Credit card betting deposits to be banned from April

( via– Tue, 14th Jan 2020) London, Uk – –

A ban on almost all credit card transactions is to be introduced to help protect problem gamblers and other vulnerable customers.

Customers of gambling companies are going to be banned from using their credit cards for betting from 14 April.

The Gambling Commission's announcement, which aims to tackle problem gambling and protect vulnerable customers, has sparked steep falls in the share prices of major industry players.

All online and offline betting activities will be covered except “non-remote lotteries” such as National Lottery tickets that are purchased in a store.

The ban builds on other measures to stop people getting into debt – including a reduction in the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals, and whistle-to-whistle advertising bans during sporting events.

Although Gambling Commission chief executive Neil McArthur acknowledged that some consumers use credit cards for convenience, he warned that the risk of harm to others was too high.

He said: “The ban that we have announced today should minimise the risks of harm to consumers from gambling with money they do not have.

“Research shows that 22% of online gamblers using credit cards are problem gamblers, with even more suffering some form of gambling harm.

“We also know that there are examples of consumers who have accumulated tens of thousands of pounds of debt through gambling because of credit card availability.

“There is also evidence that the fees charged by credit cards can exacerbate the situation because the consumer can try to chase losses to a greater extent.”

Culture minister Helen Whately said: “In the past year we have introduced a wave of tougher measures, including cutting the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals (from £100 to £2), bringing in tighter age and identity checks for online gambling and expanding national specialist support through the NHS Long-Term Plan.

“We have also secured a series of commitments from five leading gambling operators that will include £100m funding towards treatment for problem gamblers.

“But there is more to do. We will be carrying out a review of the Gambling Act to ensure it is fit for the digital age and we will be launching a new nationwide addiction strategy in 2020.”

The commission said 24 million adults in Great Britain gamble, with 10.5 million of those gambling online.

UK Finance, a banking industry interest group, estimates that 800,000 consumers use credit cards to gamble.

Shares in listed gambling firms took a beating when trading opened despite the measure being largely expected.

The owner of the Paddy Power and Betfair brands, Flutter, saw its stock dip by 2% in early deals.

Ladbrokes owner GVC took a hit of over 2%, while William Hill shares were 5% lower.

Brigid Simmonds, who chairs industry body the Betting and Gaming Council, said of the looming ban: “The Betting and Gaming Council is a body firmly committed to raising standards, safer gambling and change.

“We will implement a ban on credit cards and indeed our members will go further to study and improve the early identification of those at risk.

“The use of credit cards were previously used as a potential marker of harm which might lead to further intervention with customers.”

Those firms with strong high street presences have largely looked for growth in online games and in the burgeoning US market to plug the hit from the FOBT and other crackdowns in the UK.

The loss of the in-store income has resulted in the closure of hundreds of stores and thousands of jobs.

The Gambling Commission is also expected to target so-called VIP schemes, which reward punters with perks for their custom, as part of the next phase of its work.

By James Sillars

Sneaky Ways Movie Theaters Are Designed to Get You Spending More Money

Source: BI

Between ticket prices and concessions, movie theaters are expensive. But movie theater chains like AMC and Regal only keep around 50% of the revenue from ticket sales each year. But theaters are able to keep over 80% of concessions revenue as profit. So most theaters are designed to get you to spend money on food. And it works, AMC reports that more than 71% of attendees spend money on concessions.

Tencent Chinese company buys €3bn stake in Universal Music Group

( via – – Tue, 31st Dec 2019) London, Uk – –

Parent company Vivendi to offload 10% stake with more deals likely amid music revival

Universal Music Group, the home of stars including Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga and the Beatles, has sold a 10% stake to a consortium led by the Chinese tech company Tencent in a deal valuing the world’s largest music company at €30bn (€25bn).

UMG’s parent company, Vivendi, which is controlled by the French billionaire Vincent Bolloré, has also agreed that the Tencent-led consortium has the option to buy another stake of up to 10% at the same price by 15 January 2021.

The deal, which follows protracted talks that began last summer, increases Tencent’s international expansion. The company owns a 7.5% stake in the Swedish streaming platform Spotify, and the deal will help Universal Music to expand in Asia.

Vivendi said Tencent Music Entertainment, Tencent’s streaming subsidiary, which is listed on the New York stock exchange, will also buy a minority stake in Universal Music’s operation across China.Advertisement

“Vivendi is very happy with the arrival of Tencent and its co-investors,” Vivendi said in a statement. “They will enable UMG to further develop in the Asian market.”

Vivendi and Tencent would not name other members of the consortium other than to say it included “certain global financial investors”.

Separately, Vivendi said it had entered new talks just before Christmas over the potential sale of an additional minority stake in UMG, at a price “which would at least be identical” to the deal with Tencent, with another unnamed investor or investors.

Following the announcement Sir Lucian Grainge, the chairman and chief executive of UMG, emailed staff to reassure them that the deal would not result in Tencent exerting any influence over the day-to-day running of the music company.

“With the exception of additional resources to further advance our strategy, everything else will remain the same: our strategic vision; our company, label and business unit names; our locations; and of course, our outstanding people,” he said. “This is an exciting development reflecting a strong validation of our business strategy, our incredible team and your excellent work.”

The French media conglomerate has been angling to sell a stake in UMG for the last 18 months to cash in on the music industry revival which is being driven by the streaming revolution, in turn led by services including Apple, Spotify, Amazon and Deezer.

Last year, global music revenues grew at their fastest rate in more than two decades. Worldwide, recorded music revenues surged 9.7% to $19.1bn (£14.6bn) in 2018, the fastest rate of growth since at least 1997 when the Oasis album Be Here Now topped the UK album chart.

It is the highest level of income earned by the music industry since 2006, when CD sales accounted for more than 80% of global revenues and streaming income was virtually non-existent.

By Mark Sweney

Steve Harvey gives a life changing testimony of his success journey

Source: Inspiring Habit

Steve Harvey speaks on his biography and gives a life changing testimony of his struggles before success. He speaks of his God given talent that leads him to success. In his own words he stated if it wasn't for God he would have still been broke.

How Hamleys pick the right Christmas toys?

( via – – Thur, 26th Dec 2019) London, Uk – –

It can be stressful deciding what toy to buy for kids at Christmas.

Imagine, then, deciding what toys to buy to fill the shelves of Hamleys on London's Regent Street, where more than 650,000 shoppers have already walked through the doors this December.

It is a mammoth task that starts at the beginning of the year, according to Sumeet Yadav, who runs the retail business of Reliance Brands, which owns Hamleys.

He says the stores' buyers visit toy fairs all over the world to decide what children will want for Christmas, when Hamleys makes about a fifth of its money.

It's “a bit of science and a bit of luck”, Mr Yadav says, describing their process.

The science is identifying and matching social trends with the toys being made by manufacturers.

This year, a lot of people are trying to spend more time with family in what Mr Yadav describes as a “disconnected world”.

He suggests that explains the popularity of Pictionary Air, a digital twist on the old card game in which players have to illustrate a word or phrase on a card for their team to guess.

‘Sometimes you go wrong'

“A lot of toys, which were traditional in the past, are now coming back with a technology connect,” he explains.

As for the luck, Mr Yadav says: “Sometimes you go wrong.”

The next challenge is to get those toys into the hands of children.

That starts with elves “creating a ruckus” on Regent Street, home to Hamleys' flagship store.

The theatre is designed to engage customers from the moment they enter the shop.

Once they are inside, Mr Yadav says, the “magic guy”, “the bubbles person” and “the guy flying the drone or the fighter jet” are all trying to get the customer to touch the toys.

He says that creates an “affinity” with the consumer.

Emotional connection

“When you do the magic trick and a three-year-old kid is able to deliver the magic and suddenly he is the hero of the other 50 people that are looking at him, that's a powerful feeling,” he says.

“The idea is to make an emotional connect, which is what we believe toys are to most parents and kids.”

And it appears to be working for the business.

Mr Yadav says the firm has seen an increase in like-for-like sales since this time last year, bucking a wider trend toward dismal performance on the High Street.

The store has benefited from a surge in sales in the final few days before Christmas, which Mr Yadav will want to continue until the stores close on Christmas Eve.

And he might get his wish. Figures from YouGov suggest that more than 10% of shoppers still buying presents in December would not finish their shopping until Christmas Eve.

Other toy shops, such as The Entertainer, which has about 150 stores across the country, are also hoping for a last-minute rush.

The firm's founder, Gary Grant, told the BBC that the final three months of the year had been “challenging” for his chain of toy stores.

He says October, November and December are the most important months for the company.

“It's the quarter in which – as a toy retailer – we actually make money,” he says.

Fortunately, there has been an eleventh-hour boost in sales ahead of the big day.

“December has picked up since Black Friday – and these last few days have been absolutely outstanding,” he says.

The Entertainer is not the only store to see Christmas come late this year.

Diane Wehrle from Springboard, which tracks visits to the High Street, says more and more people are leaving their shopping to the last minute in the hopes of finding a bargain.

‘More clever, more savvy'

In fact, Monday saw a 10% increase in the number of people flocking to retail parks, compared with the final Saturday before Christmas, also known as “Super Saturday”. And 3% more visited high streets and retail parks.

She expects a further surge in store visits on Christmas Eve, as shoppers grow “ever more clever and ever more savvy” by waiting until the last minute to do their Christmas shopping in the hope that retailers will drop prices further in the final hours before the big day.

But she says a rush before shops close on Christmas Eve is unlikely to make up for a Super Saturday that “wasn't very super”.

That, she says, is because younger people are more conscious of wastefulness when they shop.

The collective change in consciousness is partly due to the influence of environmental campaigners such as Greta Thunberg, Ms Wehrle says.

But she also thinks it is influenced by the number of young people renting in the UK, where more than a third of 23-34 year olds live in rented accommodation.

She says that makes them “transient” and unlikely to want to accumulate stuff to lug between houses when they move.

As a result, she says, there is less of a focus on “token gifts”, as young people put their money into single big-ticket experiences rather than buying “pointless” presents.

“They are buying fewer unnecessary gifts that will just fill stockings,” she says.

By Dan Ascher

Inside China’s luxury hotel boom and increase in five-star accommodations

Source: CBNC

From Shanghai to Beijing, China’s luxury travel market is booming. As disposable income in China continues to rise in tandem with its growing middle class, the country has seen an increase in five-star accommodations catering to the affluent traveler, domestic and foreign alike. CNBC’s Uptin Saiidi explores some of the latest designs and experiences on offer.

Denise Coates, Bet365 boss took home £320m last year

( via– Wed, 18th Dec, 2019) London, Uk – –

The boss of online betting firm Bet365 raises her annual donation to charity as her own earnings surge 26% on the previous year.

The top-paid boss in Britain has landed a further inflation-busting increase in her earnings, taking home £320m last year.

Accounts filed at Companies House showed Denise Coates, the billionaire chief executive and co-founder of online gambling firm Bet365, netted a £277m salary in the year to March 2019.

That was 26% up on the previous year when she received £220m.

The £320m sum was achieved through dividends.

The filing showed the family-owned firm, which is also a majority owner of Stoke City Football Club, raked in £65bn through punters' stakes over the 12-month period.

Profit before tax was 20% up at £791m despite the Championship side recording a loss of almost £9m.

The online gambling sector, which has faced criticism over its marketing practices, especially concerning children, has so far largely escaped the crackdown experienced on the operators of betting shops.

A £2 stake limit imposed on so-called fixed-odds betting terminals has prompted many high street operators to close stores and seek online growth alongside a greater share of the burgeoning market in the United States.

Ahead of the general election, MPs expressed concern that online firms, often with offshore bases including Gibraltar, had become the greatest risk to efforts on curbing problem gambling.

However, Bet365 was part of the group of gambling firms which agreed the so-called whistle-to-whistle ban on advertising during sporting events. Its campaigns are fronted by the actor Ray Winstone.

Ms Coates, who has received criticism over her awards in the past from pay campaigners, will also be among the top providers of income tax to the Treasury.

It is estimated she would have paid around £125m.

To put that in context: Google, Facebook and Amazon paid a combined £108m in corporation tax in 2018.

Ms Coates, who is estimated by Forbes to be the 244th-richest person in the world with a net worth of £9.3bn, also donates vast sums to her charitable foundation.

It has has been credited in the past with providing funds for Alzheimer's research.

She said of the sum: “The size of the donation, and therefore the difference the foundation will be able to make to people's lives over the coming years, are of great importance to the group.”

By James Sillars

Top 10 Most Expensive Christmas Trees In The World

Source: Alux

In this video we'll try to answer the following questions: Which are the most expensive Christmas Treees? What makes a Christmas tree expensive? Where can you find the most expensive christmass trees? Which is the tallest christmas tree? Who buys the most expensive christmas trees? How can you make a christmas tree better?

How K-pop’s richest boy band BTS Make And Spend Their Money

Source: BI

BTS is the world’s highest-paid K-pop group, according to Forbes, earning $57 million in pretax income over the past year. As K-pop’s richest boy band, here’s how the members make and spend their money.

How to Reinvent Yourself At Any Age

Source: Impact it Theory

Rushion McDonald is a modern day renaissance man whose career accomplishments range from comedy titles to award-winning baking to numerous hit shows under the global Steve Harvey brand.

His ability to constantly reinvent himself comes from his willingness to start from scratch regardless of difficulty or doubters along the way. Producer of Family Feud and host of Money Making Conversations, Rushion McDonald tells how he’s been able to live a limitless life on this episode of Impact Theory with Tom Bilyeu.

Sky to create 2,000 jobs with Hollywood-style complex in new Elstree TV and film studio

( via – – Tue, 3rd Dec 2019) London, Uk – –

Sky to create 2,000 jobs with new Elstree TV and film studio

Hollywood-style complex, which will have 14 sound stages, is due to open in 2022

Tue 3 Dec 2019 08.16 GMTLast modified on Tue 3 Dec 2019 09.39 GMT

Sky is to build a Hollywood-style film studio in north London, creating more than 2,000 new jobs, as the pay-TV company ramps up its fight against streaming giants Netflix and Amazon.

The 13-hectare (32-acre) studio complex is being built in Elstree, just down the road from Elstree Studios where rival Netflix shoots flagship series The Crown, and will open in 2022.

Sky Studios Elstree will become the European production base for Sky and NBCUniversal, which owns Fast and the Furious maker Universal Studios, as both are owned by the US pay-TV giant Comcast.

“Sky Studios will play a pivotal role in bringing the wealth of UK and European talent and creativity to the world,” said the Sky group chief executive, Jeremy Darroch. “We share a joint vision to create a world-leading production capability that will support the creation of thousands of jobs in the creative sector.”

The company has made the move to develop its own production base as the UK increasingly faces a squeeze on studio space as TV companies, film studios and the streaming giants pour billions into making content.

More than 200 films and 120 high-end TV shows were made in the UK last year, with a total production spend of more than £3bn.

Sky spends about £7bn annually on programming, from Premier League rights to buying shows such as Game of Thrones and original productions such as Chernobyl and Fortitude. Sky has said it intends to double the amount it spends on making its own shows to about £1bn a year over the next five years.

Sky Studios Elstree will have 14 stages, the smallest of which will be 1,800 sq metres, with enough space to shoot several films and TV shows at the same time. It will be about a third bigger than the plans to build a Hollywood-style studio complex in Dagenham East, which have stalled after the developer put its plans on hold.

Earlier this year, Netflix struck a deal to set up a permanent production base at Shepperton, home to films including Alien and Mary Poppins Returns. Netflix is spending about $500m (£385m) on making show and films in the UK this year. Disney, which recently launched its Disney+ streaming service in a number of international markets, has secured space at Pinewood Studios, home to Star Wars and James Bond.

By Mark Sweney

How Kanye West Built His Yeezy Empire

Source: CNBC

Kanye West grabbed the fashion world’s attention when he debuted sneakers designed in collaboration with Nike in 2009. Retailing at over $200, the shoes were released in extremely limited quantities and sold out instantaneously. They now resell in the thousands of dollars. The success of the shoes finally put West on the map in the fashion industry. For years his designs were met with ridicule. But recently, some of that excitement has turned to skepticism. Certain Yeezy models cost a lot less on the resale market than they used to. And resale prices are a tell-tale sign of a product’s clout, especially for Hypebeasts.

Victoria Beckham former Spice Girl’s high end fashion label makes another loss

( via – – Wed, 27th Nov 2019) London, Uk – –

Victoria Beckham's fashion business has posted another annual loss as demand for the former Spice Girl's high end clothes “plateaued”.

Victoria Beckham Limited, which has not made a profit since it launched in 2008, reported a loss of £12.3m for 2018.

Sales slipped 16% to £35m, amid weaker wholesale demand.

Chairman Ralph Toledano said sales of clothing and accessories had levelled off after years of growth.

“The performance was in line with expectations, so we were not surprised. Our goal is to reach profitability as soon as possible,” he told trade journal Business of Fashion.

Mrs Beckham launched her label in 2008 with a collection of luxury dresses, and now sells fashion and accessories in more than 400 stores around the world.

But while she has received critical praise, the label has struggled financially, leading Mrs Beckham to say earlier this year that it was “not a vanity project”.

“If I want this brand to still be here in 10, 20, 30, 40 years' time, I need to break even, and then I need to be profitable,” she told the Financial Times in March. “We're on the right track to do that, but it's not going to happen tomorrow.”The company has been trying to improve its performance, launching its own cosmetics range, striking a partnership with Reebok, and making price cuts.

But it said weaker demand from wholesale customers had hit performance in 2018.

Mr Toledano said: “I firmly believe that our destiny is in our hands. We have a great talent in Victoria and, if you take that asset with a dream team, we can do it.”

Mrs Beckham controls the business with her husband and former Manchester United star David Beckham, via their company Beckham Brands Holdings.

The group, which manages Mr Beckham's endorsement deals and stake in football club Inter Miami FC, also saw a sharp fall in sales in 2018.

Losses at Mrs Beckham's label were partly to blame, as well as weaker income from Seven Global, a joint venture that manages some of his corporate partnerships.

It helped push Beckham Brand Holdings to its first ever net loss of £1.6m in 2018, which followed a net profit of £12.3m in the previous year.

How Investors are Looking to Yields From Music Royalties As Alternative Ways to Invest

Source: Forbes

When looking for alternative asset classes, some spenders are looking at music royalties as a way to invest without depending on traditional stock market trends. Historically, music catalogs generally cost tens or even hundreds of millions and were rarely chopped up song by song, let alone down to a percentage of a single track. Creators were often underpaid for their music as well. But, the evolution of streaming services is changing the way royalties make money. From movie and TV show music catalogs to songs by hip hop artists Cardi B and Tupac, investing in music has proven to be a lucrative business — for artists and investors alike.

Starbucks Just Opened The World’s Biggest Location In Chicago

Source: Food Insider

Starbucks just opened its biggest location in the world on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. It’s the newest of six Reserve Roasteries, and boasts 5 stories of coffee, cocktails, baked goods, and other treats. Other Starbucks Reserve Roastery locations include New York City, Milan, Tokyo. Insider was there for opening day, and caught up with some of the hundreds of people waiting in line to try seven different coffee-brewing methods and other drinks you can’t get anywhere else.

The Creating of Technologically Advanced $200 Million Water Fountains

Source: Bloomberg

Mark Fuller is the eccentric owner of what could be the most technically advanced water fountain-maker on the planet (the Fountains of Bellagio in Las Vegas being among his more famous). In this episode of “Hello World,” Ashlee Vance travels to Burbank, California, to chat with Mark, and see how his $200 million water features are created.

Disney+ streaming service saw 10 million subscribers signed up for first day

( via– Thur, 14th Nov, 2019) London, Uk – –

The launch numbers outstripped some forecasts, but it was not immediately clear how many customers came from free promotions.

Disney says more than 10 million subscribers signed up for its new streaming service on its first day of launch.

The “extraordinary consumer demand” saw shares in the entertainment giant rise by 3.5%.

Disney+, the competitor to the likes of Netflix and Amazon, launched in the US, Canada and the Netherlands earlier this week.

The platform is offering a mix of Marvel and Star Wars films and shows, every episode of the Simpsons, new series and classic content from the back catalogue of the world-famous studios.

Disney+ will be rolled out to the UK and Ireland from next March.

Although numbers from the launch day were more than three times the size of some forecasts, it was not immediately clear how many subscribers came from promotions.

Customers of some Verizon phone and internet packages were offered a year free.

Disney has invested billions in its streaming service, which costs $7 (£5.40) a month or $70 (£54) a year after a seven-day free trial.

Some analysts thought it would take Disney a year to reach 10 million subscribers.

In April, Disney said it plans to have up to 90 million Disney+ subscribers globally by 2024.

Netflix, which launched in 2007, now has 158 million subscribers.

A Tour of Entertainment Legend Tyler Perry’s 300-Acre Studio Compound in Atlanta

Source: AD

Today we take you to Atlanta, Georgia to tour the sprawling Tyler Perry Studios. Home to productions like Marvel’s “Black Panther” and AMC Networks’ “The Walking Dead,” the self-made entertainment legend’s production compound is larger than Warner Bros. and Walt Disney’s Burbank studios combined.

12 newly-dedicated sound stages are joined by an entire backlot neighborhood called “Maxineville,” featuring a perfect replica of Madea’s house. Tyler Perry Studios is the centerpiece of Georgia’s burgeoning film industry and a testament to the vision, success, and generosity of its founder.