Joel Leonoff is looking forward to more acquisitions and growth in Optimal Payments’ future.
Optimal Payments has found itself with a more impressive presence in US markets over the year that is past owing to increased usage of brands like Neteller in regulated markets.
That seems to have paid off for the organization, as revenues are up a lot more than 40 percent for the business within the first half 2015 whenever set alongside the exact same duration in 2014.
Overall, Optimal Payments obtained $223 million in profits during 1st 6 months of the year.
That’s up from just over $159 million last year, a substantial gain for the payment processing company.
Much of that revenue increase was due to improvement in its straight through processing (STP) department, which grew by more than 47 percent year-over-year.
That has been mainly because of the purchase of two businesses based in the United States, Meritus and GMA, both of which were acquired late in 2014.
The organization’s stored value services, chiefly Neteller, also saw improvement, growing a bit more than 20 % annually to bring in $49.8 million in revenue.
North American Operations Get Focus
The changing focus associated with the company is seen in the local numbers posted by Optimal in the initial half of all the last two years.
Within the first half 2014, North American operations made up just below 16 percent for the business’s revenues; in the same period this year, that share had risen to 43 percent, rendering it the largest portion regarding the company’s business.
‘ We now have continued to supply on a number of our key objectives, notably the integration of the US businesses we acquired year that is last have notably added to the growth of the Group and more recently completion of the acquisition of Skrill which will be set to transform the business enterprise on a wide range of amounts,’ stated Optimal Payments CEO Joel Leonoff.
Leonoff is speaking concerning the reverse takeover of Skrill, a €1.1 billion ($1.24 billion) purchase that changed the business by making it a clear leader in the planet of online gambling payment processing.
Over the past 12 months, the company that currently controlled Neteller purchased the prepaid voucher business Ukash and Skrill, placing three of the brand names that are largest in the industry under its advertising.
More Acquisitions Easy for Optimal
But that may possibly not be the end of the acquisitions for Optimal. In accordance with Leonoff, the company is currently in the procedure of looking for more potential candidates to purchase in the foreseeable future.
‘that we feel are accretive to our shareholders and add a lot of value to our business,’ Leonoff said as we come out of the tail-end of the integration with Skrill, we want to be ready to look at other companies. ‘As we approach $1 billion in revenue, we need to find companies that can move the dial a little bit and make certain they add a material level of revenue and profit.’
The desire for continued growth comes while Optimal Payments is wanting to be admitted to the London Stock Exchange as well as the FTSE 250 index. The business’s stock rose by about 8 percent after announcing its outcomes for the very first 1 / 2 of 2015.
Analysts expect Optimal’s sales to increase significantly within the half that is second of thanks to the acquisition of Skrill. That, combined with relatively lower expenses many thanks to synergies between their platforms that are various should see profits rise as well.
Macau Gambling Still Struggling Amidst Crackdowns and Downturns
Macau gambling is still hit by the anti-money and economy laundering moves. Can resorts that are new the trend? (Image: AP)
Macau’s gambling industry is continuing to take a massive hit from anti-corruption moves from the Chinese mainland and an economy that is weakening.
Arrests were made in Macau this week as part of an effort to prevent cash that is illegal into the gambling mecca, while during more chilli slot max bet the exact same time a pact has been finalized between the Macau Monetary Authority and the People’s Bank of China that could see more influence exerted on Macau by mainland banks.
The moves come at the same time when Macau casinos are experiencing a downturn that is unprecedented.
Anti-corruption moves by China’s president, Xi Jinping, along with a smoking ban in Macau and A chinese economy that’s rapidly on the slide has made the perfect storm for Macau’s casinos.
China’s stockmarket collapse has generated a weak renminbi that is chinese which in turn has ramped up the cost for mainland gamblers to play in Macau.
17 Arrested in Money-Laundering Crackdown
This week, 17 individuals were arrested in Macau after police found cash that is illegal through the city’s pawn shops.
The downturn that is economic the gambling hub is leading the authorities to ramp up efforts to stem the tide of illicit money, even in a city where money-laundering is no stranger.
Macau police seized UnionPay card terminals and documents of unlawful money transactions well worth around $1.7 million. Reuters have reported a leap in gambling-related crimes for 2015 to date, as much as 34.5 percent from 22.6 % this time year that is last.
At the same time, VIP ‘whales’ who have remained away from Macau because the crackdowns is crippling the casinos’ businesses.
‘The reduced number of big VIP gamblers and increasing trouble in getting right back gaming debt for many creditors has resulted in the rise in these criminal activity rates,’ stated Macau’s secretary for security, Wong Sio Chak.
Diversification ‘Not Working’
Section of China’s plan for Macau is transform it into an entertainment that is worldwide, not solely reliant on gambling for income.
As a result, major casino chains like James Packer’s Melco Crown, have now been busy wanting to diversify into ‘theme park’-style resorts.
Melco’s Studio City features a Hollywood theme, with a hotel based on Gotham City, Asia’s ferris wheel that is biggest and has also secured the solutions of Leonardo di Caprio and Martin Scorsese on promotional duties.
However, therefore far the moves are not working. According to Fitch Ratings, non-gambling pursuits like nightclubs, restaurants and shows accounted for less than ten percent of total Macau revenues a year ago.
There is certainly an amount of pessimism over whether non-gambling ‘entertainment’ does the trick.
Melco’s CEO, Lawrence Ho, told the Macau Daily Times:
‘ Non-gaming doesn’t make any money and it shall never make hardly any money.
For all your silly people out there that think non-gaming is certainly going to save Macau’s time, it is not.’
Plenty on Xi’s Plate
The fallout from China’s stockmarket collapse this week will certainly be thought in Macau, and casino bosses here are vanishing in their shelters in order to avoid the fallout.
Some of whom are opposed to his anti-corruption crusade unlike some of his predecessors, President Xi Jinping has taken a lot of responsibility for economic decisions in China, and should he be blamed for the turmoil it could spur opposition within his party.
Xi visits the US in September, and while he will almost certainly be given the presidential therapy (despite Donald Trump’s demands the beleaguered Chinese President to be served a Big Mac instead of a state dinner) he should have plenty more than a slumping Macau gambling industry on his plate when he comes.
Macau Casinos Consider Abduction Insurance as Kidnappings Increase
Macau’s Secretary for Security Wong Sio-chak says the protection situation in Macau is stable, despite an increase in kidnappings. (Image: ggrasia.com)
As if Macau doesn’t have enough problems lately, a brand new and terrifying trend in the Chinese gambling mecca is probably not going to help business any, either.
A growth in the kidnapping of high rollers from Macau’s top hotel resorts in the last 12 months has resulted in the province’s casino operators taking out fully insurance that is special to mitigate the possibility of high-profile abductions.
Macau police have said that the number of illegal detentions, which largely involve the forced collection of gambling debts, significantly more than doubled in the first six months with this year.
Authorities reported that as 170 people were held against their will through that duration, and it is most likely that a lot more instances have gone unreported.
Many attribute this to pressure that is economic Macau from mainland Asia. Beijing’s visa restrictions on people to the gambling hub, since well as a slowing Chinese economy, is hurting the earnings of Macau’s moneylenders and junket operators.
14K Triad Involvement
Limitations on the sum of money visitors can bring from the mainland has meant that those willing to lend them cash have, until recently, done a trade that is thriving but the squeeze with this kind of business, much of which is known to have been infiltrated by 14K Triad organized crime groups, is driving up the enforced collection of gambling debts.
Talking with the South China Evening Post, Ashley Coles, who is an assistant director of credit, political, and security risks at Jardine Lloyd Thompson, said that all the casino groups in Macau have expressed interest in expert risk insurance.
‘Word of mouth may lead to a trend of a fascination with the policy, security and the security,’ he said. ‘All the casino that is major resort chains will have looked into this. Certainly there is a correlation between mainland China, Macau therefore the purchase and interest of this type of policy,’ he added.
Company is Business
According to Cole, policies often cover the deployment of a negotiator to diffuse kidnapping disputes, also as protection for the casinos from potential lawsuits brought by victims or their families.
Earlier this year, Macau’s Secretary for safety Wong Sio-chak played down fears of a crime revolution in the area, which has also reported an increase in arson and document forgery.
‘[The figures] nevertheless [do] not provide sufficient evidence that the current adjustment into the video gaming industry has affected Macau’s social public security,’ he insisted, adding that the province’s security situation had been nevertheless stable.
However, a ‘casino industry source’ close to the South Asia Post who wished to remain nameless felt otherwise morning.
‘Business is business for these [debt collectors], and if they can’t obtain pound of flesh a proven way, they are going to obtain it another way,’ the supply said.