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Wednesday, 29 July 2009

rights of public street performance

2 guys breakdancing in front of Eiffel Tower Jul09 from garethwong on Vimeo.


I was quite impressed with these two guys.. bet they earned/collected more than the four guys that danced afterward, not sure.. but my gut feel.

Serious business question however raised in my mind.

who owns the IP to this video? they have artistic rights for the copy, and I would want to ask them for permission to display it (or do I need to bother)??

Just curious though... but really hope some A&R guys find them & give them a slot in a show or something (if that is what they want of course!)

@GarethWong



My comments on Message from Silicon Valley Bank on stability.... thoughts? - jasoncalacanis's posterous

Message from Silicon Valley Bank on stability.... thoughts? - jasoncalacanis's posterous

Statements likes this from SVB CEOs are pre-emptive or reactive (mostly for PR/IR purposes). I sadly don't know them well enough to comment. We are in difficult times, maybe better question to ask is whether "banks" (& in fact the whole banking & finance value chain) as we know it is still sustainable. I would argue that the gears are not the problem, but it is the 'gearbox'! Would they all need to be more transparent and even 'bonded' AND have their risks positions monitored by others, whether it is done by the regulator (FSA/SEC equivalent) or not. Interesting times indeed. @GarethWong

Monday, 27 July 2009

my comments re Orange partners with Blyk for mobile ads in UK | Industries | Technology, Media & Telecommunications | Reuters

Orange partners with Blyk for mobile ads in UK
| Industries
| Technology, Media & Telecommunications
| Reuters

I personally think Blyk is way forward, closing down the B2C make sense..

this does not mean being MVNO is not the future (potentially), just that a firm like Blyk cannot innovate the value chain (by focusing on advertising based on what users may want) AND being a virtual mobile operator..

I would still think there is a huge untapped market for a MVNO that brings value (value added services BASED on what subscribers may want, rather than some mid-level manager/directors thinks consumers/business users may want).. but it has to be a major brand with trust & distributions...

like next generation Tesco/Virgin mobile.. rather than plan old thing competing based on plain old tarriffs..

future is still bright, but not mostly orange or indeed the established players (MNOs or MVNOs) but mostly with those that KNOW what theirs really WANT/NEED...

@GarethWong

Friday, 24 July 2009

news that Aces Royal owner Cecure Gaming has gone into administration. 

eGaming review just reported: " And gloomier still was the news that Aces Royal owner Cecure Gaming has gone into administration."

It's sad news indeed for the remote gaming (particularly mobile) sector. It is however as expected & reiterated by my previous mobile gambling reports (since 05) there are some key fundamental success factors which a new mobile gaming brand would need to be satisfied in order to become successful.

Namely, key to success will only be with trusted brands with distribution AND especially adapted (probably not extension but newly & specially created) mobile games (formats, business model/categories).

I do not foresee any mobile gambling great success unless & until a brand like Virgin launches a mobile gaming/gambling proposition. When that take place (with proper product developments, marketing/educational budgets) I would argue with my reputation that would be 10/100x more successful than any similar products from on/offline gaming gambling brands (likes of Ladbrokes/William-hill etc.)

This is exactly the reason why I don't go to that many gaming gambling conferences these days as I can see the lowest hanging fruits might not be what everyone is looking at and competing for anymore!

If you are ceo/chairman/major shareholder of a major media/trusted brand(s), we should talk.

@GarethWong


Founder of CXO Europe (www.CXO.org), GamBond® ( www.GamBond.com) and Gambit (www.TheGambit.info)

Personal website: www.GarethWong.com
Twitter: @GarethWong
From Gareth's BlackBerry

LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/garethwong

CXO (cross industries): Hope to welcome you to lunches & CXO VIP evening reception (for CEOs of £3m+/US$5m+ profit firms and CFO/CTO/CIOs of £30m+/US$50m profit firms and deal makers of £3m+/US$5m+ deals etc.), see www.CXO.org for more details

Next CXO VIP July London, details TBC. email me for details.

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Fw: Maximizing the Eventual Recovery in Las Vegas

Great piece from Bill, now union gaming founder, ex head of gaming research Deutsch bank

Founder of CXO Europe (www.CXO.org), GamBond® ( www.GamBond.com) and Gambit (www.TheGambit.info)

Personal website: www.GarethWong.com
Twitter: @GarethWong
From Gareth's BlackBerry

LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/garethwong

CXO (cross industries): Hope to welcome you to lunches & CXO VIP evening reception (for CEOs of £3m+/US$5m+ profit firms and CFO/CTO/CIOs of £30m+/US$50m profit firms and deal makers of £3m+/US$5m+ deals etc.), see www.CXO.org for more details

Next CXO VIP July London, details TBC. email me for details.

This email, together with any attachments, is for the exclusive and confidential use of the addressee(s) and may contain legally privileged information. Any other distribution, use or reproduction without the sender's prior consent is unauthorised and strictly prohibited.


From: "Bill Lerner"
Date: Thu, 23 Jul 2009 18:18:34 -0700
To: <bill.lerner@uniongaminggroup.com>
Subject: Maximizing the Eventual Recovery in Las Vegas

Maximizing the Eventual Recovery in Las Vegas

Gaming companies have been doing their part to resolve balance sheet issues and these have been difficult but necessary decisions, such as dilutive or expensive capital raises and the wayward asset sale. As a result Las Vegas has a chance to be an early cycle collective asset class when the macro environment turns (incredibly short booking windows; limited legacy discounted corporate rates; favorable room pricing in conjunction with room glut in pipeline). At the time, Las Vegas could once again be characterized by new investment, job creation, lower unemployment and renewed wealth creation – a path we were firmly on through most of 2007.

To accelerate the process and make the recovery more efficient and prolific, there are a handful of issues that need proactive attention. Categorically we see these as: messaging/visitation, transport (inbound/in-market), room supply, employment and budget.

 

This piece discusses these five issues in greater detail, suggesting solutions in each case. The overarching point is to raise awareness and work towards a solution.

Messaging/Visitation

Visitation to Las Vegas is down 6.9% year-to-date on the back of a 4% decline in 2008. While that has much to do with the national economy and cost of transport, we think Las Vegas has exacerbated the trend by pricing core customers out of the market over time. Over the last twenty-years, we estimate that spend-per- visit has grown approximately 5%/year comparing unfavorably to inflation averaging 3% over the same period. This dynamic has been even more unfavorable over the last five-years as the cost per room has increased 18% for free-independent-travelers (FIT), package tours +33%, food and beverage (F&B) +15% and shows +9%, all based on Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority data (LVCVA). Gaming in Las Vegas is even more ‘expensive’ these days with a greater mix of higher holding progressive slots and specialty table games. Collectively spend-per-visit has outpaced inflation growth of 14% over the last five-years. Furthermore the cost of transport is also up notably whether it’s air or auto. Ultimately Las Vegas has migrated towards the higher-end of the demographic scale at the expense of the value customer.

The industry is under the impression that Las Vegas offers a great value proposition relative to other destinations, but that appears to be less the case today. However, with 7% more room supply in the pipeline through mid-2010 and the likely simultaneous downward pressure on room pricing, Las Vegas has a chance to recapture this fading dynamic. Concurrently, the core communication from Las Vegas to consumers and businesses should reflect a renewed value proposition. Las Vegas also needs to re-focus on the fading value customer as a tool to address visitation trends. For future development or property repositionings we’d advocate targeting this group. It’s ‘finally’ structurally feasible to do so these days as the cost of land, labor and commodities have contracted materially from the peak.

Transport

When visitation recovers, airport and road capacity will likely be an issue. Contemplating peak levels in 2007, even after D gate expansion and Terminal 3 at McCarran, Las Vegas only had capacity for approximately 3 million more arrivals annually. Despite declines in resort corridor development that’s not enough to handle the demand needed to justify today’s resort pipeline without a great deal of cannibalization. A rail line from California and the longer-term Ivanpah airport prospect are solutions worth pursuing now so we can capture the inflection in visitation instead of reacting later with long delay.

We see a similar story for local transport. We estimate that the completion of the Las Vegas development pipeline will result in 7.2 million additional cars on the road in the Strip corridor in 2012, or 19,600 more vehicles per day. This also takes into account vehicles related to resort employees, vendors and locals due to a resumption of population growth. Light rail is a solution, particularly monorail extension to the airport and up the west side of the Las Vegas Strip. Altering traffic flow to optimize roads like Las Vegas Blvd., Paradise and Frank Sinatra all make sense, however the work has to start now.  

Room Supply

Regardless of 48,469 Strip resort room cancellations or delays there is still 7% more room supply coming to the Strip corridor over the next couple of years (CityCenter, Cosmopolitan, Hard Rock expansion), that’s 9,343 more rooms on a base of 141,395. This is happening at a time when room pricing is already down 33% from the peak. The result may be destructive to Strip earnings despite a prospective economic recovery and perhaps offset the benefit of related job creation to Las Vegas. The question to be addressed is: How do Strip corridor operators maintain price integrity with the City in mind while trying to maximize returns on invested capital (ROIC)? Perhaps a partial solution may be the removal of legacy/neglected room supply. This may work to insulate well-maintained value oriented properties. A consortium of gaming operators with a collective interest in this room supply issue could acquire and retire a meaningful amount of this supply. Regardless, Las Vegas needs a proactive solution.

Employment

Unemployment is at a twenty-five year high in Las Vegas at 12.3% and it’s 29% worse than the U.S. average. In Las Vegas there are 124,900 eligible people unemployed and that’s doubled in the last year. Las Vegas’ unusual population growth over the years is now rearing its negative side. A partial solution is in the pipeline given the jobs created by the $13.4 billion in resort development coming online. We estimate this will result in approximately 24,000 new direct and indirect jobs and has the potential to take unemployment back below 10%. Filling these jobs predominantly with Nevadans would add to the solution. Essentially a proactive approach to responsible employment practice is needed.

Budget

Nevada’s budget deficit was $1.5 billion at the recent peak. Las Vegas needs a secular solution to prevent such magnitude in the future. Band-aiding it with pay cuts, layoffs, sales tax hikes and motor vehicle tax increases work to impact the consumer further, while a payroll tax increase concentrates the tax base. Consumer spending and the whole tax cycle are impacted in this scenario. Raising gaming taxes, which are a tax on revenue (not profit), isn’t a viable solution now or in the long-run. Had the teachers’ 2008 proposal succeeded to raise the gaming tax rate by 40%, the combination with current financial duress amongst the casino operators and the forthcoming room supply glut, would likely have resulted in more bankruptcies locally. However, a broad based corporate income tax might be the long term solution. The requires education and outreach to the business community along with a proactive legislative effort.

 

 

Bill Lerner

Union Gaming Group

702-866-0747

bill.lerner@uniongaminggroup.com

 

Saturday, 18 July 2009

My comments re: Online gambling in Europe: A stacked deck | The Economist

Online gambling in Europe: A stacked deck | The Economist

Remote (i.e. via internet, TV, mobile) gaming gambling is boarder less.

EU maybe a economic union (every tries) but due to too much (mostly money but also protections of vulnerables & promote transparencies), not likely the EC could be devising a directive on remote gaming gambling anytime yet.

It is lobbyist and lawyers dream sector, thats why since 2002, I keep on seeing market leading lawyers (who obviously are new on the scene).

Reality is that unless and until a G8 country start regulating remote gaming properly, EU is not likely to realise the 'threat' and get its act together, by that time however, it maybe too late!

Sadly due to the unrealistic expectation/regards to market dynamics (the Gambling ACT 2005 from UK was and still is arguably the best regulation worldwide), the UK treasury set the tax based on 'offline gaming' and hence made the UK remote gaming gambling much less competitive, therefore, there was no 'mass migration' of remote gaming firms (& some back)to UK.

It is for sure that there is a 'convergence' of softer gaming and entertainments/media going forward, I sincerely hope that a major jurisdiction will be able to get their act together (or maybe indeed EU) to have a coherent regulation and competitive tax regime so that the regulation will become more seamless and transparent.

More time should be spent on understanding the sector more and yes, the future is still bright and great but only with the well regulated and well run firms with recognisable brands and distributions (via TV/Internet/mobile) going forward.

Some of the key issues has been explored and free reports are available on the non profit Gambit special interest group website: http://www.TheGambit.info

@GarethWong



Friday, 10 July 2009

My comments re - The Banning of Bottled Water | The Stimulist | Fast Company

The Banning of Bottled Water | The Stimulist | Fast Company

I understand the bottled water industry might not like this, but sadly unless & until they invest in: 1.) come out with bio-degradable bottles, like this one from CocaCola? http://www.packworld.com/article-27770 2.) 'transport' cost & fuel used for doing so is also 'waste of energy & money', some solution will also need to be done, can the water be moved to be 'distributed' to 'reusable' bottles??? like 'differentiated water station' divert the money to make universally better would be brilliant.
@GarethWong

Sunday, 5 July 2009

comments re Taipei Times - Hoteliers lash out at Chinese tourists

Taipei Times - Hoteliers lash out at Chinese tourists

Very interesting indeed..

It shows there are challenges despite the opportunities of travellers that might bring wealth/money into the Taiwan economy.

These shows potential future challenges for European cities who might be courting with China's new 'tourists'.

Could this be what they might expects also!??


Chinese airline may offer cheaper fares to passengers who stand - Los Angeles Times

Chinese airline may offer cheaper fares to passengers who stand - Los Angeles Times

Not sure if I like this idea..

standing for an hour on a bus is not a 'choice'...

but in reality, it will have to stand for 2/3hours for an 1 hour flight..

gosh..


Learn Chinese In An Afternoon ??

Learn Chinese In An Afternoon

Had a fantastic Saturday lunch with Prof. Mainelli

Great story behind this article..

what do you think though?

hope you enjoy it.


Facebook usage statistics - Top 20 fastest growing countries by users

Facebook usage statistics - Top 20 fastest growing countries by users

very interesting figures indeed.