Changchun Ice And Snow World 2021

Source: Chun Ming Ng

Changchun Ice and Snow World 2021 (or Changchun Ice and Snow Xintiandi 长春冰雪新天地) debuted with a new image this year. It is the world's biggest ice and snow festival, bigger than the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival. It covers an area of 1.38 million square meters, and the amount of ice and snow used exceeds 200,000 cubic meters. It is a veritable “Ice Kingdom”. As the first million-square-meter “Ice Kingdom” in the country to light up, Changchun Ice and Snow Xintiandi have built 142 ice and snow buildings.

Neil Young sells half of the rights to his song catalogue to Hipgnosis

( via – – Wed, 6th Jan 2021) London, Uk – –

Publishing house makes third major deal in a week, following acquisition of catalogues by Jimmy Iovine and Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsay Buckingham

Neil Young has sold half of the rights to his song catalogue to Hipgnosis, in the same week the publishing house has acquired catalogues by former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsay Buckingham and super-producer Jimmy Iovine.

The deal comprises Young’s entire song catalogue of 1,180 compositions, with Hipgnosis taking on 50% of the worldwide copyright and income from the catalogue in exchange for an undisclosed cash sum that will certainly run into nine figures.

Hipgnosis Songs Fund was founded in 2018 by Merck Mercuriadis, who has previously managed artists including Elton John, Guns N’ Roses and Beyoncé. In December, after floating the company on the London Stock Exchange in 2018, he announced the company’s market value had reached £1.25bn. In the first six months of 2020, the company generated £50m in revenue, twice the amount for the same period in 2019.

Part of that growing Hipgnosis income is from use of its song catalogue in film and television, as well as advertising. Young is famously resistant to his music being used on adverts, singing in 1988 on This Note’s for You: “Ain’t singing for Pepsi / Ain’t singing for Coke / I don’t sing for nobody / Makes me look like a joke.”

Mercuriadis acknowledged Young’s stance, saying: “We have a common integrity, ethos and passion born out of a belief in music and these important songs. There will never be a ‘Burger of Gold’ but we will work together to make sure everyone gets to hear them on Neil’s terms.”

“Burger of Gold” is a reference to a 1973 Neil Young concert, where he revealed he’d been asked by an unnamed company to use hit song Heart of Gold on an advert, and joked he would have had to rename the song Burger of Gold if he’d agreed.

Mercuriadis said he had been a Young fan since the age of seven when he bought the album Harvest. He referred to his albums as “part of who I am, they’re in many ways responsible for who I’ve become and they’re most certainly in my DNA”.

Earlier this week, Hipgnosis also acquired 100% of Lindsay Buckingham’s 161-song catalogue, including hits he wrote for Fleetwood Mac such as Go Your Own Way, plus 50% of any as-yet unreleased songs. Mercuriadis hailed him as “one of the greatest guitarists, songwriters and producers of all time yet is still so underrated”.

He also acquired the worldwide producer royalties from 259 songs by Jimmy Iovine, who produced artists including Bruce Springsteen, U2 and Patti Smith before founding the Beats Electronics technology firm that was bought out by Apple for $3bn in 2014. Iovine said his work had found “the right home”, and that he would use the proceeds to fund the building of a high school in Los Angeles.

Hipgnosis started out buying the catalogues of star songwriters and producers such as Timbaland, The-Dream, TMS and Rodney Jerkins, before acquiring artist catalogues including Mark Ronson, Barry Manilow, Steve Winwood and Blondie.

Stars selling their catalogues has become a major music industry trend in recent years, including Buckingham’s former bandmate Stevie Nicks, who sold 80% of her song publishing rights to a rival publishing house, Primary Wave, in December.

Later that month came the most eye-catching deal of all: Bob Dylan selling his entire catalogue to Universal Music Group for a sum believed to be over $300m (£225m). Universal called it “the most significant music publishing agreement this century and one of the most important of all time”.

By Ben Beaumont-Thomas

Ladbrokes owner Entain offered $11bn by MGM Resorts

( via – – Mon, 4th Jan 2021) London, Uk – –

US casino giant MGM Resorts has made an $11bn (£8.1bn) offer for British gaming company Entain, which owns Ladbrokes.

The move is the latest attempt by a casino operator to move into the online gambling business.

In addition to its chain of High Street betting shops, UK-based Entain also owns a number of online sports betting and gambling sites.

Entain confirmed the offer, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, but said the price was too low.

It had recently rebuffed an earlier $10bn (£7.3bn) all-cash approach from MGM, the newspaper said.

In a statement, Entain said the latest bid approach “significantly undervalues the company and its prospects”.

MGM Resorts, which runs the Bellagio casino in Las Vegas, now has until the beginning of next month to decide whether to make a formal bid or to walk away.

FTSE 100-listed Entain. which renamed itself from GVC Holdings last month, describes itself as “one of the world's largest sports betting and gaming groups operating in the online and retail sector”.

Along with Ladbrokes, it also owns brands such as Bwin, Partypoker, Coral, Eurobet, Gala and Foxy Bingo.

After news of the latest offer for the firm, investors started betting on Entain, pushing its share price up by more than 25% to £14.30 a share – above MGM's offer of roughly £13.83 a share – a sign that market watchers are expecting a higher bid.

If the two firms do reach an agreement, it would follow another deal in September when MGM rival Caesars Entertainment agreed to buy UK-based William Hill for £3.7bn.

“Following Caesar's offer for William Hill last year, a bid by MGM for Ladbroke's owner Entain isn't exactly a surprise,” said Nicholas Hyett an analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.

“The two are working together to take advantage of the recent legalisation of sports betting in the US, a market worth many billions of dollars a year.”

Analysis: By Dominic O'Connell

Predictions about the stockmarket have a habit of making the person trying to guess the future look foolish. No such problem for Laura Foll, a fund manager at the investment firm Janus Henderson. On the Today programme on Monday, she forecast more takeover offers for household names in Britain, noting that the UK markets remained unloved by investors and so – perhaps – undervalued.

An hour after the prediction a big offer duly landed, with Entain, the London-listed company that owns Ladbrokes and other gambling brands, saying it had received a takeover proposal from MGM Resorts, an American rival.

The US company is offering to pay shareholders in Entain not in cash, but in new MGM shares – an obvious move given the sky-high rating of US shares compared to those listed in London.

It looks a carbon copy of last year's deal where Caesars, best known for its Las Vegas properties, bought another venerable name in British bookmaking, William Hill. Get ready for more acquisitive foreign companies looking for deals in bargain basement London.

Covid headwinds

The new bid for Entain comes with financial backing from MGM's largest shareholder, InterActiveCorp (IAC), which took a 12% stake in MGM Resorts last August.

At the time, IAC's chief executive Barry Diller said it planned to work with MGM to expand its online gambling portfolio.

The attempted acquisition comes as the casino industry faces headwinds from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Bricks-and-mortar casino operators have struggled under travel restrictions.

The economy of Asian casino hub Macau shrank 49% in the first quarter of this year, while unemployment in Las Vegas reached 30% earlier in the year and remains well above the US average.

MGM Resorts, which is the operator of the Bellagio casino in Las Vegas, laid off 18,000 furloughed employees in the US in August.

Many online gambling companies, by contrast, saw a boost during Covid-19 restrictions, prompting many casino owners to pivot their businesses towards online.

How The 75-Foot Rockefeller Christmas Tree Makes It To NYC

Source: Business Insider

This year's iconic Rockefeller Christmas tree was found in someone's yard in Oneonta, NY four years ago. To get the donated, 75-foot-tall tree to Manhattan took a team of dozens of workers, huge cranes, and a 115-foot trailer. While this year's Norway Spruce ended up as full and bright as past years', it had its fair share of viral moments, with an orphaned owl, COVID-19 restrictions, and rumors of tree extensions.



UK National Lottery age limit for playing will rise to 18 from next year

( via – – Tue, 8th Dec 2020) London, Uk – –

Rise in minimum age part of gambling review aiming to update ‘analogue law in a digital age’

The age limit for playing the National Lottery will rise to 18 from next year, the government has said, on the day ministers launched a review of gambling laws that could result in curbs on advertising and a cap on online casino stakes.

Culture minister Oliver Dowden said the 2005 Gambling Act – written before the arrival of the smartphone – was an “analogue law in a digital age”, as he kicked off a lengthy process that could unwind much of the Blair-era legislation.

The only concrete measure announced by the government was an increase in the age at which people can play the National Lottery, which will rise from 16 to 18 in October 2021. The change reflects concern that the weekly draw’s expansion into areas such as online play could make it a gateway to problem gambling.

But the government also launched a long-awaited review of gambling laws with a 16-week call for evidence.

As the Guardian reported last week, ministers will consider banning the sponsorship of sport by betting firms and limiting online casino stakes, as well as mandating strict affordability checks to ensure that punters do not lose beyond their means.

There could also be a testing regime for new products, meaning some gambling games could be barred from release if they are deemed too dangerous for potential addicts.

Ministers will also consider giving the regulator, the Gambling Commission, new funding and powers to tackle the unregulated parallel market, as well as to impose harsher punishments on legitimate gambling operators that fail to protect vulnerable people.

“Whilst millions gamble responsibly, the Gambling Act is an analogue law in a digital age,” said Dowden. “From an era of having a flutter in a high-street bookmaker, casino, racecourse or seaside pier, the industry has evolved at breakneck speed. This comprehensive review will ensure we are tackling problem gambling in all its forms to protect children and vulnerable people. It will also help those who enjoy placing a bet to do so safely.”

Gambling lobby group the Betting & Gaming Council (BGC) said the review “provides an important opportunity to drive further changes on safer gambling introduced by the industry in the past year”.

The industry has recently taken voluntary steps to demonstrate its commitment to protecting vulnerable gamblers, including a “whistle to whistle” ban on adverts while live matches are broadcast.

Firms agreed the measure with the government review looming, more than a decade after unfettered gambling advertising was permitted by Labour.

Labour MP Carolyn Harris, who chairs a cross-party group examining gambling-related harm, said the review was a “once-in-a-generation opportunity to reform the online gambling industry, which has grown exponentially over the past decade.

“It has evolved from the traditional betting I grew up with to a global corporate entity which extracts vast profit from people in this country. Our regulatory system has not evolved with it and the excesses of the industry are clear for all to see.”

By Rob Davies

How YouTube Became An Internet Video Giant

Source: CNBC

With more than 500 hours of video uploaded every minute and over 1 billion hours watched every day, Google’s YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine. And its meteoric growth hasn’t subsided, over 2 billion users visit the site every month. CNBC takes a look at how the video platform has changed over the past 15 years and if it can stay on top

Ticketmaster fined £1.25m after UK customers payment card details were hacked

( via– Fri, 13th Nov 2020) London, Uk – –

Ticketmaster has been fined £1.25m for losing more than a million British customers' payment card details in a data breach in 2018.

At the time the company admitted personal information and card details belonging to 40,000 customers were stolen by hackers, but the true impact has been revealed to be much higher by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).

According to the ICO, the data breach – which included names, payment card numbers, expiry dates and CVV numbers – potentially affected 9.4m of the company's customers, including 1.5m in the UK.

The data watchdog's investigators found that 60,000 payments cards belonging to Barclays Bank customers were subjected to known fraud as a result of the breach, with another 6,000 replaced by Monzo Bank following suspected fraudulent use.

Ticketmaster failed to “assess the risks of using a chat-bot on its payment page, identify and implement appropriate security measures to negate the risks. [and] identify the source of suggested fraudulent activity in a timely manner” according to the ICO.

It took Ticketmaster nine weeks to identify the breach after the first reports of fraud, which came from Monzo Bank customers in February 2018.

Other card providers, including the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Barclaycard, Mastercard and American Express all reported suggestions of fraud to Ticketmaster – but the company failed to identify the problem, said the ICO.

More than two months after the first report the company began monitoring the network traffic through its online payment page to discover that hackers were siphoning off customer details due to a vulnerability in the chat-bot system it was using.

The watchdog's deputy commissioner James Dipple-Johnstone said: “When customers handed over their personal details, they expected Ticketmaster to look after them. But they did not.

“Ticketmaster should have done more to reduce the risk of a cyber-attack. It's failure to do so meant that millions of people in the UK and Europe were exposed to potential fraud.

“The £1.25m fine we've issued today will send a message to other organisations that looking after their customers' personal details safely should be at the top of their agenda.”

Ticketmaster said it intends to appeal against the fine.

Model railway maker Hornby sales surge by 33% in lockdown

( via – – Fri, 30th Oct 2020) London, Uk – –

Model railway maker Hornby has seen its sales surge by 33% in the six months to the end of September, as more people took up hobbies in lockdown.

The firm, which also makes Corgi cars and Scalextric racing kits, said it had benefitted from families spending more time at home.

Not along ago, Hornby was “a company in chaos”, losing up to £10m a year, according to boss Lyndon Davies.

He hailed the firm's return to profit in a “time of adversity”.

“We have observed hitherto successful and profitable companies worldwide crumbling under the pressure [of the pandemic], with losses, closures and tumbling share values.

“Yet we have not only weathered this shattering storm, our sales have increased by 33% in the first half of 2020, moving Hornby back into profitability.”

Parts of the Hornby business that performed strongly over the past six months included Airfix, its model aeroplane brand, and Humbrol, which makes specialist paints for modelling.

Mr Davies said the company had seen a big jump in online sales, as customers sought comfort from uncertainty in products “they know and love”.

He said boredom was another driver: “People want to do things, they don't want to sit there watching the TV for the day.”

He said the firm entered the year with “no idea” how the business would be impacted by the pandemic.

All of the firm's offices had to close at various points, and it lost several weeks of shipments due to supply chain issues.

Despite this, sales climbed to £21.1m in the period from £15.9m last year. That's given Hornby a net profit of £200,000, turning around a £2.5m loss in 2019.

Shares in the firm surged almost 30% on the back of the strong results.

Wider ranges

Lockdown isn't the only reason behind Hornby's changing fortunes. After a complete restructuring of the management team in 2017, the company widened its range, introducing train sets tied to well-known brands such as Harry Potter and Paddington Bear.

Back to the Future-themed cars have been “the biggest selling Scalextric cars for 10 years”, Mr Davies added.

The firm has also embraced new technologies. A century after its first clockwork locomotive was introduced in 1920, the company's model trains and racing cars can now be controlled by mobile phone apps using bluetooth.

“These brands have been misunderstood for the past 5-10 years, but in the last year we've brought them alive again,” Mr Davies said.

Toymakers expecting strong global sales during Christmas despite coronavirus

( via – – Mon, 26th Oct 2020) London, Uk – –

Toymakers are expecting strong global sales during the critical end-of-year festive season, after a surge of pandemic-fuelled demand for items such as Barbies and board games.

Hasbro, maker of Monopoly and Jenga, told investors on Monday it was poised for a “good holiday season”.

The forecast followed rival Mattel's report last week of its biggest sales jump in a decade.

The firm's Barbie dolls hit their highest quarterly sales since 2003.

The gains have come as families buy toys and games in an attempt to fend off boredom amid the pandemic lockdowns.

“The toy industry as a whole grew meaningfully and continues to demonstrate its resilience in challenging economic times,” said Mattel chief executive Ynon Kreiz.

In the first nine months of the year, Hasbro sales grew 13% from 2019 – bucking the wider plunge in consumer spending around the world.

At Mattel, sales are down 2% from 2019 – but some brands, such as Barbie, are having their strongest run in years.

The firm said gross sales of the doll grew 15% year-on-year in the first nine months of 2020. In the most recent quarter, they rose 29% to more than $532m.

Mattel told investors last week it was predicting holiday season sales growth of roughly 5% from last year – greater than many wider forecasts of festive season spending.

However, analysts have warned that the pandemic may throw some surprises at toymakers in the upcoming months, as family budgets increasingly feel strains and concerns about coronavirus infection change holiday shopping dynamics.

“Not only am I concerned that paycheque spending may be limited, but I'm concerned that we will not see that last minute rush into the stores due to fears of Covid-19,” Juli Lennett, vice president at market research firm NPD Group, wrote recently.

But she said toymakers might still manage to see some gains.

“As we've seen in previous economically challenged times, parents will sometimes forego their own needs to make their children happy. In this crazy, stressful year, parents might just go overboard and splurge on their kids -if they have money,” she said.

Viagogo’s $4bn takeover of StubHub provisionally blocked by competition watchdog

( via – – Thur, 22nd Oct 2020) London, Uk – –

Regulator says deal between controversial ticket resale firms would harm consumers

The UK element of the takeover of ticket resale website StubHub by its rival Viagogo has been provisionally blocked by the competition watchdog, throwing the future of the controversial $4bn tie-up into doubt.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said Viagogo, which pressed ahead with the deal despite a warning from the watchdog, must now address its concerns, potentially by selling all or part of StubHub.

Stuart McIntosh, the chair of the CMA inquiry group, said: “The evidence we’ve seen so far consistently points in the same direction – that Viagogo and StubHub have a market share of more than 90% combined and compete closely with each other.

“We are therefore concerned that their merger could lead to secondary ticketing customers facing higher fees and lower quality services. We’re now inviting comments on our provisional findings and possible remedies.”

The takeover has already been described as the “worst deal in history” after it was completed shortly before the pandemic shut down the vast majority of live events around the world.

The CMA is understood to have received submissions from music industry groups concerned about the power the combined company would wield.

Both firms have drawn fire from musicians such as Ed Sheeran, as well as from MPs, for repeatedly misleading consumers and exploiting alliances with powerful ticket touts to profit from fans’ devotion to their idols.

By Rob Davies

Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak warned 90,000 exhibition jobs will go when furlough ends

( via– Fri, 2nd Oct 2020) London, Uk – –

 A letter to Boris Johnson argues the sector has been abandoned to its fate as COVID-19 forces venues to remain shut.

The coronavirus-ravaged exhibitions industry has warned that 80% of its total workforce may be lost within weeks as the clock ticks down to the furlough scheme's closure at the end of the month.

An open letter to Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak, signed by more than 330 employers and also the Labour Party, pleads for targeted financial support to prevent the prospect of 90,000 job losses.

The Events Industry Alliance (EIA) argued there was an “existential threat” to the sector, which employs 600,000 people, given that it is among only a handful of industries still forced to remain shut because of government restrictions to tackle COVID-19.

The letter, sent on behalf of companies across the wider events sector including The O2, pointed out that the replacement for the Job Retention Scheme, the Job Support Scheme, would only help people who are back at work when it gets under way in November.

“The EIA anticipates that 80% of the exhibitions sector workforce (consisting of events suppliers, organisers and venues), over 90,000 people, will be made redundant… due to continued event closures and the inability of their employers to access the new Job Support Scheme as they are not able to trade at all during the time and therefore will have no income to pay employees,” the letter said.

“Targeted government support is urgently needed for the industry to survive.

“We therefore propose that the government develops an ‘Events Industry Hibernation Support Package'.”

Among the time-limited measures it requested were an adapted wage subsidy scheme and enhanced access to grants and loans.

The chancellor said his Winter Economic Plan could only support “viable” jobs, essentially ruling that there was no bottomless pit of cash to prevent a surge in unemployment.

The EIA argued that the events industry was worth £70bn annually to the UK economy.

The letter continued: “We are not an unviable sector and simply require support to survive until the time is right to resume events, at which point we can return to our role of driving growth in the wider economy.”

There is anger among businesses over the viability threshold demanded by the Job Support Scheme.

David Cox, chairman of Newbury-based Design Construct & Exhibitions, told Sky News the business had been effectively closed down by the government on 23 March and it deserved support until its restrictions are lifted.

“We have, like many other companies, had the benefit of the furlough scheme, however this does not help with set overheads and financial commitments that we all have to contend with.

“We have had no real income since that day and since September we have had to contribute to all our staff wages without getting anything in return.”

He added: “I would also like to point out that we have, and I am sure most of our event colleagues have, paid corporation tax every year so I find it unacceptable to be labelled as not viable.”

By James Sillars

Pinewood studio blockbuster visitor attraction set to create 3,500 jobs

( via– Thur, 17th Sept 2020) London, Uk – –

The company said the strategy comes at a time when the need for investment in economic recovery has never been higher.

Film studio Pinewood has announced a £450m expansion, including a blockbuster visitor attraction, which it says could create around 3,500 new jobs.

The announcement, details of which were first reported by Sky News, “comes at a time when the need for investment in economic recovery has never been higher”, the company said.

Pinewood, which has played host to many instalments of the James Bond and Star Wars franchises, will open Screen Hub UK on a 77-acre site next to the existing studio.

It will include a 350,000 sq ft “film-inspired international visitor attraction” called Pinewood Studio Experience.

Pinewood group chairman Paul Golding said: “We have been looking at a visitor experience for some time and feel that now is the right moment to bring it forward.

“The project will strengthen UK film and bring much needed jobs and spending.”

Pinewood said it would start consultation on its planning application for the scheme next week.

Its new visitor attraction is likely to feature many of the most famous films made at the site during its 84-year history.

Among those at least partly shot at Pinewood during the last year have been Rocketman, Mary Poppins Returns, 1917, Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker and the 25th James Bond film, No Time To Die, which is due to be Daniel Craig's final outing as 007.

The latest instalment of the Jurassic World series is currently filming at the Buckinghamshire studio.

Pinewood's plans will deliver a huge shot in the arm to a film industry which, like many others, has been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Filming across the television and movie sectors has been postponed or cancelled during the last six months, resulting in substantial delays to film releases and in turn dealing a heavy blow to the finances of cinema chains around the world.

Other big investments in UK film production capacity include a state-of-the-art film and TV studio being developed by Sky, the immediate owner of Sky News, at Elstree.

UK Broadcaster ITV set to be expelled from the FTSE 100 after its shares dropped

( via — Mon, 31st Aug 2020) London, UK —

LONDON (Reuters) – British broadcaster ITV (ITV.L) is set to be expelled from the FTSE 100 .FTSE blue-chip index after its shares have fallen by about 60% this year, hit hard by an advertising slump triggered by the coronavirus crisis.

Index manager FTSE Russell placed ITV on its “indicative FTSE 100 deletions” list on Aug. 26 and said it would make a final announcement on Wednesday, based on the data collected at Tuesday’s close.

ITV's market capitalisation, by far the weakest in the benchmark index, amounts to 2.4 billion pounds ($3.19 billion) and is smaller than those of dozens of companies in the mid-cap FTSE 250 index .FTMC.

Given the huge valuation gap between ITV and its FTSE 100 peers, there is little doubt the broadcaster will be demoted to the FTSE 250.

Retailer B&M European Value Retail (BMEB.L), worth 4.7 billion pounds on the London stock market, was indicated as the only likely entrant to the FTSE 100 by FTSE Russell.

ITV, the UK’s biggest free-to-air commercial broadcaster, this month reported a 43% decline in advertising revenue in the second quarter. That fuelled a 17% decline in external revenue in the first six months of the year.

Advertising revenue in July was down 23%. While that represented an improvement from the 42% drop in June, the outlook remains uncertain, ITV said.

The broadcaster, the studios unit of which produces popular dramas such as “Coronation Street” and “Emmerdale”, did not provide financial guidance for the year.

“The COVID-19 pandemic limits the company’s ability to create and show new content and thus attract advertising, although the longer-term trend of competition from streaming services and rival broadcast technologies is a huge factor as well”, Russ Mould, an analyst at broker AJ Bell, said in a note last week.

Shares in ITV were not trading on Monday because of a UK public holiday but closed at 60.72 pence on Friday.

Reporting by Julien Ponthus


Chadwick Boseman “Don’t GIVE UP on Your DREAMS!” – Top 10 Rules for Success

Source: Evan Carmichael

Grab a snack and chew on today's lessons from a man who went from writing a play in high school after a classmate was shot and killed to playing Jackie Robinson in movie 42 and being the Black Panther. He's Chadwick Boseman and here's my take on his Top 10 Rules for Success!


How The Super Rich Do Horse Racing On Another Level

Source: CNBC

The super rich do everything differently – especially when it comes to horse racing. The Breeders’ Cup is “the richest two days in sports,” with $27 million in prize money up for grabs!

About Secret Lives of the Super Rich: The series unlocks the mansion gates and lifts the velvet ropes to score your exclusive VIP access to a world inhabited by the wealthiest people on the planet. Secret Lives of the Super Rich… you can't afford to miss it!

William Hill to repay £24m in furlough funds and shut 119 stores

( via – – Wed, 5th Aug 2020) London, Uk – –

Bookmaker reports first-half profit of £141m and fast recovery in takings from sports betting

The bookmaker William Hill has seen a fast recovery in takings after sports betting resumed, but announced it would not reopen 119 branches closed during the coronavirus lockdown.

The group said it had redeployed the majority of staff at the branches that are closing and only 16 redundancies were expected. The latest closures, representing about 8% of stores, leave William Hill with 1,414 branches.

It plans to repay the government £24.5m in funds claimed to support furloughed workers’ wages, after revealing profits of £141m in the first six months of 2020, thanks to a £200m VAT refund.

Investors were encouraged by the results, with William Hill’s share price closing up 9% 128p.

Bookmakers were forced to close all their branches during the lockdown, with William Hill furloughing 7,000 staff. The absence of major sport around the world led to a big drop in betting activity, and William Hill’s revenues more than halved in the opening weeks of the UK lockdown.

However, large bookmakers’ online operations helped to cushion the blow. People who gamble regularly online did so just as often or more frequently during the lockdown, despite the lack of sporting fixtures, according to a survey by the polling company Survation in April.

The return of sporting competition such as Premier League football on 17 June meant much of the revenue affected by lockdown was delayed rather than lost, William Hill said.

Total revenues for the half-year were down by nearly a third to £554m, but revenues were flat year on year when adjusting for closed stores in the last two weeks of June. Favourable sporting results such as the outsider victory in the Derby also helped boost profits.

Ulrik Bengtsson, William Hill’s chief executive, said he was delighted by the company’s performance and wanted to pursue further growth for the business, particularly in the US as sports betting is deregulated there.

“Our trading was strong before Covid-19, we controlled costs effectively during lockdown and we have recovered well post-lockdown, with good performances in our online businesses throughout the first half,” Bengtsson said.

By Jasper Jolly


How Nintendo Switch became one of the most popular consoles on the market

Source: CNBC

Over the last 40 years, Nintendo has provided countless hours of video gaming entertainment. But with the rise of the Switch, the company took a huge step forward. And during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, finding one was harder than finding toilet paper. Here’s how the Nintendo Switch took the gaming world by surprise and became one of the most popular consoles on the market.

Why The New Media Loves Fortnite

Source: Alux

This Alux video we'll try to answer the following questions: What is Fortnite? How do you spell Fortnight? Why the new media loves fortnite? Why do guys like fortnite so much? Why is fortnite so bad? Why fortnite is good for your brain? Why is fortnite addicting? Is fortnite a sin? Does fortnite make you dumber? Is fortnite ok for 10 year olds? Should fortnite be banned? Is fortnite OK for 7 year old? Can fortnite damage your brain? Is fortnite OK for 9 year olds? Does fortnite make you smarter? Is fortnite OK for kids? Who is the best fortnite player? How long should you play fortnite a day? Why is fortnite bad for kids? What game is the most addictive? How do I quit fortnite? Is fortnite dying? Is fortnite game Dangerous? s Minecraft better than fortnite? What does fortnite stand for? Is fortnite suitable for 12 year olds? Is fortnite appropriate for 11 year olds? Why is fortnite so successful? Is Roblox bad for kids? Why is fortnite a 12? What is the concept of fortnite? What is the point of fortnite? Is fortnite OK for kids? What kind of game is fortnite? Should a 7 year old play fortnite? Is fortnite shutting down in 2020? Why is fortnite so addictive? Is fortnite dying? How do you get free V bucks? Is fortnite good for your brain? Why is fortnite shut down? What does whisper mean in fortnite? Is Roblox better than fortnite? Why is fortnite a 12? Is Roblox bad for kids? Is fortnite OK for 9 year olds? What is fortnite's birthday? How can you tell a fortnite bot? Is Ninja still good at fortnite? How much does Ninja make a year? How much is the Ninja skin on fortnite? What is Ninja's fortnite name? Who is best fortnite Player 2020? Does Fortnite pay ninja? Who is the richest gamer? Who is the highest paid gamer? How much is Ninja worth? Is Ninja still making money? How much did Microsoft pay for ninja? Who is the best fortnite player? Is fortnite losing popularity? Does Ninja play warzone? What team is Ninja on in fortnite? Why is fortnite banned in China? What country is fortnite banned in? Who has the most kills in fortnite?