe Germany Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Shareholders of London-listed lottery brokerage Zeal Network have voted in favour of necessary preconditions for the company’s disputed takeover offer for its former subsidiary Lotto24.last_img read more

RGC chief joins All-in Diversity Project advisory board

first_img The All-in Diversity Project has appointed Shelley White, chief executive of the Responsible Gambling Council (RGC), to its advisory board. Canadian White now joins a number of other key industry figures on the board and will support the not-for-profit initiative with its efforts to promote diversity across the gambling industry. White has led the RGC since 2017, prior to which she held a number of executive positions in the non-profit sector in her native Canada. “Creating diverse, equitable and inclusive organisations and communities where individuals feel valued, included and can thrive is extremely important to me,” White said. “I have been involved in this work for 20 years, and I have seen first-hand the extraordinary difference it makes in people’s careers and lives.” Kelly Kehn, co-founder of the All-in Diversity Project, added: “We are delighted to have Shelley join us, her a deep knowledge of the industry as well as a passion to see it improve and thrive is invaluable to the project.  “Her addition to our board means a great expansion into having a voice in Canada and pushing diversity and inclusion in this territory.” Other members of the All-in Diversity Project advisory board include Jan Jones Blackhurst of Caesars Entertainment, Susan Hensel, director of licensing for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, and Holly Cook Macarro, a partner at Spirit Rock Consulting. Launched in 2017, the All-in Diversity Project is committed to promoting diversity, inclusion and workplace equality in the global gambling sector. Founding members include the likes of Paddy Power Betfair, Caesars Entertainment and IGT. The initiative has also gained the support of a number of regulatory bodies including the Massachusetts Gaming Commission and, as of last month, the Malta Gaming Authority. The All-in Diversity Project has appointed Shelley White, chief executive of the Responsible Gambling Council (RGC), to its advisory board. Email Address AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Casino & games Subscribe to the iGaming newslettercenter_img RGC chief joins All-in Diversity Project advisory board Tags: Card Rooms and Poker Online Gambling OTB and Betting Shops 25th March 2019 | By contenteditor Topics: Casino & games Sports betting Strategy Pokerlast_img read more

Panorama: the fall-out

first_img Regions: UK & Ireland 20th August 2019 | By Daniel O’Boyle Topics: Legal & compliance Legal & compliance Tags: Online Gambling AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Panorama: the fall-out In the wake of last week’s damning BBC report on the industry’s treatment of those addicted to gambling, operators are keen to show they’ve made massive changes. However those campaigning for stricter regulations on operators say they are still hearing similar stories to those featured on the programme. In the wake of last week’s damning BBC report on the industry’s treatment of those addicted to gambling, operators are keen to show they’ve made massive changes. However those campaigning for operators to make massive changes say they are still hearing similar stories to those featured on the programme.The Panorama episode, Addicted to Gambling, focused on the industry’s reliance on problem gamblers and claimed leading UK operators did not perform sufficient checks on possible problem gamblers. It’s not just a symptom of wider public distrust – players are unhappy too, with Panorama revealing that complaints regarding operators have rocketed by almost 5,000% in the past five years. Coming when the industry is working on high profile social responsibility and responsible gaming efforts in a bid to improve public perception, the timing could not have been worse.In the Gambling Commission’s 2018 report on gambling behaviour and attitudes, 71% of respondents said operators were ‘not serious’ when they say they want people to gamble responsibly. In the same report, 71% agreed with the statement that gambling is dangerous for family life, 58% agreed that gambling should be discouraged and 25% agreed that it would be better if gambling was banned altogether. The broadcast will only serve to fan these fires of distrust.Among the case studies featured in the episode was Tony, who stole money to fund a gambling addiction. Tony claimed that Ladbrokes did not perform source-of-funds checks for his deposits and was instead granted access to Ladbrokes’ VIP programme. After quitting gambling for five months, Tony received a £10,000 bonus from the VIP programme, which he said led to a relapse.The programme also included interviews with a former JackpotJoy customer, “Amanda,” who lost £633,000 on over a period of six years. She was bombarded with bonuses, including a £1,000 in cash when the company found out her father passed away.The operators’ responses to these cases were simple: this happened in the past, and we’ve changed.GVC Holdings – which acquired Ladbrokes Coral in 2018 – said case studies such as Tony’s are not representative of the company since the acquisition, and that GVC had made efforts to improve how Ladbrokes approaches problem gambling.“The case featured by Panorama dates back to 2013-2016, prior the acquisition of Ladbrokes Coral by GVC in 2018,” the company said. “Since then the group has transformed its safer gambling processes, having made significant investment, not only financial but also in terms of human resources and technological advancements.”JackpotJoy parent company JPJ Group, meanwhile, said that they did make efforts to guide Amanda towards responsible gambling tools.“We are deeply sympathetic to the unfortunate personal circumstances experienced by Amanda during her playing period with us. As a loyal customer, we had frequent and personal engagement with Amanda in 2014, the period highlighted in the programme, which involved advising on and encouraging the use of our responsible gambling tools.“This included the use of deposit limits, cooling-off periods and alternative withdrawal methods; tools which Amanda was aware of and used during the time she played with us.”However JPJ also attacked Panorama, claiming that the programme was misleading in its presentation of the time in which the events shown occurred. The operator stated its approach to problem gambling has improved as regulatory requirements changed.“We are also disappointed that Panorama decided to portray the period and events discussed as very recently when in fact they took place in mid-2014,” JPJ said. “We have always acted in accordance with the relevant regulatory requirements, as we understood them to be at the time. These requirements have significantly evolved over time and notably so since the time when Amanda was playing regularly with us.“As a consequence, our responsible gambling strategy has also evolved. This has led to ongoing investment in customer service and new technologies, which allow our customers to enjoy a fun and safe playing environment. We have closed thousands of accounts and completely re-engineered our systems and processes in order to ensure that all our players stay within their own personal limits.”There is indeed evidence of positive change, as evidenced by GVC’s Changing for the Bettor responsible gaming initiative. This includes a $5m research project into responsible gambling in conjunction with Harvard Medical School and a doubling of the company’s donation to research, education and treatment on problem gambling to 0.2% of gross gaming revenue.This has been adopted by the UK’s ‘big five’ operators – Sky Betting & Gaming, Flutter Entertainment, William Hill, bet365 as well as GVC – which have committed to increasing RG funding to 1% of gross gaming yield by 2023. The quintet will also collaborate on problem gambling research and increase safer gambling messaging in advertising. This follows the so-called whistle to whistle advertising ban around live sports broadcasts, that came into effect from 1 August.However, while operators stressed that they have improved since the events highlighted in the episode took place, responsible gambling campaigners have been less sure that enough has been done.Matt Zarb-Cousin, director of gamling-blocking software Gamban, spokesman for the Campaign for Fairer Gambling and leading voice in the campaign to reduce of the maximum stake on FOBTs, said while some improvements may have been made, cases similar to those highlighted on the programme remain too common.“I’m certainly still hearing similar stories to those covered by Panorama,” he said. “I’m not saying the companies haven’t improved but I think there’s still a long way to go.”Zarb-Cousin said he understood it was difficult for companies to self-regulate in a way that may harm their bottom line. This, however, meant that the onus fell on the regulator to force through necessary changes. “Operators are in a difficult position because they have to justify everything they do to their shareholders,” Zarb-Cousin said. “They can’t go to shareholders and say, ‘We’re going to reduce our profits this year because we’re introducing measures that our competitors aren’t.’“So the regulator has to solve that with meaningful solutions that can be applied across the whole sector and the whole gambling industry.“Reducing harm would mean significantly reducing gross revenue in the short term,” he explained. “This means that any measures that would actually be significant in reducing harm can’t be introduced unilaterally, they have to be implemented on a regulatory level.”During the programme, gambling commission chief Neil McArthur remained unconvinced by the need for this kind of top-down regulation, stating that “operators ought to be able to keep players safe and keep them from becoming at risk of problem gambling.”The Gambling Commission has issued penalty packages to operators for failing social responsibility and source-of-funds checks, including £5.9m from Ladbrokes Coral in July after ruling the company, “failed to put in place effective safeguards to prevent consumers suffering gambling harm and against money laundering.” However, Zarb-Cousin said he believed it was the responsibility of the regulator to introduce further checks including deposit limits and affordability checks across the entire industry – something McArthur argued against.”The regulator and the government need to step up with solutions that can be applied across the industry, whether that’s affordability checks that can’t be circumvented, the same for deposit limits, there’s things that can be done through overarching industry collaboration through the regulator that would be effective. I think until it’s applied across the industry it’s not going to be affected. There’s going to have to be some kind of joined-up approach.”Zarb-Cousin added that he felt VIP programmes in general often find themselves too close to encouraging problem gambling, and that reducing focus on ‘high-roller’ gamblers in favour of casual punters – a move undertaken by SkyBet – could prove to be financially beneficial in the long run.“Ending VIP programmes is probably welcome,” Zarb-Cousin said. “If it’s too difficult to differentiate between high rollers and problem gamblers it’s probably for the best that those practices can end. It’s possible for the industry to get to a place where customers aren’t losing more than they can afford. If operators can build these relationships instead that last 10-20 years, then that’s much more sustainable for the longer term – politically and commercially – for everyone.” Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Email Addresslast_img read more

WV sports betting revenue reaches $13.8m in first half

first_img Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter WV sports betting revenue reaches $13.8m in first half Sports betting revenue in West Virginia amounted to $13.8m (£10.5m/€12.4m) in the first six months of the state’s fiscal year, with retail the primary source of income for licensed operators.Consumers spent a total of $144.5m and won $128.7m during the period, which included the six days to the start of the fiscal year on July 1. The reporting period ran for six months through to December 28, 2019.Retail was responsible for $9.1m of overall sports wagering revenue during the period, with players spending $87.8m and winning $76.8m.Mobile revenue stood at $5.0m for the six months, which returned to West Virginia in August 2019, when FanDuel rolled out a new app in partnership with The Greenbrier, closely followed by DraftKings.The mobile market had remained dormant as a result of the dispute between Delaware North and Miomni Gaming. Delaware North’s BetLucky app, powered by Miomni, went offline less than two months after launching in December 2018.Read the full story on iGB North America.Image: Nicolas Raymond Regions: US West Virginia 8th January 2020 | By contenteditorcenter_img Finance Sports betting revenue in West Virginia amounted to $13.8m in the first six months of the state’s fiscal year, with retail the primary source of income for licensed operators. Topics: Finance Sports betting Email Addresslast_img read more

Atemi sees revenue and NDCs climb in Q1

first_img Performance marketing specialist Atemi has reported a year-on-year rise in revenue and new depositing customers (NDCs) during the first quarter, while the business is forecasting forecast further growth in Q2 despite the ongoing novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Finance Atemi sees revenue and NDCs climb in Q1 Email Address Performance marketing specialist Atemi has reported a year-on-year rise in revenue and new depositing customers (NDCs) during the first quarter, while the business is forecasting forecast further growth in Q2 despite the ongoing novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.Revenue in the three months to 31 March amounted to $11.7m (£9.5m/€10.6m), which Atemi said was an increase of 54% on the same period last year.Atemi also saw a 74% year-on-year increase in NDCs for the first quarter, saying that while its was impacted by the pandemic, it was not relaiant on sports wagering traffic, allowing the business to grow.As such, Atemi said it expects growth to continue into the second quarter, with its founder Richard Skelhorn adding that this should continue in the second half of the year as sporting schedules start to return to normal.“We’re pleased with another amazing quarter,” Skelhorn said. “We continue to operate and grow without taking on debt obligations and we are really fortunate not to rely on sporting events or large content teams at this particular time.”In March, Atemi said that despite the global outbreak of coronavirus, it would guarantee every staff member’s role and pay, going as far as to offer support if spouses or partners are laid off.“We want to ensure our team are 100% not reliant on government subsidies or public transportation and feel healthy and financially secure,” Skelhorn said.“Additionally we have added to our HR recruitment team as we look to scale up our product development, software engineering and marketing efforts at a time when other companies are releasing high quality talent.”Looking ahead to the third and fourth quarters, Skelhorn said that in addition to incremental growth in sports betting, assuming events and competitions return to normal, non-gaming projects would diversyify the business’ revenue streams. These initiatives include new global partnerships with Amazon and Disney+.“Our goal was to break $50m in revenue this year and we still believe in this target despite the challenges the world faces,” he said. “We continue to deliver the highest quality players to our clients globally and more operators each month realize Atemi is at the very top of the value chain and leading the market in regulatory compliance.”center_img Topics: Finance Marketing & affiliates Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Tags: Online Gambling 19th May 2020 | By contenteditorlast_img read more