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STRONG Q3-2014 PERFORMANCE FROM WILLIAM HILL P.L.C.
2014-10-21

Online and land gambling group William Hill plc has turned in another sparkling performance - particularly from its online enterprises - in an interim management report covering the period from 2 July 2014 to 20 October 2014.
The report shows that the third quarter saw strong year-on-year margin swing driving outstanding profit growth, with key performance indicators highlighting:
* Group net revenue up 23 percent and operating profit up 89 percent;
* Online operating profit up 126 percent, with wagering up 18 percent and mobile wagering up 38 percent;
* Online Gaming net revenue up 23 percent, with 116 percent growth in mobile gaming; and now contributes 31 percent of Online gaming net revenue;
* Online gaming net revenue (comprising 87 percent Casino, 8 percent Bingo, 5 percent Poker) continued to grow strongly, benefiting from investment in mobile gaming together with a wider differentiated product range.
* Retail operating profit up 31 percent, driven by strong gross win margin and ongoing machine strength;
* Eclipse gaming machine roll-out into second half of Retail estate now underway;
* Continued improvement in the Australian subsidiaries, with improved margin and operating efficiencies increasing operating profit substantially;
* Good US wagering growth up 21 pecent, with mobile growth up 88 percent;
* Involvement as a founder member in the responsible gaming adocacy organisation Senet Group;
CEO James Henderson said Tuesday:
The Group performed strongly in Q3 driven by both favourable sporting results and the continued development of our UK and international businesses. The period saw good gaming growth in both major channels and sports net revenue growth significantly boosted by a favourable year-on-year swing in win margin.
"Positive sporting results in the quarter, including a strong end to the World Cup, have moved us close to or ahead of normalised gross win margins on a year-to-date basis.
Online gaming continues to benefit from our investment in mobile and Sportsbook turnover growth remains healthy, with in-play turnover growth a particular feature, up 35 percent in Q3.
"In Retail, net revenue growth of 9 percent reflects a favourable sports margin, the benefit of the World Cup and a strengthening of machine gross win growth rates, despite the impact of 82 shop closures during the quarter.
Our international businesses are performing well. The progress made to date in William Hill Australia is delivering strong profit growth. Our work to optimise the customer base, following the onset of increased race field fees, has improved the gross win margin, with slightly reduced amounts wagered, as expected.
In Italy, we became number one in online sports betting in July with a 14 percent market share and in Spain we have further increased our online sports betting market share to 20 percent. William Hill US has continued to show growth in both wagering and profits.
"We continue to monitor closely potential developments in land-based sports betting in New Jersey.
Management expects operating profit for 2014 to be towards the top end of current consensus range assuming normalised results in the final quarter.




GOOD NEWS FOR INDEPENDENT DEVELOPERS
2013-12-19

Independent app and game developers, Apuestas Deportivas Online Bingo Play Slots Online in US NFL Picks and perhaps aspirant operators too, are set to get a new opportunity to secure funding through GamCrowd, a crowd-funding website that is almost ready for launch and will help up-and-coming online and mobile gambling entrepreneurs to get started.

The venture has several big-bucks investors behind it already and will help to bring together people with money and those with ideas and capability in an environment where traditional lending resources like banks are harder to access and secure.

Founder Chris North founded the Fox Poker Club in 2010, an enterprise that he sold to the Genting group two years later and which has since been shuttered by the Malaysian company.

North says he was motivated on GamCrowd by his own experiences in raising cash:

The last start up I did struggled to register any interest from venture capital firms and so I went back to my own crowd, North recalls. I didnt know it was called crowdfunding at the time, but that is exactly what we did and it was a spectacular success.

North plans to get GamCrowd off the ground early in the New Year.

Once we have a sufficient base of investors, start-ups and a crowd, we will begin putting people in touch with each other internationally and allow investments to happen, he said Thursday.

The operation will be registered with the UK's Financial Conduct Authority.



POKER ACE TO FRONT FOR TRIBAL GROUP?
2013-07-10

The usually well-informed poker information website Legal US Poker Sites has flagged strong rumours this week that international poker ace Phil Ivey is to front for the southern California Pala tribal group - which operates land casino interests near San Diego - in a new Internet gaming venture.
Because online poker has not yet been legalised in California, it is presumed that the new enterprise is contingent on intrastate legalisation in that state.
The report notes that former Bwin.Party co-CEO and industry veteran Jim Ryan is involved in the venture through a company titled Pala Interactive, using software from Realtime Edge, said to also power ClubWPT and RocketFrog.


NEVADA AWARDS MORE ONLINE POKER LICENSES
2013-04-24

Station Casinos and Secure Trading are the latest companies to be awarded Nevada online poker licensing by the Nevada Gaming Commission, the Las Vegas Sun newspaper reported Thursday.

Secure Trading is an industry services supplier involved in payment processing, customer identification and geolocation services, and is a subsidiary of the well-known and pro-online gambling UK company UC Group Limited, which has actively promoted the cause of regulated online gambling for several years.

Station Casinos is a major land gambling group that already holds a Nevada online poker operator licence through its subsidiary Fertitta Interactive (see previous InfoPowa reports) but now has also been given a service provider licence for its Ultimate Gaming company, a sub-group that includes online poker software developer Cyberarts.

Station Casinos representatives received a serious grilling on their proposed use of their own software rather than that of a proven supplier, and gave assurances that every precaution against underage and problem gambling, collusion, fraud and money laundering, had been implemented.

Thomas Breitling of Station Casinos was optimistic about prospects: Some say its a $100 million market, he said, adding that his company had committed millions of dollars to development with online poker specifically in mind.

Tobin Prior, another spokesman for the company, said: It was frustrating to sit on the side-lines watching all this unlicensed and unregulated gambling taking place."

He revealed that the company has 38 full-time employees developing its online poker system in Las Vegas and said that number will rise to 100 in about a year.

A.G. Burnett, chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, said all the systems approved by the Commission thus far are currently being evaluated in the agency laboratory, and that none has received approval to go forward yet.



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2015-04-15

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