Sentance repeats call for Bank to lift interest rates

first_img Read This Next’A Quiet Place Part II’ Sets Pandemic Record in Debut WeekendFamily ProofNew England Patriots’ Cam Newton says no extra motivation from Mac Jones’SportsnautHiking Gadgets: Amazon Deals Perfect For Your Next AdventureFamily ProofBack on the Rails for Summer New York to New Orleans, Savannah and MiamiFamily ProofYoga for Beginners: 3 Different Types of Yoga You Should TryFamily ProofAmazon roars for MGM’s lion, paying $8.45 billion for studio behind JamesFamily ProofIndian Spiced Vegetable Nuggets: Recipes Worth CookingFamily ProofTortilla Mango Cups: Recipes Worth CookingFamily ProofWhat to Know About ‘Loki’ Ahead of Disney+ Premier on June 9Family Proof Share whatsapp KCS-content Sentance repeats call for Bank to lift interest rates Show Comments ▼center_img Sunday 28 November 2010 9:39 pm whatsapp by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeMisterStoryWoman Files For Divorce After Seeing This Photo – Can You See Why?MisterStoryTotal PastThe Ingenious Reason There Are No Mosquitoes At Disney WorldTotal PastMoneyPailShe Was Famous, Now She Works In {State}MoneyPailSerendipity TimesInside Coco Chanel’s Eerily Abandoned Mansion Frozen In TimeSerendipity TimesElite HeraldExperts Discover Girl Born From Two Different SpeciesElite HeraldZen HeraldNASA’s Voyager 2 Has Entered Deep Space – And It Brought Scientists To Their KneesZen Heraldmoneycougar.comThis Proves The Osmonds Weren’t So Innocentmoneycougar.comWanderoamIdentical Twins Marry Identical Twins – But Then The Doctor Says, “STOP”WanderoamAlphaCute30 Rules That All “Hells Angels” Have To FollowAlphaCute THE Bank of England (BoE) should embark on a gradual rise in interest rates to avoid the need for a damaging sharp increase later on, policymaker Andrew Sentance said yesterday.Sentance, the most hawkish member of the nine-strong Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), said the BoE’s inflation forecasts had consistently underestimated the upside impact from rising global energy and commodity prices.Writing in a Sunday newspaper, Sentance said the BoE’s forecasts had also persistently overstated the downward pressure on inflation from spare capacity in the British economy.Annual consumer price inflation rose unexpectedly to a four-month high of 3.2 per cent in October, forcing BoE Governor Mervyn King to write another letter to government explaining why inflation remains so far above its two per cent target.“It is now time for monetary policy in the UK to get back to business and for interest rates to rise gradually towards normal levels,” said Sentance, who has been arguing for an interest rise since June. Tags: NULLlast_img read more

Inditex sees profit soar as emerging markets prosper

first_img Show Comments ▼ Inditex sees profit soar as emerging markets prosper KCS-content whatsapp Share whatsapp More From Our Partners Police Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgMatt Gaetz swindled by ‘malicious actors’ in $155K boat sale boondogglenypost.comNative American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgSupermodel Anne Vyalitsyna claims income drop, pushes for child supportnypost.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgA ProPublica investigation has caused outrage in the U.S. this weekvaluewalk.comBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.orgRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comFlorida woman allegedly crashes children’s birthday party, rapes teennypost.comKiller drone ‘hunted down a human target’ without being told tonypost.comInside Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis’ not-so-average farmhouse estatenypost.comUK teen died on school trip after teachers allegedly refused her pleasnypost.com‘Neighbor from hell’ faces new charges after scaring off home buyersnypost.comMark Eaton, former NBA All-Star, dead at 64nypost.comI blew off Adam Sandler 22 years ago — and it’s my biggest regretnypost.comWhy people are finding dryer sheets in their mailboxesnypost.com980-foot skyscraper sways in China, prompting panic and evacuationsnypost.comBiden received funds from top Russia lobbyist before Nord Stream 2 giveawaynypost.com THE world’s biggest clothing retailer Inditex announced a 42 per cent rise in nine-month net profit yesterday, buoyed by developing market growth and new store openings.Cash-rich Inditex, which launched online sales of items such as black net skirted cocktail dresses for around £40 for its flagship brand Zara in September, said sales grew 14 per cent during the period. Net profit for the nine-month period was €1.18bn (£1bn). Europe’s retailers are seeing a tick-up in business, especially in emerging economies. Inditex, which operates nearly 5,000 stores in 77 countries, said sales in local currencies grew ten per cent from 1 August to 12 December. Shares in Inditex have risen around 45 per cent since the beginning of the year, thanks to strong sales and healthy margins, while Spain’s blue-chip index has dropped about 15 per cent. Inditex has reduced exposure to the sluggish economy of home base Spain, which accounted for 28 per cent of sales in the first half, down from 32 per cent in the first half of 2009. The company was founded by Spain’s richest man Amancio Ortega. Wednesday 15 December 2010 7:53 pm Tags: NULLlast_img read more

Fed to begin stress tests

first_img whatsapp Show Comments ▼ Fed to begin stress tests Tags: NULL The US Federal Reserve will this week begin carrying out new stress tests on 19 big American banks, to see if they are healthy enough to hike their dividends or buy back stock.The Fed will try to determine how another financial crisis or economic shock would hurt the 19 banks, which include Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America.Analysts say the stress tests – which will take around three months to complete – are expected to show that the majority of institutions are strong enough to raise their dividends. Banks are likely to be informed of the Fed’s preliminary findings in mid-March. During the financial crisis, dividends were suspended or dramatically scaled back. Those restrictions have stayed in place, weighing on the value of banking stocks despite surging profits in the wake of the recession.Investors are now calling for banks to return part of their profits through higher dividends or share buybacks. Those banks that pass the tests with flying colours are likely to be allowed to raise their dividends to as much as 30 per cent of their post-tax profits. But analysts says banks such as Suntrust Banks and Key Corp, are unlikely to perform well. whatsapp KCS-content Read This Next’A Quiet Place Part II’ Sets Pandemic Record in Debut WeekendFamily ProofHiking Gadgets: Amazon Deals Perfect For Your Next AdventureFamily ProofYoga for Beginners: 3 Different Types of Yoga You Should TryFamily ProofIndian Spiced Vegetable Nuggets: Recipes Worth CookingFamily ProofAmazon roars for MGM’s lion, paying $8.45 billion for studio behind JamesFamily ProofThe Truth About Bottled Water – Get the Facts on Drinking Bottled WaterGayotBack on the Rails for Summer New York to New Orleans, Savannah and MiamiFamily ProofChicken Bao: Delicious Recipes Worth CookingFamily ProofCheese Crostini: Delicious Recipes Worth CookingFamily Proof Sunday 9 January 2011 11:23 pm Share last_img read more

ConocoPhillips profits surge

first_img ConocoPhillips, the third-largest US oil company, reported a 54 per cent increase in quarterly profit yesterday as proceeds from asset sales and higher crude prices and refining margins boosted results. Profit in the fourth quarter was $2bn (£1.26bn), or $1.39 per share, compared with $1.3bn, or 86 cents per share, a year earlier. KCS-content Share whatsapp ConocoPhillips profits surge by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeMoneyPailShe Was A Star, Now She Works In ScottsdaleMoneyPailTotal PastThe Ingenious Reason There Are No Mosquitoes At Disney WorldTotal PastMisterStoryWoman Files For Divorce After Seeing This Photo – Can You See Why?MisterStorySerendipity TimesInside Coco Chanel’s Eerily Abandoned Mansion Frozen In TimeSerendipity TimesBrake For ItThe Most Worthless Cars Ever MadeBrake For ItBetterBe20 Stunning Female AthletesBetterBeautooverload.comDeclassified Vietnam War Photos The Public Wasn’t Meant To Seeautooverload.comElite HeraldExperts Discover Girl Born From Two Different SpeciesElite HeraldDrivepedia20 Of The Most Underrated Vintage CarsDrivepedia Read This Next’A Quiet Place Part II’ Sets Pandemic Record in Debut WeekendFamily ProofHiking Gadgets: Amazon Deals Perfect For Your Next AdventureFamily ProofAmazon roars for MGM’s lion, paying $8.45 billion for studio behind JamesFamily ProofIndian Spiced Vegetable Nuggets: Recipes Worth CookingFamily ProofYoga for Beginners: 3 Different Types of Yoga You Should TryFamily ProofBack on the Rails for Summer New York to New Orleans, Savannah and MiamiFamily ProofChicken Bao: Delicious Recipes Worth CookingFamily ProofNew England Patriots’ Cam Newton says no extra motivation from Mac Jones’SportsnautCheese Crostini: Delicious Recipes Worth CookingFamily Proofcenter_img Tags: NULL Show Comments ▼ Wednesday 26 January 2011 7:11 pm whatsapplast_img read more

BHP Billiton eyes Shell deal to buy Australian energy firm

first_imgSunday 10 April 2011 11:22 pm by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeMisterStoryWoman Files For Divorce After Seeing This Photo – Can You See Why?MisterStoryTotal PastThe Ingenious Reason There Are No Mosquitoes At Disney WorldTotal PastSerendipity TimesInside Coco Chanel’s Eerily Abandoned Mansion Frozen In TimeSerendipity TimesMoneyPailShe Was An Actress, Now She Works In ScottsdaleMoneyPailDrivepedia20 Of The Most Underrated Vintage CarsDrivepediaZen HeraldThe Truth About Why ’40s Actor John Wayne Didn’t Serve In WWII Has Come To LightZen HeraldBetterBeDrones Capture Images No One Was Suppose to SeeBetterBeElite HeraldExperts Discover Girl Born From Two Different SpeciesElite Heraldautooverload.comDeclassified Vietnam War Photos The Public Wasn’t Meant To Seeautooverload.com Show Comments ▼ whatsapp BHP Billiton is plotting a £30bn takeover of Australian energy firm Woodside Petroleum, in a strategic switch into oil and gas by the world’s largest miner. The Anglo-Australian firm is said to be in talks with Royal Dutch Shell, Woodside’s largest shareholder, over a deal to buy its stake to mount a takeover challenge.Led by chief executive Marius Kloppers and chairman Jac Nasser, BHP has failed in three takeover approaches in recent years.A $39bn (£23.8bn) bid for Canadian miner Potash was blocked by the country’s authorities last year on grounds of national interest.Any deal to buy Woodside outright could again draw fire from rulemakers, despite BHP being considered a native business in Australia. Its listing in both Sydney and London could lead to an investigation by the foreign investment regulator. Analysts had dismissed speculation that BHP would look to buy the energy firm, given the high premium Woodside’s shareholders would demand. KCS-content BHP Billiton eyes Shell deal to buy Australian energy firm center_img More From Our Partners Killer drone ‘hunted down a human target’ without being told tonypost.comRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgFlorida woman allegedly crashes children’s birthday party, rapes teennypost.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgInside Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis’ not-so-average farmhouse estatenypost.comNative American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgA ProPublica investigation has caused outrage in the U.S. this weekvaluewalk.comBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.org‘Neighbor from hell’ faces new charges after scaring off home buyersnypost.com980-foot skyscraper sways in China, prompting panic and evacuationsnypost.comMark Eaton, former NBA All-Star, dead at 64nypost.comUK teen died on school trip after teachers allegedly refused her pleasnypost.comWhy people are finding dryer sheets in their mailboxesnypost.com‘The Love Boat’ captain Gavin MacLeod dies at 90nypost.comMatt Gaetz swindled by ‘malicious actors’ in $155K boat sale boondogglenypost.comBiden received funds from top Russia lobbyist before Nord Stream 2 giveawaynypost.comSupermodel Anne Vyalitsyna claims income drop, pushes for child supportnypost.com Share whatsapp Tags: NULLlast_img read more

AIG’s Chartis sells $3.5bn asbestos risk

first_img KCS-content whatsapp Wednesday 20 April 2011 8:29 pm by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeTotal PastThe Ingenious Reason There Are No Mosquitoes At Disney WorldTotal PastMoneyPailShe Was Famous, Now She Works In {State}MoneyPailSerendipity TimesInside Coco Chanel’s Eerily Abandoned Mansion Frozen In TimeSerendipity TimesLuxury SUVs | Search AdsThese Cars Are So Loaded It’s Hard to Believe They’re So CheapLuxury SUVs | Search AdsMisterStoryWoman Files For Divorce After Seeing This Photo – Can You See Why?MisterStoryBetterBeDrones Capture Images No One Was Suppose to SeeBetterBeautooverload.comDeclassified Vietnam War Photos The Public Wasn’t Meant To Seeautooverload.comTaonga: The Island FarmThe Most Relaxing Farm Game of 2021. No InstallTaonga: The Island Farmthedelite.comNetflix Cancellations And Renewals: The Full List For 2021thedelite.com whatsapp Tags: NULLcenter_img AIG’s Chartis sells $3.5bn asbestos risk 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.orgColin Kaepernick to publish book on abolishing the policethegrio.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgKansas coach fired for using N-word toward Black playerthegrio.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.orgLA news reporter doesn’t seem to recognize actor Mark Currythegrio.comUK teen died on school trip after teachers allegedly refused her pleasnypost.comPorsha Williams engaged to ex-husband of ‘RHOA’ co-star Falynn Guobadiathegrio.comBiden received funds from top Russia lobbyist before Nord Stream 2 giveawaynypost.comFort Bragg soldier accused of killing another servicewoman over exthegrio.comFlorida woman allegedly crashes children’s birthday party, rapes teennypost.comMan on bail for murder arrested after pet tiger escapes Houston homethegrio.comA ProPublica investigation has caused outrage in the U.S. this weekvaluewalk.comInside Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis’ not-so-average farmhouse estatenypost.comSupermodel Anne Vyalitsyna claims income drop, pushes for child supportnypost.com WARREN Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway struck a deal with US insurer American International Group (AIG) yesterday to take a package of high-risk asbestos insurance policies held by AIG subsidiary Chartis off its books.AIG has paid Berkshire-owned National Indemnity, the US’s largest reinsurer, $1.65bn (£1bn) for a retroactive insurance policy that will cover up to $3.5bn of claims associated with the policies.The hefty upfront fee remains a preferable option for AIG compared with the ongoing risk of the policies, which have dogged Chartis for years and already cost it billions. AIG currently holds large reserves of capital on its books as protection against potential claims. Releasing some of these will give it a $200m deferred pre-tax gain to be recorded in the second-quarter of 2011, it said.AIG took a charge of more than $4bn in the fourth-quarter of 2010 because Chartis exposure to years-old claims was far higher than expected.The reinsurance policy, which shares the risk of huge claims made on the asbestos policies, allows AIG to reassure investors it has its financial base under control as it prepares to sell the US government’s 92 per cent stake back to the market.National Indemnity has become a partner of choice for insurers looking to limit their asbestos exposure in exchange for hefty up-front fees. Last July CNA Financial did a similar deal for a $2bn payment, while in 2006 Lloyd’s of London affiliate Equitas transferred its liabilities to NI.FAST FACTS | AIGIs 92 per cent owned by the US government following an $85bn bailout in 2008.Will pay National Indemnity $1.65bn to cover $3.5bn of asbestos insurance policy claims. Sees a $200m gain from reserve releases. Show Comments ▼ Sharelast_img read more

Dutch crackdown ahead of World Cup

first_img The Netherlands has announced a crackdown on online gambling ahead of the FIFA World Cup, which begins in Russia on Thursday Topics: Legal & compliance Sports betting Legal & compliance Email Address AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Dutch crackdown ahead of World Cupcenter_img Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter The Netherlands has announced a crackdown on online gambling ahead of the FIFA World Cup, which begins in Russia on Thursday.The Kansspelautoriteit regulator said it will focus in particular on underage gambling and identifying unlicensed operators offering betting to Dutch citizens.Only the Toto, part of the Dutch Lottery, can offer bets on the results of sports competitions, with all other operators obliged to ensure that Netherlands residents cannot participate.A report issued by Kansspelautoriteit in 2016 showed that the Netherlands’ legal market for sports betting grew by 34% compared to the previous year.It said the crackdown has been ordered ahead of the World Cup because there is likely to be a surge in betting, even though the Dutch national team has not qualified.Kansspelautoriteit has also called for anyone with knowledge of minors betting to be reported via a special notification form on its website.In a statement, Kansspelautoriteit said: “The gaming authority acts against illegal gambling providers because there is no control on the fairness of the game, the detection of gambling addiction and the participation of vulnerable groups, such as minors.“Young people form a vulnerable group; gambling providers must make every effort to prevent minors from participating. The gaming authority would like to hear from parents, teachers, friends or other people involved whether they take part in sports betting by minors.”Related article: Betsson pushes EU Commission to take action against Netherlands 11th June 2018 | By contenteditor Regions: Europe Western Europe Netherlandslast_img read more

Irish trade union gunning for Paddy Power Betfair

first_img27th July 2018 | By contenteditor Email Address AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Betting company’s staff compensated over working time breaches Tags: Mobile Online Gambling OTB and Betting Shops Irish trade union gunning for Paddy Power Betfaircenter_img Topics: People Strategy Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter A leading trade union in Ireland is continuing its battle with Paddy Power Betfair despite victory over the firm concerning staff rest breaksSome 14 Mandate members are to receive between €750 and €1,000 in compensation after the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) found the company was breaching the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997.Mandate says it has written to PPB to further discuss the implications of the ruling and now intends to serve a comprehensive claim regarding pay scales, step up duty pay and premium payments, among other issues in the coming days. It also urged more PPB workers to come forward to prosecute further claims.“These decisions vindicate our members in their claims and I congratulate them on their successful cases,” said John Douglas, Mandate general secretary. “There are tens of thousands of workers in Ireland currently being denied their rights at work because their employer believes the law shouldn’t apply to them. We’re here to tell them that it does.”In the complaint filed with the WRC, a complainant said he was not afforded statutory breaks. Mandate had expressed grave reservations over “single manning shops” and said PPB does not make any reference to rest breaks in its staff handbook.In response, PPB said that while breaks are not clearly defined, staff are encouraged to “take their breaks at quieter times”.Since the WRC ruling PPB has, according to Mandate, notified all staff of rest break entitlement. This includes a 15-minute break for 4.5 hours’ work, with a 30-minute break for six hours’ work.“Workers should not put themselves at risk by working alone for prolonged periods and should take precautions at all times, including shutting the store if necessary,” Douglas added.“Paddy Power is a highly profitable business and can afford to sufficiently staff their premises so that workers are safe and can avail of their legal right to rest periods.” Peoplelast_img read more

UK to delay FOBT changes until October 2019

first_imgFinance UK to delay FOBT changes until October 2019 Topics: Finance Legal & compliance Tech & innovation 25th October 2018 | By contenteditor Email Address AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Regions: UK & Irelandcenter_img Tags: OTB and Betting Shops APPG accuses bookmakers of being ‘misleading’ over transition claims The UK government is on collision course with FOBT critics after reports it will delay the introduction of new B2 rules and regulations until next October.Chancellor Philip Hammond is set to announce the plans during next week’s budget according to a report in The Guardian newspaper. The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on the issue has blasted the suggestion, saying it was driven by bookmakers “misleading” officials over how much time they need to adapt.  In May, the government accepted Gambling Commission recommendations to set a new maximum stake of £2 (€2.26/$2.58) on FOBT machines, a sharp cut on the current limit of £100. Various bookmakers have warned that the changes will lead to widespread job losses across the gambling industry, while the Treasury is set to lose around £475m in tax income as a result of the new limits. However, the government has stuck by its pledge to cut the maximum stake, but questions remain as to when the changes will come into effect. Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter A delay until October 2019 would represent a six-month delay on the initially proposed start date, but swifter implementation than a 2020 launch that was reported earlier this year. The idea behind the delay is to grant bookmakers an extra six months to prepare for the changes, with gambling companies expected to rake in £900m from FOBT machines in that period. A spokesperson for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) told the Guardian: “We will make the legislative change required as soon as possible”. However, the APPG on the issue has hit out at the planned delay, publishing a report that states such changes can be done “as quickly as three months”.The report, commissioned after the DCMS first announced the changes in May, sets out other key findings such as if an implementation date earlier than the original April 2019 was set, bookmakers and games manufacturers would be able to make the required changes in time. The APPG has also said that bookmakers and games manufacturers are the only parties that will benefit from the delay, adding that, contrary to belief, jobs could be created by the changes, including 2,800 jobs in “far more profitable areas of employment”. Carolyn Harris, chair of FOBT APPG, said: “From the evidence we heard, it is clear to us that the bookmakers are being misleading and disingenuous to claim such a long time is required to make the technical changes to FOBT machines. “Clearly the profit they make from FOBTs provides an incentive to delay the reduction as long as possible. “The harm being caused by FOBTs cannot go on. It is now time for the Government to do the right thing. “It is time for it to stop bending to the will of a large corporate interest, namely the bookmakers, and implement a £2 stake on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals now.” Reports of the delay comes after it emerged this week that the Chancellor is set to increase the current tax rate of 15% on gross gaming yield to between 20-25%. The FOBT APPG said it is “not morally justifiable” to continue to gain revenue from FOBTs for another 12 months when an alternative revenue stream will have been put in place The Chancellor is due to deliver the Budget on October 29.last_img read more

Cryptocurrency: Fool’s gold?

first_img Email Address Casino & games AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Cryptocurrency: Fool’s gold? KamaGames embarked on something of an industry first by launching a token sale in late 2018, an experimental process to test the viability of cryptocurrency in the social casino market. However, as chief executive Andrey Kuznetsov explains, the process taught the Dublin-based studio some harsh lessons 13th February 2019 | By Joanne Christie Tags: Card Rooms and Poker Mobile Online Gambling KamaGames embarked on something of an industry first by launching a token sale in late 2018, an experimental process to test the viability of cryptocurrency in the social casino market. However, as chief executive Andrey Kuznetsov explains, the process taught the Dublin-based studio some harsh lessons.Many have tried and failed to match the growth of the Playtika-owned WSOP app and the enduring popularity of Zynga Poker in the social poker vertical. KamaGames, however, is probably the only studio that has managed to stay within touching distance of the top two in the sector.“In order to compete with these guys, we need to find things we can do better than they can,” chief executive Andrey Kuznetsov explains. “They’ve got more money, more resources and more people – Zynga even had greater access to Facebook users in its early days.”This has seen the studio invest heavily in researching new products and technologies, with the result that KamaGames’ Pokerist app became the first of its kind to launch on the Facebook Messenger platform. It was also the first to launch multi table tournaments with its free-to-play multiplayer 3D blackjack game, followed by the launch of a 3D craps product in 2018.Crypto focus KamaGames’ drive to innovate saw it increasingly focus on cryptocurrencies. This was, Kuznetsov says, in part due to queries from users about processing payments in crypto, as well as the realisation that the user profile of crypto enthusiasts tended to mesh with those of its existing player base.Ultimately this saw it develop its own cryptocurrency, the KamaGames Token (KGT), based on the Ethereum platform.However, the studio’s global communications director Sam Forrest stresses that the move into crypto had nothing to do with money.“The company made it clear from the onset that the objective of the token sale was not to attract the interest of investors or their financial backing,” Forrest explains. “Nor did it look for speculations related to the token and therefore never intended to list it on any of the crypto exchanges.”Instead, he says, KGT was designed to give players the best possible return on in-game currency purchases, as well as experimenting with the use of cryptocurrency as a retention tool.“When we started to design KGT, we tried to implement features that would improve retention, such as by offering players the opportunity to collect more chips the longer they hold onto their tokens,” Kuznetsov says. “We also set it up to allow holders to collect free chips each day for the first six months following the token sale, provided they log in to redeem the offer.”There was also a focus on reactivating lapsed players through the sale, as well as providing VIP players and big spenders with a way to purchase more in-game chips at the best possible price.“The token was designed in the same way as a promotion,” Kuznetsov explains. “It was a good opportunity to get more chips for a lower price.”The rationale behind using a cryptocurrency in such a way is not new. PayPal, despite not integrating the currencies into its commercial platform, has reportedly launched an internal cryptocurrency for staff, which employees can accumulate by participating in company initiatives and contributing ideas for new business practices or innovations. These can then be exchanged for rewards.Mobile messaging platform provider Kik has also dabbled in cryptocurrency as an engagement tool with its Ethereum-based Kin coins. Kin is an evolution of Kik’s Kik Points programme, which gives users that answer surveys or watch marketing videos token rewards that can be exchanged for content, goods or experiences on its platform.Falling flat As an experimental project, KamaGames’ core goal from the KGT experiment was to ascertain whether there was an actual demand for cryptocurrencies on its platform, or whether it was a case of a small but vocal majority making themselves heard. It turned out to be the latter, Kuznetsov says, with demand for KGT “miserable”.“It was far less than our most conservative projections,” he says. “I don’t know why really; maybe it was because we started our token sale in August, when there was a massive depression in cryptocurrencies.“Most of the new markets and breakthrough technologies do tend to be a bit like the Wild West in the early days,” he admits. “And at that time it did have a poor reputation, which it is just starting to emerge from – we just caught the tail end of it.”He estimates that only about 33,000 individuals participated in the token sake, “which is tiny, compared to the millions of new users we have each month”.“When it comes to improving retention and reengaging lapsed players, or working with VIPs, we found this was affected by the complexity of the entire process,” Kuznetsov continues. “If anything it confirmed the rule we learned in 2010; on mobile, everything should be as simple as possible.”Furthermore, KamaGames found that the motivation for users to purchase KGT was not in order to buy in-game chips at a lower rate, but with a view to speculating on any increase in the value of the tokens. However, this was at odds with the goals of the process – an initial coin offering was not even possible, Kuznetsov says.“It was a case of distributing tokens that could be exchanged for chips – that was all,” he says. “We talked about it everywhere, yelled about it in our interviews and at the conferences we spoke at.“Yet we still had plenty of people asking about what exchange we were in, how they could resell tokens,” he continues. “We still had some people that paid hundreds of Euros without even researching what they were buying.”Pitfalls of blockchain Even the underlying blockchain technology did not appear to have any viable application for the business. Kuznetsov says that building a social platform using a decentralised solution would risk slowing down the speed of the solution, something KamaGames, which processes about 1.5m transactions per minute, could ill afford.He adds that games powered by a random number generator could even become more predictable as a result of distributed ledger technology. As every other number generated by the RNG is made public and stored on the blockchain, this could mean that it would become possible to ‘decode’ the algorithm using past results and thereby predict what the next number would be.Ultimately, KamaGames will not be permanently adopting cryptocurrency as a payment solution any time soon.“Blockchain will be adopted by some sectors, but I doubt that gaming will be the priority industry for solutions providers,” Kuznetsov says.Forrest adds: “The most successful use of this technology is yet to be seen. It’s a very small, vocal minority that is asking for it.“And most people just don’t actually understand it, what it does, and what it will actually mean to Joe Bloggs on the street,” he explains. “What will make it go mainstream is when the top multinational companies start to use it via a simple to use, day-to-day application.”While KamaGames was burned by its foray into cryptocurrency, Kuznetsov says that the crypto sector seems to be going through an evolution. The days when companies could use an initial coin offering to raise some quick cash are over, he says, even if there are some advocates that will continue to tell businesses they are still living in those days.Forrest adds that while there may be opportunities, these are perhaps outside both the company’s and the sector’s landscape.“It’s apparent from the recent innovations of PayPal and Kik that tokens do have the potential to be effective as a rewards-based system. However, following the KamaGames Token sale, the question still looms about their value on social gaming platforms,” Forrest says.“While the conversation around blockchain and cryptocurrencies won’t dissipate anytime soon, there is a clear indicator that it may not be widely adopted by the gaming industry in the near future.” Topics: Casino & games Poker Social gaming Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Regions: Europe USlast_img read more