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Are you experiential? Future-casting for retail betting…

first_imgShare Winning Post: Swedish regulator pushes back on ‘Storebror’ approach to deposit limits August 24, 2020 Related Articles StumbleUpon Betfred counters Oppenheimer bid in race to rescue Phumelela August 26, 2020 SBC Magazine Issue 10: Kaizen Gaming rebrand and focus for William Hill CEO August 25, 2020 Scott LongleyThe major high-street bookmakers are facing up to the challenge of how to re-invent retail betting in the face of increasing channel shift and the potential fall of machine revenues….____________________As benefits the current limbo afflicting the UK betting shop sector, the first-quarter trading statements from Ladbrokes Coral and William Hill presented a mixed picture of the health of land-based sports betting.While there is some respite from speculation over the triennial review – at least until after the UK’s general election – we have the evidence from two of the big three that over-the-counter (OTC) betting is currently a tough business.Ladbrokes Coral said last week that OTC staking amounts had fallen 7 percent in the first three months of the year, though after applying an improved margin performance the net revenue figure was down 5 percent.That factor was reversed at William Hill where a 2 percent rise on stakes failed to translate into a rise in OTC net revenue with a 0.8 percentage point fall in gross margins estimated to have translated into a 2.5 percent fall in gross win.With the sights of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport’s review trained on the maximum stake on gaming machines, it will therefore come as cold comfort for William Hill that its retail business enjoyed a 1 percent rise in total retail net revenue off the back of its machine performance. Still, it is a healthier state of affairs than at its rival where even a positive machine result couldn’t do more than bring retail net revenues overall year-on-year decline of 2 percent.Given the far-from-clear backdrop, it is no wonder that, as H2 Gambling Capital analyst Ed Birkin said last week at the SBC Betting on Football conference, it is hard to see whether the operators know the best course of action on future retail strategy. Although there will be a presumed hit to earnings from whatever comes out of the review, the shared costs across the various shop estates would in many cases be the only reason why a shop might be tipped into unprofitability.“Keeping them open won’t be as expensive as it sounds,” he told the audience at Stamford Bridge. “Over 50 percent of Coral’s sportsbook is now from omni-channel customers. They estimate the (cost per acquisition) at £20, which is what they pay their staff to sign them up.”In this scenario, Ladbrokes Coral and William Hill (but less so Betfred)  might be tempted to run their shops as loss-leaders to share central costs and use them as an advertising tool for the online business, particularly given the likelihood that the review will also impose new restrictions on gambling TV advertising.Speaking on the same panel, Simon Davies, analyst at Canaccord Genuity, similarly suggested the more pessimistic prognostications for retail betting-shop closures were likely overdone, regardless of what the review comes up with.“It’s easy to forget given all the doom and gloom around these retail businesses that they are still pretty large businesses,” he said. Though a £2m maximum stake on gaming machines in betting shops would dent the profitability of many shops, the omni-channel opportunity provides a significant competitive advantage for the existing retail operators.“It is a substantial reduction to their customer acquisition costs relative to pure online, so as long as there is a rational response from the DCMS on maximum stakes there is no reason retail estates won’t continue, albeit with a shrinkage over the next decade,” he said.Still, there are voices warning that the channel shift to online with regard to sports betting will eventually limit the extent to which omni-channel can provide a retail safety net. Paul Leyland, analyst at Regulus Partners, points out that over the last decade OTC has declined circa £450m while online sports-betting has gained £1.3bn in what he terms as an “aggressive” shift.“Given the (relatively) gradual nature of this change, the amount of short-term noise in the data, the extent to which FOBTs have plugged the gap and the different operators who have benefited versus lost out, the nature of this shift is often lost on both operators and commentators,” he said. “Nevertheless, the shift is real and profound.”As Leyland points out, this mirrors other sectors where the rise of mobile as a transactional tool is driving online retail sales growth in the UK at a pace of 20 percent a year. But betting is one of the most ‘shifted’ consumer services and even with omni-channel, the challenge remains one of maintaining profitability against lower-cost online operations.To counter a trend which will be exacerbated by regulatory interventions, Regulus Partners suggest the high-street bookmakers will need to consider how to enhance the “experiential” element of retail betting.“Of course, the number of betting shops required to provide such services could be materially fewer than today, but then the remaining betting shops can be focused more on being sports-betting and brand beacons rather than a half-way house between small arcade and high street casino, with betting an increasingly anachronistic or outsourced minority product._____________________________Article written by Scott Longley – Clear Concise Media Submit Sharelast_img read more

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Adrian Gonzalez homers again as Dodgers sweep Arizona

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Kemp and Juan Uribe also homered for the Dodgers, who scored 22 runs in the series.“This is a good place to hit,” Gonzalez said. “You go out here and take BP (batting practice) and the ball carries out of the ballpark. You take some of those swings and it kind of makes you feel better as a hitter.”Dan Haren (2-0) allowed three runs in 5 2/3 innings to get the victory.Mark Trumbo hit a three-run home run and Eric Chavez had a solo shot for the Diamondbacks, who are off to a 4-11 start.Dee Gordon stole a career-best four bases, the most by a Dodger in a game since Rafael Furcal did it against Arizona in 2007. “He’s always been able to do that,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said, “but now he’s getting on base a lot. He’s walking and he’s getting his hits. That’s what really changes the dynamic.”Cahill failed to make it through the fifth inning for the third time in his four starts.He went four innings plus two batters, allowing seven runs — six earned — on seven hits. Cahill struck out eight but walked five. Asked why Cahill can be good for a stretch then fall apart, Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said, “I think you’d have to ask Trevor that. I don’t have an answer for you.”Cahill said the walks were a big problem, and that one pitch to Gonzalez.“I made a mistake and Adrian’s been swinging it good this series,” Cahill said. “I kind of got away from the game plan with him and left a pitch down and in, right in his sweet spot.”Haren scattered nine hits, striking out five and walking one.Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect ninth for his fourth save and second in as many games.The Dodgers led 8-3 before Trumbo’s sixth home run of the season, off Jamey Wright with two outs in the seventh, cut it to 8-6. Gonzalez, who also doubled, had an extra-base hit for the eighth consecutive game, one shy of the franchise record. Ten of Gonzalez’s 14 hits this season have gone for extra bases.Kemp’s line shot into the Arizona bullpen down the left field line put the Dodgers up 1-0 in the second.Gordon walked to start the fourth, then stole second and third. Yasiel Puig walked and Hanley Ramirez bounced one high off the plate to Cahill, beating the throw to first for an infield RBI single. Gonzalez hit a 1-1 pitch into the right field seats to bring in three runs and L.A. led 5-0.Arizona got three in its half of the third. Parra led off with a double and scored on Aaron Hill’s triple to the left-center gap. Goldschmidt’s groundout scored Hill, then Chavez skied one to the right field seats on the first pitch to cut the lead to 5-3.In the fifth, Cahill walked Ramirez, then Gonzalez lashed a double to right and the Arizona right-hander’s day was over. Randall Delgado, who just lost his spot in the rotation, came on in relief. Gonzalez scored on Andre Ethier’s groundout, then first baseman Paul Goldschmidt couldn’t snag a high bouncer for an error that brought in the Dodgers’ seventh run.Parra recorded the first right field-to-first putout in Diamondbacks history when he threw out Haren after the pitcher appeared to have singled. It was the first throw-out at first from the right fielder in the majors in two seasons.center_img PHOENIX >> That dry desert air brought out the best of the Dodgers offense, especially Adrian Gonzalez.Gonzalez homered for the fourth consecutive game and the Dodgers beat the Diamondbacks 8-6 on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep.Gonzalez’s three-run shot off Trevor Cahill (0-4) in the third inning gave him 10 RBIs in the series. He has 27 career home runs and 87 RBIs against the Diamondbacks, most among active players.“Man, he’s smoking the ball,” teammate Matt Kemp said. “He’s probably the best hitter in the league right now.”last_img read more

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