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Exclusive Interview with Matthew Stafford, CEO at BlockChain Innovations Corp

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Matt-Stafford-Interview Exclusive Interview with Matthew Stafford, CEO at BlockChain Innovations CorpReading Time: 4 minutes

It is my great pleasure to bring to you my latest interview. This week we once again focus on the role of blockchain in the gambling industry as it still is a trending topic. And what better way to get a glimpse into the vertical, then asking the experts of the industry. Matthew Stafford has been appointed as CEO of BlockChain Innovations Corp. this April and he has since than given speech at many industry events. It is high time we got the chance to pick his brain in our unique style. See below our interview with Matthew.

Let’s start with a few words about yourself. Our readers love to hear top-class professionals describing themselves.

Matthew: Thank you for a very kind introduction. I’ve spent 10 years in regulated gaming and public markets as an attorney, most recently with Scientific Games and NYX Gaming Group where I helped take that company public in Toronto in 2014 through its acquisition of Openbet Technologies Limited; the world’s largest sportsbook platform provider in 2016. I’ve had the opportunity to work with hundreds of gaming clients both brick-and-mortar and in the digital space, as well as payment providers, data and compliance vendors and the multitude of gaming software platforms around the world.

You took over as CEO of Blockchain Innovations Corp (BCI) about four months back. What are your early reflections on the job?

Matthew: It’s a very exciting and busy time. We are bringing a disruptive technology to two markets – both the commercial gaming industry for operators and the public market in Toronto for investors.

There is a lot of interest in both sectors around the technology and what it can do. In the capital markets, it’s about building blockchain companies as a value-added segment that gives depth to cryptocurrencies beyond price speculation and mining. For the gaming industry, it’s about building a modern gaming and payment platform that is compatible with conventional technologies so that our operator clients can offer blockchain wagering now and be poised for the future.

You studied law and started your career as a legal intern. How does your legal background help in your functioning as the CEO of BCI, especially as cryptocurrencies and other blockchain financial solutions are still viewed with suspicion by the regulators in several countries. 

Matthew: I was fortunate enough to work in gaming – at leading slot manufacturer Aruze Gaming America, Inc. – before graduating law school. As the Assistant General Counsel there, I obtained over 150 gaming licenses for the company worldwide and won approval for hundreds of devices. I also oversaw regulatory compliance at NYX and that foundation provided me with the ability to navigate complex regulatory issues, just like the treatment of crypto and blockchain with regulators. A working partnership and understanding of the regulatory schemes behind those agencies is crucial in terms of finding a viable solution for the industry in any circumstance.

What is important to note regarding uncertainties around crypto and blockchain is that, although perhaps skeptical, regulators are addressing the issue. There is positive movement towards adoption; the regulation/licensing frameworks that are being considered are being conducted by many jurisdictions and the outcome is to find that balance of providing the industry with competitive technology while meeting the regulatory objectives within a particular jurisdiction.

Can you tell us more about BCI’s soon to launch cryptocurrency wallet, Pebwallet, and its PebbleShare tipbot?

Matthew: Pebwallet.com is our fully-functional cryptocurrency wallet for users to manage and exchange multiple cryptocurrencies for smart-contract coins. They can also buy, sell, and exchange wagers via our PebbleShare tipbot. The wallet communicates to any existing operator’s PAM via an API and, in addition to standard transaction accounting and reporting, operators may permit wagering between players using pay-as you-go cryptocurrency where no money is on deposit as well as players with fiat currency on deposit, in their existing operator account.

Once activated, users with popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum may then exchange those coins for PebbleCoin and begin placing smart-contract wagers. PebbleCoin, the gaming-by-design crypto-currency BCI’s technology utilizes, is one of the first cryptocurrencies to use smart contracts and trade them as freely as coins.

BCI claims that its blockchain social betting solution has something unique and innovative that the competitors, especially Bitcoin and Ethereum, do not have: basically, BCI’s solution does not have a lag in provable transaction confirmation. Could you explain about its practical real-time implications?

Matthew: BCI has provably instant confirmation of transactions, or bets integrated within its technology and our cryptocurrency PebbleCoin. The confirmation time for Bitcoin is 1 hour and Ethereum is 180 seconds. The implication of that 180 seconds to 1 hour is that live wagering environments are not possible with Bitcoin or Ethereum since there is an ability for one side to “roll-back” the transaction on the blockchain. If this were the case, users could cancel bets when the line prices move against their position – that’s not feasible in a betting market.

These are good times to be a betting solution provider in the USA, as the US supreme court has repealed PSPA, which would inevitably lead to the legalization of sports betting in many US states. How do you see the prospects for BCI?

Matthew: We see a lot of opportunity for operators to be “born on the blockchain”, that is to have a blockchain wagering offering for their players as their sole platform or a complementary offering to their player base. With the 6-3 United States Supreme Court decision striking down a 1992 law prohibiting such sports betting outside of Nevada, and the American Gaming Association estimating there is over $250 billion wagered annually in the US, it is a promising time for the sector.

Those figures mean that the demand for suppliers in the US will exceed the capabilities of conventional platform providers. We anticipate operators that want to be live when authorized by their state will look to blockchain as a modern technology that is able to offer a full solution for their sports wagering operations. Along those lines, because of the near-zero cost to operate our system, Tribes and state sports lotteries stand to gain the most from a blockchain solution since those savings go directly back to the taxpayer or tribal entities managing gaming operations for the tribe.

About BlockChain Innovations Corp.

Blockchain Innovations is headquartered in Las Vegas. The company designs and develops market ready blockchain technology for public and private real-money wagering and peer-to-peer gaming companies across the globe.

The company’s blockchain technology consists of a fully functional crypto-currency wallet, a tipbot – PebbleGo for easily sending and receiving smart contracts, and its smart contracts platform – the ideal wagering eco-system for instant confirmation, where contracts are tradeable, divisible, transferable and new wagering not available in traditional retail or online markets.

The company’s technology is built around PebbleCoin, a gambling-by-design cryptocurrency that has been mined since 2015. Pebblecoin’s unique features make it the only crypto-currency that can facilitate real-time wagering.

For more details visit www.blockchaininnovations.info


Source: Latest News on European Gaming Media Network

George Miller (Gyorgy Molnar) started his career in content marketing and has started working as an Editor/Content Manager for our company in 2016. George has acquired many experiences when it comes to interviews and newsworthy content becoming Head of Content in 2017. He is responsible for the news being shared on multiple websites that are part of the European Gaming Media Network.

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William Hill lowers profit forecast

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William-Hill-lowers-profit-forecast-2018 William Hill lowers profit forecastReading Time: 1 minute

 

William Hill is all geared for remodelling its retail business in 2019, after it lowered its full-year 2018 adjusted operating by about 15 per cent lower compared to the previous year.

The company had reduced its profit forecast in November due to increasingly stringent regulations, particularly on lucrative fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs), and warned of more losses in the United States.

It said its US business had broadly broken even in the year.

European gambling companies have been looking to expand across the Atlantic in light of regulatory curbs in Britain and as US states ease curbs on betting.

William Hill said 2018 adjusted operating profit from continuing operations would be 234 million pounds, slightly higher than company-supplied analyst estimates of 232.2 million pounds.

Profit was lower in its retail business due to tough high-street conditions and the offering would be remodelled in 2019 as Chief Executive Officer Philip Bowcock looks to make the firm a “digitally-led international business,” the company said.

The company had said in November that it would look at new products to offer alternatives to FOBTs.

“With rapid expansion underway in the U.S. … and the acquisition of Mr Green nearing completion, we look forward to making further progress this year,” Bowcock said in a statement.

William Hill has earmarked about 120–130 million pounds for 2019 to fund its US expansion.

 


Source: Latest News on European Gaming Media Network
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: William Hill lowers profit forecast

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FTSE4Good Index admits GVC Holdings

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FTSE4Good-Index-GVC-Holdings FTSE4Good Index admits GVC HoldingsReading Time: 2 minutes

 

GVC Holdings, the multinational sports-betting and gaming group based in Isle of Man, has been admitted to the FTSE4Good Index Series following the FTSE4Good’s annual review in December 2018.

The FTSE4Good Index Series is designed to measure the performance of companies demonstrating strong Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practices. Transparent management and clearly-defined ESG criteria make FTSE4Good indexes suitable tools to be used by a wide variety of market participants when creating or assessing sustainable investment products.

GVC was admitted to the index after an independent scrutiny of its practices and public documents against a series of criteria including:

  • Governance (including risk management, corporate governance and anti-corruption)
  • Social practices (including human rights, labour standards and health & safety)
  • Environmental commitments (including energy usage and waste management)

Kenneth Alexander, GVC CEO commented:

“We are proud to join FTSE4Good and be recognised as a leader in corporate social responsibility, which is at the core everything we do as a business. Acting responsibly and maintaining strong governance is not a luxury but fundamental to our long-term success and a key driver of shareholder value.”

 

About GVC:
GVC Holdings PLC is one of the world’s largest sports betting and gaming groups, operating both online and in the retail sector. The Group owns a comprehensive portfolio of established brands; Sports Brands include bwin, Coral, Crystalbet, Eurobet, Ladbrokes and Sportingbet; Gaming Brands include CasinoClub, Foxy Bingo, Gala, Gioco Digitale, partypoker and PartyCasino. The Group owns proprietary technology across all of its core product verticals and in addition to its B2C operations provides services to a number of third-party customers on a B2B basis. GVC acquired Ladbrokes Coral Group plc on 28 March 2018 and is now the UK’s largest high street bookmaker, with over 3,500 betting shops. The Group, incorporated in the Isle of Man, is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index and has licences in more than 20 countries, across five continents.

For more information see the Group’s website: www.gvc-plc.com

 


Source: Latest News on European Gaming Media Network
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: FTSE4Good Index admits GVC Holdings

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Macau’s casino companies receive rating upgrade

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Macau’s-casinos-receive-rating-upgrade Macau’s casino companies receive rating upgradeReading Time: 1 minute

 

Brokerage Sanford C Bernstein has upgraded the ratings of Macau casinos Galaxy Entertainment Group and Sands China. This was done after a re-evaluation of the companies and also considering the capacity expansion in 2020.

According to Bernstein analysts, Vitaly Umansky, Eunice Lee and Kelsey Zhu, even as GGR is expected to decrease from 14 per cent (2018) to 3 per cent this year, there is a positive future for Galaxy and Sands in 2019. They clarified: “On a longer-term fundamental view, Galaxy now looks relatively inexpensive, especially factoring in Phase 3 and 4 developments of Galaxy Macau.” 

They added: “Galaxy continues to improve its Mass operations at Galaxy Macau and StarWorld while maintaining a leadership position in VIP. While the VIP segment is most at risk of considerable slowdown over the next 6 to 12 months, over the medium term, the key value driver is operating leverage improvement and improving business mix which will enhance margins.”

Furthermore, they explained that Galaxy “stands to have outsized growth over the long run” as it completes Galaxy Macau Phases 3 and 4.

“We continue to look favorably upon Sands China’s management team, product positioning and strategy focused on Mass market, a strong balance sheet and hefty dividends,” Bernstein analysts said about Sands China and added: “Redevelopment of Sands Cotai Central and upgrades at the Parisian will help boost its high margin Premium Mass business. The long-term (beginning in 2020) growth story from hotel suite capacity expansion and the Londoner redevelopment is evident. Sands China’s valuation look attractive for a stock that consistently trades at a premium to Macau gaming stocks and is now trading well below its historical average.”


Source: Latest News on European Gaming Media Network
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: Macau’s casino companies receive rating upgrade

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