Optimal Payments Sees Revenues Soar in 2015

Optimal<span id="more-5606"></span> Payments Sees Revenues Soar in 2015

Joel Leonoff is looking forward to more acquisitions and growth in Optimal Payments’ future.

Optimal Payments has discovered itself with a more impressive presence in US areas over the past year, owing to increased usage of brands like Neteller in regulated markets.

That seemingly have reduced for the organization, as profits are up more than 40 percent for the business into the first half of 2015 whenever compared to the period that is same 2014.

Overall, Optimal Payments built-up $223 million in profits during 1st half a year of this year.

That is up from just over $159 million final 12 months, 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 largely as a result of purchase of two businesses based within the United States, Meritus and GMA, both of which were acquired late in 2014.

The business’s stored value services, chiefly Neteller, additionally saw improvement, growing a little more than 20 % annually to bring in $49.8 million in revenue.

North American Operations Get Focus

The changing focus associated with company may be seen in the local figures posted by Optimal in 1st half of all the last two years.

In the first 1 / 2 of 2014, North American operations made up just below 16 percent associated with the company’s revenues; in the same period this season, that share had risen to 43 percent, which makes it the largest section regarding the business’s business.

‘ We have continued to provide on a number of our key objectives, notably the integration of the US businesses we acquired last 12 months which have somewhat added to the growth of the Group and recently completion associated with the acquisition of Skrill which is set to transform the business on a amount of amounts,’ stated Optimal Payments CEO Joel Leonoff.

Leonoff is chatting about the reverse takeover of Skrill, a €1.1 billion ($1.24 billion) purchase that transformed the business enterprise by simply making it a leader that is clear the world of online gambling payment processing.

Over the past year, the company that currently controlled Neteller bought the prepaid voucher company Ukash and Skrill, placing three of the largest brand names in the industry under its banner.

More Acquisitions Easy for Optimal

But that may not be the final end of the acquisitions for Optimal. According to Leonoff, the company is already in the process of searching for lots more candidates that are potential purchase in the foreseeable future.

‘As we come out of the tail-end of the integration with Skrill, we want to be ready to look at others that we feel are accretive to our shareholders and put in a lot of value to our business,’ Leonoff stated. ‘we need to find companies that can move the dial a little bit and make sure they add a material amount of revenue and profit. once we approach $1 billion in revenue,’

The desire for continued development comes while Optimal Payments is trying to be admitted to the London Stock Exchange along with the FTSE 250 index. The company’s stock rose by about 8 percent after announcing its results for the very first half of 2015.

Analysts expect Optimal’s sales to increase significantly within the 2nd half of 2015 as a result of the acquisition of Skrill. That, combined with relatively lower costs many thanks to synergies between their platforms that are various should see profits rise as well.

Macau Gambling Nevertheless Struggling Amidst Crackdowns and Downturns

Macau gambling continues to be struck 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 attempt to prevent cash that is illegal into the gambling mecca, while at the same time a pact is signed between the Macau Monetary Authority and individuals’s Bank of China that could see more impact exerted on Macau by mainland banks.

The moves come at a time when Macau casinos are experiencing an unprecedented downturn.

Anti-corruption moves by Asia’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 led to a weak Chinese renminbi, 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 had been arrested in Macau after police found cash that is illegal through the town’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 illegal money transactions worth around $1.7 million. Reuters have reported a leap in gambling-related crimes for 2015 to date, up to 34.5 % from 22.6 % this time around year that is last.

At the time that is same VIP ‘whales’ who have stayed away from Macau since the crackdowns is crippling the casinos’ businesses.

‘The reduced number of big VIP gamblers and increasing difficulty in getting straight back gaming debt for many creditors has generated the rise in these criminal activity prices,’ stated Macau’s secretary for security, Wong Sio Chak.

Diversification ‘Not Working’

Element of China’s plan for Macau is turn it into an entertainment that is worldwide, not solely reliant on gambling for revenue.

Because of this, major casino chains like James Packer’s Melco Crown, were 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 biggest ferris wheel and it has even secured the solutions of Leonardo di Caprio and Martin Scorsese on promotional duties.

However, so far the moves are not working. According to Fitch Ratings, non-gambling activities like nightclubs, restaurants and programs accounted on the cheap than ten percent of total Macau revenues year that is last.

There is certainly an amount of pessimism over whether non-gambling ‘entertainment’ will do the trick.

Melco’s CEO, Lawrence Ho, told the Macau Daily Times:

‘ Non-gaming doesn’t make any cash plus it will never ever make anything.

For all the foolish people out there that think non-gaming is going to save Macau’s day, it isn’t.’

Plenty on Xi’s Plate

The fallout from China’s stockmarket collapse this will surely be felt in Macau, and casino bosses there will be disappearing into their shelters to avoid the fallout week.

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 he should have plenty more than a slumping Macau gambling industry on his plate when he arrives while he will almost certainly be given the presidential treatment (despite Donald Trump’s calls for the beleaguered Chinese President to be served a Big Mac instead of a state dinner.

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 always have sufficient issues lately, a brand new and frightening trend in the Chinese gambling mecca is probably not going to help business any, either.

A rise in the kidnapping of high rollers from Macau’s top hotel resorts within the last year has resulted within the province’s casino operators more more chilli slot taking out insurance that is special to mitigate the risk of high-profile abductions.

Macau police have said that the amount of illegal detentions, which largely involve the forced collection of gambling debts, a lot more than doubled in the first six months of the year.

Authorities reported that as 170 people were held against their will throughout that period, and it’s really likely that many more instances went unreported.

Many attribute this to economic pressure on Macau from mainland China. Beijing’s visa limitations on visitors to the gambling hub, since well as a slowing Chinese economy, is harming the earnings of Macau’s moneylenders and junket operators.

14K Triad Involvement

Limits on the amount of money visitors can bring from the mainland has meant that those ready to lend them cash have, until recently, done a thriving trade, nevertheless the squeeze on this type of business, much of which is believed to have been infiltrated by 14K Triad organized crime teams, is driving up the enforced collection of gambling debts.

Talking to the South China Post that is evening Coles, who is an assistant director of credit, political, and security risks at Jardine Lloyd Thompson, said that all of the casino groups in Macau have expressed interest in expert risk insurance.

‘Word of mouth can lead to a trend of an fascination with the policy, protection 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 and also the purchase and interest of this kind of policy,’ he added.

Company is Business

According to Cole, policies often cover the implementation of a negotiator to diffuse kidnapping disputes, aswell as protection for the casinos from potential lawsuits brought by victims or their families.

Previously this Macau’s Secretary for Security Wong Sio-chak played down fears of a crime wave in the region, which has also reported an increase in arson and document forgery year.

‘[The figures] nevertheless [do] not provide evidence that is enough 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 still stable.

However, a ‘casino industry source’ close to the Southern Asia Morning Post who wanted to remain nameless felt otherwise.

‘Business is business for these [debt collectors], and if they can’t manage to get thier lb of flesh a proven way, they’ll have it another way,’ the source said.

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