Brothel driven from suburb

first_imgChristchurch Press 27 Feb 2012A controversial Christchurch brothel is set to close its doors in an upmarket suburb, but the spread of the sex trade across the city cannot be stopped, a city councillor says. About 50 community members attended a public “Families and Brothels Don’t Mix” meeting on Saturday to force the Capri Lounge out of its Merivale premises. In an email to a community group, the landlady of the Papanui Rd property, Marie McFarland, said the Capri Lounge operator – her son’s partner – would move the business within a “few weeks”. “I have no particular stance on brothels per se,” McFarland said. “They are now legally entitled to exist … That said, I can appreciate the concerns of neighbouring residents, and were I in your position, I may very well share those concerns.” Families and Brothels Don’t Mix spokeswoman Amanda Cooper-Davies said the brothel had turned their neighbourhood into a “seedy” and “intimidating” place to live. “We have seen some pretty scary people … some very threatening people come out of the property.” Neighbours had complained of hearing “audible noises of climax”. Several people at the meeting urged the city council to keep brothels out of Christchurch suburbs. But Cr Sue Wells, who chairs the council’s prostitution working party, told the audience small owner operator brothels were “all over the city”. read more

Mayor Len Brown told: Shape up or ship out

first_imgNZ Herald 17 December 2013Mayor Len Brown has lost a firm grip on the Super City after an unprecedented message from councillors yesterday to shape up or ship out.Councillor Dick Quax went one step further and called for the mayor to resign immediately, saying Aucklanders had lost confidence in Mr Brown, who stood to be paid $750,000 over the next three years for a lame-duck role.The vast majority of councillors, however, decided to censure the mayor at Thursday’s council meeting, discuss Mr Brown meeting some costs for a $100,000-plus review into his behaviour and clip the wings of the mayoral office.This will include greater oversight and control by councillors of the mayor and his office, which has wide powers, a $4 million budget and up to six spin doctors.The actions against Mr Brown were decided on after a meeting at the Auckland Town Hall lasting more than five hours.The mayor attended for the first 90 minutes and gave councillors a full and unconditional apology. read more

Sadio Mane is a dangerous player – Snodgrass

first_imgRobert Snodgrass has described Senegalese star, Sadio Mane as a dangerous player. Liverpool‘s Premier League victory over West Ham was, for the most part, too tense for shenanigans. However, Mane found a brief window for it before the game started to get stupid. Liverpool forward Sadio Mane David Moyes’ side was expected to put up much less of a fight, especially given their defensive display at Manchester City last time out, but took the lead in the second half before eventually falling to a Mane winner in the final 10 minutes. It was enough to preserve a perfect home record, but it wasn’t easy. Nevertheless, in the simpler time of the first period, the Senegal international had time to have a little fun, unaware of the battle he was soon to be up against. Mane can have a strange effect on people. You can know he’s better than you, and know you have to be sensible and restrained just to have any chance of containing him, only to ignore your own advice the second the problem becomes practical. Maybe it’s because it’s hard for people to look at a career path involving Southampton and Red Bull Salzburg and think ‘one of the world’s best’, or perhaps it’s because Mohamed Salah has had more star power than his colleague, but there remains a feeling that he can’t be as good as you think, regardless of how much proof you see before your very eyes. This is the issue that faced Robert Snodgrass, a player who likely kept his place in the West Ham team in part because of his ability to act as a more ‘defensive’ winger than the likes of Jarrod Bowen, who replaced him later on. Snodgrass knows his limitations, and he’s seen Mane and the rest of the Liverpool front-line destroy better teams this season. He knows not to dive in or commit himself because his body works slower than the mind of his opponent. And yet, when push came to shove, this happened. Loading… Mane is the hero at the centre of a Wild West brawl, watching bullets fly across a crowded saloon and elegantly stepping out of their path. He brushes a tiny amount of debris off the shoulders of his near-untouched suit and walks to the bar, stepping over countless bodies strewn on the floor beneath him. As he lets a deep sigh leave his body, he turns to Snodgrass, bullet-ridden and clawing at his pristine boots as if to ask ‘why’. His look is not one of glory but instead one of pity, telling the West Ham man with his eyes “what are you doing? It didn’t need to be like this”. You often get the sense with Mane that he doesn’t set out to destroy lives, but if they’re going to make it this easy for him then he really has no choice. He knows he’s one of the best players in the Premier League, and everyone else knows it too. If they’re going to keep acting like he’s just some regular guy, even after he keeps showing them up time and time again, it feels rude not to give them fresh reminders every now and again. After sliding in and committing himself like a child in his first ever game of playground football, Snodgrass eventually learns. Not because he wants to, necessarily, but because he has to. It’s not about trying to contain Mane – a lot of the time that won’t be possible – but about trying to save face. Read Also:Porn star assures Sheffield ace fun-filled weekend after West Ham win Snodgrass, for all we know, might have factored in Mane stopping his run out of pity and urging the Scot to just have a look at himself. And, in fairness, that’s the only way the move could have ended without a Liverpool chance. It’s a bold strategy, but it’s not one you can exactly rely on. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 center_img Promoted ContentBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever MadeThese Maisie Williams Facts Are Bound To Shock YouTop 10 Most Romantic Nations In The World7 Ways To Understand Your Girlfriend BetterThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read More7 Universities Where Getting An Education Costs A Hefty PennyBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For Them5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks6 Interesting Ways To Make Money With A DroneThe Models Of Paintings Whom The Artists Were Madly In Love WithWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?Nothing Compares To Stargazing Places Around The Worldlast_img read more

Frimpong hopes to follow Wilshere’s lead

first_img “He has got over his injury and now he is playing for England. That is what I trying and do – to get over my injuries and start playing football on a regular basis.” Frimpong added: “Jack is a great footballer. For his age and for what he is doing, he is an inspiration obviously because every young player in the Premier League wants to achieve what he is doing. “Since I have been here, I haven’t really spoken to him, but when I am at Arsenal, we do speak on a regular basis. I am happy for him and what he is achieving in football.” Frimpong hopes he can gain a regular run in the Fulham side to return to Arsenal ready to impress next season. “The boss at Arsenal, Mr Wenger, told me to come here and get some games because there is no point sitting on the bench at Arsenal,” the midfielder said. “He said to come here and show what you can do, get some games under your belt, then come back next season and see what happens.” The tough-tackling Ghana-born midfielder has battled back from two serious knee injuries which have hampered his progress while Wilshere has also been through his own fitness battles, recovering from more than a year out to return in great form for the Gunners. “That is football, sometimes you are going to get good luck, sometimes you are going to get bad luck, and I have had loads of injuries, but I mean to get over it just like Jack has,” Frimpong said. Press Associationcenter_img On-loan Fulham midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong hopes to use Jack Wilshere as an inspiration to force himself back into contention for Arsenal and on the road towards the 2014 World Cup with Ghana.last_img read more

Suarez points finger at press

first_img The 26-year-old’s future has been the subject of much speculation and with mixed messages still emanating from the Uruguay international’s camp the player himself did little to quell speculation. Suarez is unhappy with the treatment he has received from the British press, which he claims is now affecting his family, and admits that may prove to be a decisive factor. “It’s a good moment for a change of environment because of all I’ve been through in England, where I haven’t been judged as a player but based on other things,” he said. “I had a hard time, very hard, in the things that have been said are lies. One has limits and the family also suffers. They treated me bad and it would be understandable if one day I go to my club (and the media are waiting for him) but I cannot walk my baby, the paparazzi are always there. “My family, my image – that’s what matters to me most. The coach and some colleagues know that I suffered, I was treated badly and I did not feel comfortable and they know perfectly. It’s nothing against Liverpool, on the contrary, I feel very comfortable at the club, but I have a daughter and I do not want her to hear bad things about her father. “In England they talk about many things and in some ways I feel uncomfortable. I do not know when I’m going and I do not know if I’m staying. If I stay it is because it is a great club but also in turn I know that it is difficult because of the harassment I get from the press.” Real Madrid would obviously offer an escape from that but Suarez insists his reference to the Spanish giants in a radio interview on Wednesday was an understandable but not yet tangible one. “England and Spain are the best leagues in the world,” he said at a national team press conference ahead of a friendly against France on June 5 in Montevideo. “It is normal that it is impossible to say no to big teams for which one always dreams. Yet I have nothing, I have not spoken with Real Madrid nor with Liverpool. My agent has not told me anything either and that leaves me alone, but they (the media) are speculating. “Every time you do something it becomes big. I just said I’m very happy at Liverpool and I’ll be forever grateful to this great city and this club made me grow so much, where I still have a contract.” Press Associationcenter_img Striker Luis Suarez did little to allay Liverpool’s fears over losing their prize asset after admitting the time may be right for a “change of environment”.last_img read more

Badminton News PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth crash out of French Open badminton quarterfinals

first_imgNew Delhi: Indian shuttlers continued to face heartbreak in the French Open tournament as PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth crashed out in the quarterfinals of the tournament.With Saina Nehwal exiting the tournament earlier with a tough loss to Tai Tzu Yin, Sindhu suffered a 13-21, 16-21 in a 40-minute encounter against He Bingjiao of China. This was Sindhu’s second loss to the Chinese shuttler this year, having lost in the Indonesian Open in July. With this, Bingjiao improved her head-to-head record against Sindhu to 7-5.Read More | Digital Firm Gemalto withdraws report which claimed Aadhar breachIn the men’s side, Srikanth showed some fight but world No.1 Kento Momota simply proved to be too strong. Momota, currently the best men’s player on the circuit, defeated Srikanth for the fifth consecutive time with a hard-fought 21-16, 21-19 win. With Sindhu and Srikanth’s loss, India’s challenge in singles came to an end.Read More | Virat Kohli on cusp of equaling another blazing record in Pune ODIHowever, in the doubles, India’s challenge continued when Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty progressed to the semi-finals by beating Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy 21-17 21-11. However, their next encounter is against top seeds Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia. For all the Latest Sports News News, Badminton News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more

Badgers drive on past Huskies to Motor City

first_imgST. PAUL, Minn. — Depth. Experience. Goaltending questions. Performing in the big games.Those are all themes that have been beaten into the ground when talking about the Wisconsin men’s hockey team this season. And the Badgers will get at least a couple more weeks to get sick of talking about them, as they beat St. Cloud State 5-3 in the West Regional championship, and advance to the Frozen Four in Detroit.All four factors were on display in a game that wasn’t quite sealed until an Aaron Bendickson empty-net goal with 1:08 to play. SCSU had pulled to within 4-3 after UW goaltender Scott Gudmandson allowed a soft goal to squeak by at 17:10 of the third period.But as they have all season, when the game was on the line, the Badgers stood their ground and ensured they wouldn’t blow what had been a 3-1 lead.The depth and experience were on display as senior forward John Mitchell got two goals, including the game winner. Mitchell hadn’t scored since Jan. 29 at Minnesota-Duluth, and had just five goals coming into the game.Both goals came at pivotal points in the game, as the Neenah, Wisc. native poked one five-hole to put UW up 4-2 less than three minutes after SCSU’s Jared Festler scored shorthanded to make it a one-goal game.“The second one was just a great individual effort with Andy Bohmbach, he was able to get the puck out front,” Mitchell said. “Again, I drove to the net and was able to slip it five-hole.”Mitchell also poked one five-hole on Husky starter Mike Lee to start the scoring just 2:31 into the game.Mitchell’s first goal was just one of three UW tallies in the first period, as senior tri-captain Blake Geoffrion scored and — there’s the depth again — sophomore defenseman Jake Gardiner netted just his sixth goal of the season.This was just one night after UW’s big guns — Geoffrion, Michael Davies and Brendan Smith came up big, totaling five points between the three of them.“When you get down to this time of year, you are looking for offense from anybody and everybody,” UW head coach Mike Eaves said.The quick start resulted in Lee being pulled 15:21 into the game in favor of Dan Dunn. Last Friday, Lee was unstoppable, shutting out the Badgers in the WCHA Final Five semifinal. UW didn’t get anything going until the third period in that game, and the Badgers seemed well aware of how important it would be to start like they did.“I think the key to the game tonight was the start of the game,” Eaves said. “Getting the early lead — we’ve talked about for a long time with our team… about having a great start is ultimately a pivotal time of the game and we were able to get that tonight.”Also in Wisconsin’s favor was the fact St. Cloud State went to double-overtime against Northern Michigan the night before. The Huskies deflected questions about the effect of playing an extra 20:23 of hockey in the previous game though.“This time of year, teams have got to overcome that kind of stuff,” SCSU captain Garrett Raboin said. “You’ve got to play through that – it happens to a lot of teams, a lot of games go to overtime.”While Wisconsin’s depth and experience showed up in a big-time game yet again, Gudmandson was also not at his best all game. Tony Mosey’s goal to make it 4-3 just made it between the post and Gudmandson’s left leg, a soft goal in a crucial point in the game. Gudmandson also gave up a rebound to allow the Huskies’ shorthanded goal.But again, in a big game, the Badgers were up to the task. They showed it in coming back to win the Camp Randall Hockey Classic against Michigan back in February, and before that in taking three points from then-No. 1 Denver at the Kohl Center.The Badgers were quick to respond when scored on and despite their own special teams woes — they went 0-for-6 on the power play. The UW penalty kill returned the favor though, holding SCSU scoreless on seven power plays.In the end, the fast start and stand-your-ground finish were enough to send UW to its first Frozen Four since winning the national title in 2006. The Badgers will face upset-minded RIT, which took down top-seeded Denver and third-seeded New Hampshire to be the first team to clinch a spot in Detroit.“Wisconsin earned the victory,” SCSU head coach Bob Motzko said. “Almost start to finish, and they played one resilient hockey game.”“It feels incredible,” Geoffrion said. “I know a lot of seniors have worked since our freshman year, coming after a championship team and seeing how those guys work and how hard they work.“So for us to get the opportunity to possibly go to the national championship game is an incredible feeling right now, but the job’s not done yet.”last_img read more

Winning Post – Online regulation gets up and running in Sweden

first_imgSweden’s regulation is also likely to have a significant if nuanced impact on marketing. As well as an over-arching requirement to be ‘moderate’ (already being tested in the courts), bonuses are now sign-on only (hence some operators applying for multiple licences). This is likely to create a glut of over-trading as new licensees attempt to press this home, followed by increasing difficulties for undifferentiated offers to attract and maintain customers. Whether or not severe bonus restrictions will impact social responsibility directly (and how this will be measured) remains unclear, but the rules are likely to further drive organic consolidation to stronger product and UX-driven offers, while making life harder still for the ‘long-tail’, in our view. In the three decades since Steve Wynn opened the Mirage in Las Vegas, the integrated resort casino has enjoyed commercial success and relative political popularity in North America, Asia-Pacific and Africa. Despite numerous attempts (most notably in Spain but also in Hungary, Ireland and Great Britain), similar developments in Europe have remained elusive. It remains to be seen whether the ‘domino effect’ (where the opening of a resort casino in one jurisdiction triggers further developments in a region) that has been observed in the US and in Asia-Pacific follows the Melco opening in two years’ time. Cyprus: IR casino – casino gaming takes flight ahead of IRC openingThe expansion of casino gaming in the Republic of Cyprus continues apace with the opening last month of a third casino at Larnaca Airport. From a standing start in 2018, the country now has three casinos (at Limasol, Nicosia and Larnaca) with another two set to open in 2019 (at Paphos and Ayia Napa). All of this is of course a mere prelude to the opening of Melco’s City of Dream’s Mediterranean in 2021 which will be Europe’s first integrated resort casino. CT Gaming bolsters Italian profile with The Betting Coach  August 27, 2020 In other words, we would anticipate that all things being equal, the Italian government will hang on to only c. 20% of its budgeted gross tax increases, with substantially all the slippage coming from gaming machines due to the direct payout impact of the duties. However, it would be dangerous to assume that all things will remain equal in Italy. On the current government trajectory, 2018 may be seen as closing over a decade of benign regulatory change for commercial gambling, with the pendulum of fiscal-regulatory pain still potentially having a fair way to swing (especially if lower than expected tax receipts are met with more tax increases – likely increasingly economically self-defeating from these levels, but when did that stop governments). In this context, material exposure to the more moribund and controversial elements of the Italian gambling sector (retail in general, gaming machines in particular) could shift from a dull cash cow to a painful strategic millstone.In the longer-term, Italy’s fiscal engineering of its commercial gambling sector offers another significant policy headache likely to adversely impact commercial operators (with the underlying drivers not just applying to Italy): if channel shift switches supply taxed at c. 55% GGR equivalent (Italy landbased blended rate) to c. 25%, while regulatory frameworks at the same time seek to discourage an explosion in overall gambling activity, then a significant and structurally growing fiscal hole will inevitably appear… The second area where the net impact is likely to look very different to the gross (and another counter-intuitive positive) is in the online channel profitability impact of the combined changes. The advertising ban has accidentally made room for a material tax increase (we do not believe the Italian government has been so economically Machiavellian as to do this deliberately – especially given the fiscal flaws outlined above) by slashing largely unproductive costs from the long tail (rarely has advertising worked in Italy, with product and customer engagement / retail payments being far more important). It is probable that no advertising will impact some ‘over-trading’ driven growth, but since there was little evidence that demand was being successfully stimulated by advertising in Italy (unlike in more mature digital markets), there is little reason to expect a material reduction in revenue due to the ban. Instead, further organic consolidation is likely (ie, the strong getting stronger), albeit with some danger of black market leakage (though regulated consumer choice in Italy is high – covering over 100 licensed entities). In more general terms, it is worth considering that online represents only 13% of Italian commercial gambling revenue (vs. 50% in the UK and 60% in Denmark) – growth may be stymied and/or volatile, but there is still a very strong long-term secular underpin, in our view Global: online regulation – YouTube loots children?High profile YouTubers Bryan ‘Ricegum’ Le and Jake Paul have been criticised for promoting to children. The site offers the chance to win prizes including sportswear, tech products and luxury cars to children by opening virtual boxes for a fee – its functionality being close to that of loot boxes within computer games, while the player ‘wins’ every time, the prize is randomly selected and can be of more or less value and could arguably be considered a game of chance within some gambling jurisdictions. Players have the opportunity to ‘sell back’ unwanted items, although the site takes a minimum 20% of the value of the item (similar to cashing out an unwanted bet). Romania’s ONJN adds 20 sites to blacklist August 14, 2020 Regulus Partners, the strategic consultancy focused on international gambling and related industries, takes a look at some key developments for the gambling industry in its ‘Winning Post’ column.Italy: gambling duties – felice anno nuovo?The Italian government ended 2018 with further material tax rises for its commercial betting and gaming sectors. In the machine sector, AWP and VLT duties will rise twice (January and May), accelerating the Dignity Decree (and continuing a medium-term pattern of regular increases). Additionally, betting duties have risen by 2ppts, or 9% for online to 24%, 11% for landbased to 20%, and virtual by 10% to 22%. Online gaming duties have risen by 5ppts or fully 25% to 25%. Notwithstanding the very last minute and immediate nature of the tax changes (although not retrospective), the budget amendments have been waved through by the European Commission – meaning the tax increases already apply, just days after becoming law and coinciding with the enforcement of Italy’s total gambling advertising ban.From an overall market perspective, the tax rises are intended to represent an additional c. €770m LfL gross cost increase to the commercial sector (major caveats to this figure below), with the vast majority coming from gaming machines in absolute terms (c. 80%), but specifically VLTs alongside online gaming bearing the highest relative increases. The gross post-tax revenue impact for the overall commercial market (ie, excluding Lotto) pre- mitigation and behavioural change, would be c. 11% – and a double digit proportion of sector EBITDA. Indeed, this bleak prognosis is backed up through public company data. Gamenet has already warned of a c. €15-20m impact (c. 18% EBITDA) and Playtech c. €20-25m (also c. 18% Italian EBITDA) – over and above pre-announced machine tax hikes in the Dignity Decree. We estimate IGT’s gross potential impact to be c. €130m or c. 20% Italian EBITDA (pf, including DD increases), with lottery unaffected but a much higher machines mix within the commercial element. The leading online operators are likely to see a c. 20-30% impact on LfL EBITDA, in our view, with the losses of the (substantial) local long-tail widening further. The Swedish government has introduced relatively straight-forward social responsibility rules for the newly liberalised market, covering harmful gambling, gambling by minors and criminal or fraudulent activity. The regulations are perhaps most notable for the introduction of a comprehensive self-exclusion system (Spelhaus) which will allow gamblers to exclude from all licensed operators. Not so long ago, such schemes were dismissed by many in the global industry as being overly paternalistic and unworkable in practice; but this is changing. StumbleUpon Share Nektan is attempting to raise funds totalling £3.5m through the partial sale of Respin (a US subsidiary: 57.5% for £2m) and the proposed placing of new ordinary shares (£1.5m), as well as converting shareholder loans to equity. Romania’s historical liberal online regime probably suited undifferentiated offshore operators best given its low taxes and light touch. By introducing a (relatively low) turnover tax as well as a GGR tax, localised mass market led offers are likely to relatively outperform offshore sportsbooks. Romania has therefore started 2019 favouring local organic consolidation and local specialism over .com businesses morphing into POC licensees (ie, driving operator fragmentation at the macro level) – adding to a growing roster and a growing trend of increasingly challenging POC markets. Sharecenter_img More broadly as the exotic becomes the orthodox, so the bar on social responsibility is likely to be set higher. Ever tighter and more joined-up social responsibility systems seem likely to be a part of the industry’s future. Operators should welcome and embrace Sweden’s measured and nuanced approaches, in our view, potentially using the market as a testing ground for good practice to avoid stricter domestic controls later and provide a model for (working) liberal practices elsewhere. However, the required levels of restraint and strategic investment may not come all that easily to some quasi-domestic operators brought up on much more cavalier .com practices. Netherlands: online regulation – KSA shot the Sheriff, and may not be done yet…The jailing of executives at the Dutch online gambling company, Sheriff Gaming for money laundering offences ensured that a difficult year for Europe’s remote operators ended on a dismal note. The company’s chief executive, Stijn Flapper was handed a two-year custodial sentence by the Dutch Public Prosecutor (with two other executives receiving shorter terms) for allegedly washing between €30m and €50m of criminal proceeds. Western Europe has grown accustomed to increasingly significant fines for regulatory breaches (both Great Britain and Denmark posted record years in 2018 – as well as the Netherlands) but incarcerations are still mercifully rare. The episode prompts a number of questions. Was this an isolated case of criminality or have other parts of the gambling supply chain been similarly engaged? What due diligence did Sheriff’s clients (including some of the largest remote operators in Europe) undertake on the company and what were their responsibilities?  We must hope that the prosecution draws a line under this episode – but in an increasingly connected and global industry – risk to licensing requirements and to reputation can be both complex and obscure. Sweden: online regulation – up and running, save for the excludedSweden is officially open for business following the implementation of new gambling legislation on New Year’s Day. While around 60 companies appear to have received licences (with a glut arriving just before Christmas), others faced shut-out as the Government refused to entertain the prospect of temporary licences (which would have allowed companies to maintain trading pending validation of application for a full licence). Related Articles Global: M&A – summaryThe founder of Korean online video games producer Nexon is set to sell a US$9bn controlling stake in its holding group NXC Corp The prosecution and sentencing also highlights how tough the Netherlands is wont to be on gambling infringements. This is likely to be put to a very significant test should POC online regulations ever regain momentum (possible in Q1, but so far always disappointing hopes for progress) – especially in terms of what constitutes ‘bad actor’ behaviour and how strictly (and for how long) this will be applied. Given the number operators which have taken and arguably directly ‘enticed’ Dutch players, this list could be long and high profile (with Betsson, Bet-at-home, Mr Green and William Hill all recently fined, for example). There is something of a POC “Catch 22” here: stricter licensing is more likely to allow political momentum to be regained, but potentially in ways material elements of the online sector would not welcome.Romania: gambling duties – local victory Romania passed its ‘greed taxes’ after Christmas, but softened the blow to gambling operators both in terms of the rate (2% online vs. 5%; flat fee retail vs. 3%) and starting point (from this year rather than retrospectively). This represents a significant last minute lobbying victory, though the result still suggests a real terms tax increase of well over 50% for multiples-led businesses (albeit to still manageable levels) and a punitive c. 125-250% (and far more structurally challenging) increase for more singles and in-play driven offers. Perhaps most significantly, by removing the retroactive element the tax is now unlikely to be subjected to legal challenge – making it another unwelcome last minute reality for operators. However, there are a couple of reasons why this ‘gross view’ is unlikely to play out in reality (despite appearing and anticipated in this way in the newly revised Italian state budget for 2019). First, gaming machine revenue is typically inversely proportional to gross margins, so a combination of mandated poorer customer value and additional operator action is likely to accelerate AWP top-line decline and stall stuttering VLT growth, in our view. However, data from Agimeg suggests that while AWPs are running on their minimum payout limit (70%, going to 68%), VLTs are on the whole more generous than the law demands (85%, going to 84%; but achieving c. 88%) – giving operators a lot more mitigation room. Given the high payout, recycling-driven nature of VLTs, combined with the fact that the duty falls on turnover, there is a strong possibility, in our view, that the VLT element of the tax can be more than mitigated by dropping the payout materially (caveat: customers may start to become less interested), while the AWP element is likely to result in a slightly higher tax yield for a small(ish) net revenue hit.Consequently, by over-engineering turnover taxes and payouts, while focussing on what we believe to be the wrong metric of underlying consumer activity (turnover rather than revenue), the Italian government may have initiated major theoretical tax increases that will have the opposite effect in an aggressively managed reality (not just lower than expected tax yields, but lower yields on an absolute basis). Further, Italian operators have an increasing commercial logic to manage this aggressively, given that machine taxes are now materially over 50% of GGR (for the first time in the case of VLTs) and machine supply is now being actively reduced by legislation (local and nationwide). If this analysis is correct, then the operational impact will be far less severe than originally feared. However, while this might be good news financially and commercially, the Italian government is unlikely to leave the sector alone, in our view (and may well get punitive). From a strategic perspective therefore, maximising mitigation might therefore be very different to optimising it… In the meantime, the development of satellite casinos in Cyprus; the return of the table games to Paris last year (after a ban of nearly a century); moves to modernise and ultimately privatise Holland Casinos; and plans to launch a Hard Rock resort casino in Catalonia, all serve as a reminder that the expansion of remote gambling supplements rather than replaces consumer demand for land-based gambling (particularly where it is experiential rather than simply transactional).   US: online regulation – sagging in MichiganLast minute hopes for online gaming legislation in Michigan were dashed by the veto of the (now departed) governor. While there is every possibility of progress this year in what could be a material state market, the reasons for the veto are telling: protecting lottery revenue (and by extension lottery-led state funding). Such concerns tend to be ridiculed in Europe, where lotteries have co-existed with commercial gambling for some time, with over 15 years of increasingly material online competition. However, the question is a more open one in the US given the lack of any commercial gambling competition to the high value scratchcards that have been the motor of US lottery growth (in most states) as well as the pervading lack of online lottery traction (though this is building in some states – including Michigan and Illinois). Given the similarities between slots (and parlay bets) and scratchcards, especially online and/or at the higher end of scratchcard stakes and payouts, this is an issue that is unlikely to go away and could be increasingly dangerous for commercial gambling lobbyists / evangelists to dismiss as a credible stakeholder concern, in our view. does not imply an age limit for sign up, with users also able to log in through games trading site Steam which has an age restriction for those under 13. This unfortunate association by Steam (which is operated by games developer, Valve), may cause further reputational damage to the company since the recent skins betting controversy in the US – particularly as the company has been highlighted as a potential contributor to underage betting using skins in the newly published Report on Illegal Gambling by the Danish Gambling Authority. Submit TVBET passes GLI test for five live games in Malta and Italy August 25, 2020 Although ‘skins betting’ and ‘gambling like’ chance elements within computer games have been around for a number of years, it is only recently that regulators have begun to take note of this potential loophole, however, it is clear that the risk of children coming into contact with potentially harmful and/or wrongly unregulated material goes far further than this – with these types of sites being promoted through social media channels by people who have effectively become children’s entertainers and role models. From a regulatory perspective, there is a danger that too much focus on principles-based decisions and/or an over-application of a rule book designed for real-money gambling will either overshoot or undershoot optimal outcomes. Equally, this is not an area that many regulators are likely to feel strongly equipped to deal with in terms of experience or resource. There is therefore a critical need for operators to handle with care or invite increasingly knee-jerk responses from the political and/or regulatory establishment, in our view.last_img read more

Memo to the NBA, NHL: Quitting the current season is not an option

first_imgReports out of the NHL have suggested the league would be amenable to delaying the start of next season to accommodate the conclusion of this one. This is the proper approach in which is an unprecedented circumstance for everyone.Certainly, these leagues are businesses, but the product they are selling is meaningful athletic competition. If one were to visit a restaurant — no, wait, let’s stick with things we can all remember doing. If one were to order takeout from a restaurant and, upon arriving home, discover the meal to be half-cooked, there would be no urgency to order again from that establishment.The NBA and NHL in particular have asked their customers to invest emotion (to say nothing of money spent) into the 2019-20 season. Each has produced wonderful moments, from Damian Lillard’s 61 points for the Blazers against the Warriors on Martin Luther King Day to Mike Zibanejad ripping five goals past the Capitals a week before the shutdown. (Getty Images) The easy thing to do now is quit. When things get difficult, and they certainly are at the moment, surrender is an option. It generally is the worst one. It surely is now.The NBA has not played a game since the night of March 11, when four games were contested but a game between the Jazz and Thunder was canceled because all-star center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus. That was the same day COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic. We’ve since gone 53 days without a game, with no clear signal as to when the league would resume playing basketball. What the Bucks accomplished in winning 53 of their first 65 games, what LeBron James has done in reinvigorating the Lakers, what David Pastrnak has done in driving the Bruins forward to 100 points in 70 games — all of this should not be discarded as if it were a used Clorox wipe.It is not clear when either will be able to play again, although signs are brighter — including the NBA permitting some practice facilities to reopen — that it may be possible at some point in the summer. If that occurs, there won’t be any question what season they’ll be contesting.Even if they must return later, though, it is most important to finish what they started. Whenever that is, however, there is no excuse for contesting any season but the one already underway. Even in the unlikely event teams did not again take the court until 2021, they should do so in order to complete the 2019-20 season.MORE: LeBron sets record straight on potential resumption of NBA seasonSome league executives and agents, according to CNBC, are pushing for the league to cancel what remains of the suspended season and instead focus on a successful launch to the 2020-21 season. This is the worst possible approach, and the reasoning being posited for cancellation is proof.Why call off this season?Money, of course.CNBC reports some teams believe the revenue available if games were contested and some media rights recovered isn’t sufficient to justify resumption of the season. One surmises not everyone in the league would agree with this. CNBC also cited one player agent who said he is surprised NBA commissioner Adam Sliver hasn’t canceled “because he always errs on the side of caution and doing what’s right.”MORE: NBA’s coronavirus issues converging as decision time nearsLate last month, the top soccer leagues in the Netherlands and France canceled their soccer seasons for 2019-20. Whereas the Dutch did not proclaim an Eredivisie champion and simply called off the year, the French proclaimed Paris-Saint Germain as title winners with PSG owning a 12-point lead over second-place Marseilles.Although the French approach is superior, neither got it right. The best way to deal with an incomplete competition is to complete it, even if that means intruding on the subsequent event.Who would care, really, about a November game between the Kings and Suns in the aftermath of a season that was completely abandoned? If that is how long we would need to wait for competitive sport to resume, it should return with the importance of a playoff run or series involving such teams as the Lakers, Bucks, Clippers and reigning champion Raptors.last_img read more

2019 Iowa General Assembly starts, Clear Lake pastor offers opening prayer of session (AUDIO)

first_imgDES MOINES — The first session of the 88th Iowa General Assembly is underway.That’s Speaker Pro Tem Matt Windschitl gaveling in the House of Representatives earlier this morning. Carmine Boal, the chief clerk of the House, administered the oath of office to the 100 state representatives.Doctor Patrick Hall, the lead pastor of Zion Lutheran Church of Clear Lake, offered the opening prayer. Hall asked that each House member responsibly represent and honor their local constituents while respecting the interests of all those living in Iowa. Here’s audio of his entire prayer:Hall was the guest of House Speaker Linda Upmeyer of Clear Lake. You can hear his entire prayer by heading to this story at Following the prayer, Upmeyer’s grandchildren led the House in the Pledge of Allegiance.last_img read more