Monthly Archives: July 2018

Ireland president: Gambling and sports don’t mix

The president of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, doesn’t believe that sports and gambling need to share the same space. In an interview with RTE Radio One for its Sunday Sport broadcast, the septuagenarian leader indicated that he would approve legislation banning gambling advertising at all sporting events in the country.

Higgins went on to say that he believes that sports should be protected from gambling companies, arguing that sports gambling addiction over the past several years has reached epidemic proportions.  He said, “The often-secret addiction has grown in sport in recent years – and a number of high profile sports people have talked about their stories of addiction. I just think [sport] should be protected from it. There is no one being heavy about it. What you can do is through education obviously, through the school systems.

“As well as that, we do need, and it’s not for me as President [to do something] as I’m no influence except to say what I think, is that the integrity of sport means having care for everyone who participates. Having care for everyone who participates means not exposing them when in fact they are vulnerable. How you deal with vulnerabilities is by preparing them of course.

“But you can’t do everything through education. For too long in Ireland we often ignore problems that are staring us in the face.”

Riot Games follow traditional sports by asking cities to pitch for LCS spots

League of Legends developer, Riot Games, has begun conversations with 300 cities, after putting the European League of Legends Championship Series pitch out to tender in a bid to improve value for the fans. 

If you had the choice to hold the FIFA World Cup in the USA, Australia, Japan, South Korea or Qatar, where do we end up?

It’s not an easy choice, right?

But there is a process of elimination that can make it a little easier. You start by removing the countries where it would be obscene to host a World Cup, and in that case, the first country scratched off the list is Qatar. And yet the FIFA chose to give the 2022 World Cup to that very nation. August 2018 featured conferences & events Bitcoin Rebirth Party 

To celebrate the day that Bitcoin returned to its original roots, will be hosting a Bitcoin Rebirth Party in a secret location in London on August 1. Fellow Bitcoin BCH enthusiasts will be celebrating at organized parties in Hong Kong, Paris and beyond, making August 1st a true global celebration.

In the words of our sister site, CoinGeek founder Calvin Ayre describes the upcoming August 1 event as “a great moment in the history of money.” It’s also a good time to remind the Bitcoin BCH community that the work is far from over—there still the need to fully restore the original Bitcoin protocol and lock it down to preserve the “battle-tested” protocol.  

What: Bitcoin Rebirth Party

EPT Barcelona to hand out 10 Platinum Passes; Neymar on his ‘inner boy.’

Poker players heading to the European Poker Tour in Barcelona are in for a treat after the team announced plans to dish out ten platinum passes, and Neymar Jr earns his first Hendon Mob cash at the Brazilian Series of Poker.

I’ve just watched Bryn Kenney call an all-in bet for his tournament life with nothing but ace-high. I know what you’re thinking. Kenney calling with ace high is as familiar as the smell of cordite that follows the firing of a gun.

But he was playing an HKD 2,000,000 (USD 254,000), and he was in for two bullets!

Over half a million dollars!

SoftGamings and SA Gaming announce partnership

1 AUGUST 2018, VALETTA/MALTA, RIGA/LATVIA: SoftGamings and SA Gaming today announced the availability of SA Gaming online casino gaming software on the SoftGamings platform.

SoftGamings is an online casino developer and gaming systems aggregator, which is growing fast and adding quality content to its products portfolio regularly. The company has signed an agreement with SA Gaming, a veteran of developing casino games, to offer a range of live, slot and multiplayers games.

The SA Gaming collection of games includes traditional and western Live games, Hot Model slots, Asian-themed slot games and other content. Provider’s games are recognised in the i-gaming industry, having received ‘Best Online Casino Solution’ in Asia Gaming Awards 2017.

SA Gaming Live suite include all the game types that players may like – Baccarat, Dragon Tiger, Sic Bo, Fan Tan, Blackjack and Roulette, focusing on Asian and European markets. Group appoints Matti Metsola as head of legal Group Plc is pleased to announce the appointment of Matti Metsola for the newly created role of Head of Legal. Metsola joins the group from Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) where he served as GiG’s first General Counsel.

Metsola says: “The affiliate sector is among the most dynamic parts of the online gaming industry right now with vast opportunities coming along thick and fast, including the prospect of a large, legal sports betting market in the United States. With its visionary leadership Group is in prime position to capitalize on those developments, and I’m thrilled to become part of it.”

Metsola is a familiar name in the industry, having over 10 years of experience both as a legal practitioner and in-house counsel for prominent companies like Unibet (now Kindred Group), Mr Green and GiG.

Charles Gillespie, CEO of Group welcomes Metsola to the company, “We are happy to see Matti join the team and bring with him a wealth of experience from managing demanding regulatory projects in the industry.”

Caesars races to cash in on NJ, Mississippi sports betting market

Casino operator Caesars Entertainment Corp. (CEC) officially joined its rivals in the sports betting market derby, right on the heels of one Atlantic City casino that has started taking sports bets this week.

Bally’s Wild Wild West have started accepting sports bets on Monday morning, while its sister casino Harrah’s Resort will open its doors to punters on Wednesday, according to CEC. This makes the twin gambling facilities the third and fourth casinos to offer sports betting in Atlantic City.

Bally’s temporary sportsbook operation inside Wild Wild West reportedly has 30 leather chairs placed right in front of three large television screens and five smaller screens. Bally’s has converted its shuttered cashier windows to sports wagering windows. Harrah’s sports wagering space looks quite similar to Bally’s, although Harrah’s only has 28 leather chairs, six high-top tables and five screens for viewing.

CEC also plans to bring sports betting in Mississippi by mid-August through its casino properties, Horseshoe Tunica and Harrah’s Gulf Coast resorts.

Genting Hong Kong trims losses in H1 FY18

Business of Hong Kong-listed gaming investor Genting Hong Kong sailed smoothly in the first half of 2018, resulting in the company expecting its net loss to go down by at least 17 percent.

In a regulatory filing, Genting Hong Kong estimated that its consolidated net loss for the first six months of 2018 to be around US$150 million to US$170 million. The estimate is lower than the US$205.4 million net loss it incurred for the six months that ended June 30, 2017.

Genting’s optimism boiled down to the improved business performance of its cruise segment for January to June 2018 period. If not for the lower cost capitalization in the shipyards, Genting said that its net loss might have been lower than its expectation.

However, the Hong Kong-based firm noted that it did not take into account the group’s share of results from Travellers International Hotel Group, Inc. “as Travellers is a listed company on an overseas stock exchange and its results have not been announced.”

On Las Vegas Sands and margin calls, a dip-buying lesson for us all

In one of the most spectacular events of overselling in recent history, Las Vegas Sands lost over 99% of its capital value in the 16 months from October 2007 to March 2009. This happened even though the casino was never in any sort of existential, or arguably even any major strategic danger during the last financial crisis. Revenues were even growing, though impairments and doubtful accounts were forcing the casino into losses. But the beauty of balance sheet impairments and doubtful accounts is that they are by their very nature temporary. Obviously business wasn’t exactly booming while the world was in a financial panic, so a decline of, say, 50-70% wouldn’t have been out of the ordinary, but nothing that warranted the stock falling over 99% from its peak.

What causes this is margin calls. When you are forced to sell, you sell at whatever the price is, whenever your broker wants her money back. It’s going to happen again. Margin is not the cause of crashes, but an aggravator of them, because debt pushes prices higher than they would otherwise go, meaning stocks have longer to fall before reaching bottom. How far they go often has nothing to do with company fundamentals. If a big bank crashes, or even several big banks, margin maintenance requirements go up across the board, and forced sales in totally unrelated securities start. A crash in Bank of America or JP Morgan can lead to forced sales in LVS or anything else for that matter. And it doesn’t matter how much margin people are using to trade LVS specifically, at all. If there is a margin balance in a brokerage account, all positions in any stocks in that portfolio are at risk of getting liquidated at any price.

Just to give you an idea of where we are now, consider the FINRA margin statistics. At market top in late 2007, total NYSE margin debt (on which LVS trades) was $379.6 billion, combining both FINRA and NYSE statistics. By February 2009, margin debt had fallen below $200 billion as margin calls forced the liquidation of debt. More importantly though, when margin debt was at its peak in 2007, total credit balances remaining were $426.7 billion, still much higher than the total margin peak. As of June, we are now at $646.9 billion in total NYSE margin debt, with a free credit balance of $179.4 billion, much lower than the total margin balance. Traders are way more levered up now than they were in late 2007. This time, when the margin fairy comes to collect her teeth from traders who got smashed in the face, she’s going to be ruthless, as if a 99% loss wasn’t.

That doesn’t mean the carnage will once again focus on LVS, but it might. NYSE trading accounts are stuffed with 70% more debt than they were back then, with 58% less available credit. Those currently levered up won’t be happy if forced to sell. We are going to have ample warning before the next financial crisis, which will be preceded by obviously strong price inflation, a negative yield spread, and slowing money supply growth. When we start seeing those signs and margin debt starts to shrink, that will be the time to start scaling in to LVS on severe down days.