Bet365 speeds in-play; Opap profits; SJM huge profits; Philweb thinks international
After spending the last 18 months with their heads in the cloud (computing), Bet365 has dramatically reduced the latency of its In-Play betting system. The Stoke betting outfit’s CTO, Martin Davies, told Computing that the Ajax polling system Bet365 had been using required “heavy levels of caching,” which meant minimum latency was 8-10 seconds, occasionally reaching durations of up to 30 seconds. Bet365’s solution was the development of its own distributed computing model, which not only brought latency down to two seconds, but can now support “upwards of a few million users concurrently.” As befitting the Stoke outfit’s privately-held business model, Bet365 chose to handle the tech work in-house. This was challenging and expensive, but, as Davies put it, “if you do something yourself, you have more control over the end product, and we don’t like compromising.” Here here!
Greek firm Opap SA saw profits hit €160.8m in Q4 2010, a whopping 77% gain over the same period a year earlier. However, 2009’s numbers reflected the punishing windfall tax imposed by the cash-starved Greek government (which owns 34% of the company) to satisfy loan conditions imposed by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. When the effects of the charges are removed, profit actually fell 16% as equally cash-strapped Greek citizens gambled less. A five-day strike by Opap agents also cut into the company’s cash flow.
SJM Holdings Ltd., the Macau casino concern over which Stanley Ho and his family members recently went to war, had a pretty good Q4 in 2010. Net profits were $143m, almost triple the amount made in the same period in 2009. For the full year, revenues were up 68%, while net profits were $456.6m – almost 4x that of 2009. Small wonder Pansy and Daisy were willing to stick their elderly father on an ice floe and float him off toward the horizon. Still, after news broke of the family kissing and making up, shares in SJM rose 8%. Wonder what heights they’ll hit after word of these profit figures gets around.
Dennis Valdez, president of Philippines-based online gaming outfit Philweb, told ANC’s Business Nightly that international operations will be generating 50% of the company’s net income in four years time. Cambodia, Laos and Guam are the territories Philweb expects to start servicing (with the help of local partners) in 2011, although licenses have yet to be procured. In their home territory, net income in 2010 was up 28% to 708m Philippines pesos ($16.1m), and the company continues to make 50-60m pesos/month. Valdez estimates that baccarat represents 30-40% of total volume. With only 6-7m computers in all of the Philippines, compared to 70m mobile phones, mobile gaming will be a major priority for Philweb going forward.