IMF says Jamaica’s economic growth is disappointing

first_imgThe International Monetary Fund (IMF) says Jamaica’s economic growth continues to disappoint, averaging only 0.9 per cent since Jamaica began its economic reform program in 2013.Jamaica to receive additional US$233 millionIn a statement issued on Friday, at the end of a third review of the Stand-By Agreement (SBA) the island has with the Washington-based financial institution, it however noted that consideration by the IMF executive board is scheduled for April and that “upon approval, an additional US$233 million would be made available to Jamaica, bringing the total accessible credit to about US$1.033 billion.“All quantitative performance criteria and structural benchmarks for the review period ending December 2017 have been met. Non-borrowed international reserves well-exceeded the program target and tax revenues for financial year2017/18 were above the budget’s target, reflecting the payoffs from revenue administration reforms put in place by the government over the past few years.”The 36-month SBA with a total access of US$1.68 billion was approved by the IMF on November 11, 2016.IMF warningThe IMF warned “Entrenched structural obstacles, including crime, bureaucratic processes, insufficient labor force skills, and poor access to finance, continue to hinder productivity and growth. “Moreover, the agricultural sector’s vulnerability to weather shocks exacerbated rural poverty in 2015. Not addressing these bottlenecks could pose risks for continued public support for the government’s policy program.” It said that the economic reform program that began in May 2013, has been a turning point for Jamaica with broad based social and political support over two administrations. The program is intended to put the island on a path of fiscal discipline, monetary and financial sector reforms, and wide-ranging structural improvements to break a decades-long cycle of high debt and low growth.Employment at historic heightsThe IMF said “Employment is at historic highs, inflation and the current account deficit are modest, international reserves are at a comfortable level, and external borrowing costs are at historical lows,” the IMF said noting that structurally reducing the wage bill is critical for the government to reprioritize spending towards growth enhanced projects.Improvements needed“More expenditure is needed for infrastructure, citizen security, building agricultural resilience, health, education, and the social safety net. Creating the space for such spending will require going beyond temporary remedies like wage freezes and adjustments to non-wage benefits.”The IMF said this would require high-quality measures to overhaul the compensation structure to retain skills and reward performance, streamline the vast and inequitable allowances structure, prioritize key government functions and shed those activities that the government can no longer afford to undertake, and change the capital-labor mix through technology upgrades, including a better monitoring of and accountability for government spending.Need to address structural bottlenecksThe Fund’s statement also cited improving social outcomes and fostering inclusive growth will require addressing structural bottlenecks and creating an enabling environment for the private sector. It believes countering weak social outcomes and escalating crime will take time but will be essential for sustained growth.“In this regard, the evidence suggests that early childhood education, interventions to improve school attendance, and skills training for the youth would foster a virtuous cycle of lower crime, higher wages, stronger growth, and increased economic opportunity, particularly for the young.“Policies to support productive private investments, including improving lending to smaller businesses and reducing lending-deposit interest spreads, will help fuel such an upswing. However, the government must resist the pressure to use scarce public resources to “pick winners” including through providing tax incentives”.Formalize inflation targeting regimeIt said that formalizing the current inflation targeting regime will help entrench macroeconomic stability and promote growth.“With inflation likely to remain in the lower part of the central bank’s target range, a looser monetary stance remains appropriate. Meanwhile, upcoming revisions to the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) Act—including a clear mandate for price stability, a reformed governance structure, and a strong central bank balance sheet—will help institutionalize the inflation targeting framework,” the IMF said.It said also, continued development of the foreign exchange (FX) market, liquidity management and forecasting toolkit, along with upgrading the BOJ’s communication practices, will improve policy signaling and enhance credibility.According to the Fund, financial sector stability is a prerequisite for strong and sustained growth, noting that ongoing prudential and supervisory improvements will enhance systemic stability. While changes to investment limits for non-banks should be considered, they must be backed by a thorough assessment, including of appropriate regulations, risk management guidelines, and supervisory arrangements, to ensure that greater flexibility in non-banks’ asset-liability management practices does not jeopardize financial stability.The Washington-based financial institution said continued reform implementation will not only safeguard hard won gains, but also deliver stronger growth and job creation.The IMF said that after five years of reforms and tenacious fiscal consolidation, risks from reform fatigue and loss of social support are high, especially as growth remains feeble and crime escalates.last_img read more

Oulala – Sponsor Profile – #bofcon2017

first_img Related Articles SBC caught up with Valery Bollier of Oulala, a daily fantasy sports company sponsoring Betting on Football 2017 (3-5 May). We had a chat about why football matters to their business, why they’ve moved to sponsor Betting on Football this year and which parts of the Stamford Bridge conference agenda he is most looking forward to.Valery Bollier, OulalaSBC: Why is football important to your organisation?Valery: Football is key for Oulala because we are a Daily Fantasy Football game specializing in European Football. This means that our customers are able to create their team and simultaneously pick players from the English, the Spanish, the Italian and the French leagues. Additionally, when it comes to football clubs, Europe is the epicentre of the world with the best Brazilians, Cameroonians, Koreans and Australians currently playing in European teams; thus our game is attracting football fans from all over the world.Without football, Oulala simply would not exist.SBC: From a consumer perspective how is football betting changing?Valery: I can mostly discuss the young customers and the millennials because they are the ones that we have studied for more than four years. Their expectations are very different from the ones of their parents. They are looking to play skill games, because they have been raised playing fantastic skill games on their consoles. They are also seeking games that are structurally social because they were raised having constant social interactions on their cell phones and they are far more aversive towards playing against the house than the older generations ever were.Football betting therefore has to adapt to this new demand and Daily Fantasy Sports are matching their expectations perfectly. DFS are the sports betting of the new generations.SBC: How can betting & football stakeholders work better and more effectively together?Valery: We need to build more efficient bridges between the two industries, and iGaming operators should not be seen only as financial partners because our sector has a lot more to offer.European football clubs need to learn how to optimize their digital strategy and this is typically a “know how” that can be transferred from the iGaming sector to the football industry. For instance, Oulala signed a partnership with LCFC eighteen months ago. Together, we are building a strategy to transform their social fans into loyal unique visitors of their site. It is a win-win situation because our interests are perfectly aligned.SBC: What new technology do you feel will have the biggest impact on football as a sport?Valery: Big Data is without a doubt a massive game changer for the football industry.Up until recently, football was looked at more as an art than a science. The ability to create, live and analyse the thousands of statistics in a football match already has a huge impact on our sport, and will go on to be even more radical in the near future.Big Data offers Oulala the ability to be a real skill game, which is the cornerstone of the promise that we are making to our customers, and thanks to the efficient work from our statistician team, our game is also an efficient predictive tool.SBC: As a delegate, what key agenda, debate or discussion do you want to hear at BOFCON 2017?Valery: I would be interested in having discussions about the expectations of the younger generations. The iGaming sector is offering products that are responding to the needs of the older generations, but they do not seem ready to fully adapt themselves to the new world that we are soon facing; after all, in 2020, 50% of our customers will be millennials. Share Share StumbleUpon Sportito makes LatAm debut in Brazil October 30, 2019 Submit Better Collective Spotlight: Moving into DFS through RotoGrinders deal June 14, 2019 All-in Global: ‘Fantastyc’ markets around the world July 16, 2020last_img read more

Paddy Power extends terminal systems contract with Playtech BGT

first_img StumbleUpon Share Spotlight delivers Racing Post translated services for Pari-Engineering Russia August 26, 2020 Share Related Articles Spotlight ups matchday commentary reach and capacity for new EPL Season  August 21, 2020 Submit Flutter moves to refine merger benefits against 2020 trading realities August 27, 2020 John PettitUpdating the market, Playtech Plc sports betting division Playtech BGT Sports (PBS) has confirmed that it has extended its multi-year contract with Irish bookmaker Paddy Power.Confirming the extension PBS management stated that the partnership would reflect the industry’s ongoing ‘trend towards self-service’ products within betting shops.Paddy Power is a customer of PBS and Racing Post’s content driven betting terminals, allowing for its retail customer base to access Spotlight tips, key stats and trainer/jockey information integrated within BGT estate terminals.David Newton, Managing Director Retail at Paddy Power, said: “Extending our contract with Playtech BGT Sports was a straightforward decision after seeing the value provided to our retail shops over recent years.“Enhancing the customer experience through market leading technology is key to our retail strategy and PBS’ innovative, revenue-driving terminals provide the perfect platform to help us achieve our aims.“These include being able to leverage our own intellectual property with the Paddy Power Cash Card and our unique Onside app allowing customers to track and cash out their SSBT bets.”John Pettit, PBS’ UK, Ireland, Australia, and Asia managing director, said: “We are very pleased to extend our contract with Paddy Power and look forward to building upon our already successful partnership over the coming years.“The backing of such a reputable retail operator emphasises the value of PBS, and SSBTs in general, to the betting shop and we look forward to further consolidating our position in the market, as we continue to improve existing products and develop new technologies aimed at digitising the retail space.”last_img read more

Marathonbet launches co-branded Man Utd ‘Score Legend’ pachinko game

first_img Marathonbet nets Man City upgrade to become training kit sponsor December 8, 2019 StumbleUpon Marathonbet secures official partnership with Real Madrid November 28, 2019 Share SBC Awards: The key to an effective submission August 28, 2020 Submit Related Articles Share Michael Rasmussen – MarathonbetEuropean online bookmaker Marathonbet has expanded its official betting partnership with Manchester United, announcing the launch of its co-branded pachinko skill-based game ‘Score Legend’.Developed internally by Marathonbet, Score Legend takes the ‘classic Japanese pinball game adding a Red Devils’ twist’.Marathonbet’s pachinko game sees players use footballs instead of pinballs, with the aim of scoring as many goals as possible during game time.Adding further Manchester United elements to Score Legend’s gameplay, the pachinko game transforms its pins into United players as allowing customers for greater chance to score!Michael Rasmussen Head of Global Marketing and PR on behalf of Marathonbet said:“We’re all about the extraordinary at Marathonbet and are excited to be able to offer our customers a highly enjoyable Pachinko-based game in Score Legend, all while immersed in Manchester United colours and emblems.“We’re confident the exclusive skill element added to the game will make the experience all the more enjoyable for players.”last_img read more

LeoVegas shows love for Malta Pride 2018

first_img Share Submit TVBET passes GLI test for five live games in Malta and Italy August 25, 2020 Related Articles Björn Nilsson: How Triggy is delivering digestible data through pre-set triggers August 28, 2020 Share Kambi takes full control of LeoVegas sportsbook portfolio August 26, 2020 StumbleUpon LeoVegas AB has confirmed that its flagship LeoVegas brand will be a ‘Proud Supporter of the 2018 Malta Pride Week’ (Malta Pride).Malta Pride takes place from 9-16 of September, with its headline ‘Pride Parade & Street Concert’ being held on 15 September in Valletta.The theme of Malta Pride Week 2018 will be ‘Pride in the heart of the Mediterranean’.As a European betting operator with a significant workforce presence based in Malta, LeoVegas details its full support of its second Malta Pride event.Further to the week of celebrations, LeoVegas AB outlines that it endorses Pride members underlining goals and values towards improving workplace diversity, employee inclusion and all-around equality.Backing LeoVegas support of Pride Malta 2018, Clayton Mericeca Community Manager of Allied Rainbow Communities said“We are excited to have LeoVegas supporting and participating at Malta Pride for the 2nd year running. Their visible support sends a strong message to the LGBTIQ+ community in Malta and abroad that there are companies who go beyond ‘accepting everyone’ but actually care in joining their voices of support to that of a diverse minority. We believe that a workplace that is visibly LGBTIQ+ friendly not only attracts competitive talent but a happy one too!”last_img read more

Landmark 2018 sees push for US acceleration

first_img launches July 30, 2020 Submit maintains momentum against COVID-19 impacts August 19, 2020 Stockholm-listed industry affiliate marketing network Group has detailed its confidence in its future prospects following strong progress achieved during a ‘transformative year’ for its business.Primarily competing within the saturated UK and Nordic online gambling marketplaces, recorded a 63% group revenue increase to €16.2 million (FY2017: €9.9 million), with the company underlining strong organic growth.Detailing a number of automation and SEO enhancements, running across its affiliate marketing network, reports a 69% EBITDA growth to €4.9 million (FY 2017: €2.9 million).Charles Gillespie, Chief Executive of Group, says, “From operational results to product and market development, we look back with great pride at what Group accomplished in 2018. We remain determined to build long-term value for the Group by becoming a leader in performance marketing in the US whilst further strengthening our position in Europe.”In its business overview, governance details confidence in advancing the firm’s US profile, having delivered on a number of strategic projects during 2018.In March 2018, acquired legacy affiliate, an asset which has been re-branded and redeveloped to act as the firm’s lead US portal.Further 2018, activity saw open its US strategic offices, which governance details will be significantly expanded during the course of 2019. StumbleUpon Share Share Related Articles SBC Webinars series presents U.S. Publishing – Navigating the Fog January 23, 2020last_img read more

Garzón confirms Royal Decree sign-off on 28 February

first_imgShare Andrea Vota – Jdigital’s challenge of Spanish restrictions is led by logic and rationale August 13, 2020 Winamax maintains Granada CF sponsorship despite bleak Spanish outlook August 19, 2020 StumbleUpon Share Submit Related Articles Alberto Garzón, Spain’s newly appointed Minister of Consumer Affairs, has revealed that Royal Decree reforms will be formally announced on Friday 28 February.Garzón made his statement addressing civil servants of Spain’s DGOJ gambling regulatory authority at a meeting hosted by the Consumer Affairs Ministry.The long-awaited reforms for Spain’s advertising code on gambling products are to be presented to Congress on 28 February, which will see the newly elected PSOE-Podemos coalition government formally approve the decree as federal law.The decree’s ascension into federal law ends a year-long wait for Spanish licensed operators, who during 2019 were made aware of sweeping inbound changes to Spain’s federal advertising code.Spanish gambling incumbents have been informed that this new code will feature a ‘four-hour advertising window’ across TV and radio formats, scheduled from 1-5 am across all communities.Online restrictions will see licensed incumbents no longer allowed to promote welcome bonuses across their digital inventories. Furthermore, all bonus incentives will be capped at €100 and limited to one use only.Spanish operators are expecting the Consumer Affairs Ministry to confirm a ‘grace period’, allowing incumbents some time to adjust to changes and finish pre-approved contracts.The Royal Decree will be passed as the first set of ‘concrete measures’ to reform Spain’s land-based and digital gambling sectors.Given an expanded remit of monitoring gambling’s regulatory development, Spain’s Consumer Affairs Ministry is expected to announce the development of a new ‘industry registry‘ to monitor all Spanish gambling consumer transactions within the coming months.Mirroring UK policies, PSOE and Podemos are also reportedly considering the introduction of a ‘management fee’ on online gambling operators to fund problem gambling support and treatment by Spanish health networks, and further ‘repair the damaging social effects produced by gambling’. Martin Lycka – Regulatory high temperatures cancel industry’s ‘silly season’ August 11, 2020last_img read more

Ecommpay’s Anthony Medica: How fast payouts are key to boosting customer loyalty

first_img Betsson falls foul of Spelinspektionen with SEK20m penalty June 10, 2020 StumbleUpon Related Articles Share The relationship between payments and sports betting is one that’s constantly evolving as operators seek to maximise customer engagement through the most efficient processes possible. As such, the need for an efficient payment experience has grown exponentially in recent years. That view is supported by Anthony Medica, Business Development Manager at ECOMMPAY, who believes that payments in sports betting are evolving and betting operators need to be on top of payment trends to stay competitive. He noted: “As this is an industry in which transactions flow in both directions – from customer to merchant and from merchant to customer – businesses must ensure their e-payment platform accepts not only online payments, but can also issue mass payouts to various stakeholders. “Payment service providers must equip their operator clients with capabilities to facilitate payouts to the same payment methods used for incoming payments: alternative payment methods as well as cards. ECOMMPAY supports automated, mass payouts on its e-payments platform, ensuring successful transactions in whichever direction a sports betting client requires.”He went on to outline the importance of partnerships with Mastercard MoneySend and Visa Direct, specifically in Europe. “There is a small selection of Visa and Mastercard Principal Members,” he explained. “ECOMMPAY is one of the few. These partnerships ensure a fast, reliable service. To facilitate mass transfers to international payment system cards, Visa and Mastercard enable automated payouts on cards worldwide by deploying Visa Direct and Mastercard MoneySend. “International payment networks offer speed and global reach. Visa Direct, for example, is accessible in 200 countries across the globe, ensuring that issuers can quickly access funds to facilitate payouts to their customers. However, speed is not the only factor to consider. The payout must be conducted in the same currency as the card holder’s account.”Direct card acquirer ECOMMPAY offers mass payouts in local currencies. Operator clients can facilitate transactions to their customers in a single click. The speed, however, will depend on the capabilities of local banks.“Mass payouts to payment cards is a flexible solution,” Medica added. “Intelligent routing and cascading enable payment service providers to configure the routes across which payments and payouts travel, reacting promptly to rectify any disruptions across payment channels in order to achieve a higher success rate.”Further mapping out the key elements that ensure a thriving relationship between operators and the payment sector, he underlined the importance of not solely relying on payment cards. “Payment cards can’t be the only payment method through which sports betting operators facilitate mass payouts. After all, a growing number of consumers prefer to pay – and to receive money – through alternative means.”Identifying where operators should turn in their desire for the expansion of options, he detailed: “E-wallets are one example of an alternative payment method popular among a large segment of the European consumer audience. Last year, e-wallets grew by 20% in Europe, accounting for $42 billion of the market share. Meanwhile, Visa and Mastercard transactions amounted to $35 billion in 2019.“The modern payment landscape is dominated by large corporations, known as big tech, and open APIs. Big tech companies have developed their own payment infrastructure to support online business. Mass payouts are part of the functionality they offer, and many platforms and payment gateways enable merchants to issue mass payouts to e-wallets as well as traditional payment cards.“For instance, the PayPal Mass Pay API provides automated payouts using one CSV file of up to 5,000 emails linked to PayPal accounts. All that remains for the payout issuer to do is define the amount and currency code. If desired, the transaction identifier and an optional message to the customer can be provided.” Automated mass payouts is an element that’s elevated in importance as operators embark on global expansion and significantly grow their customer bases.Medica cited system crashes as a potentially pivotal factor in hindering engagement for payment partners, stating: “System crashes during complex operations can cause significant delays. E-payments are no exception. Software and hardware errors are responsible for financial losses at best and reputational damage at worst. “Payment service providers invest into system reliability to ensure an optimal level of service to their merchant clients.“ECOMMPAY’s continuous improvements have paid off, resulting in 99.99% system availability paired with a higher mass payout success rate. Monitoring the entire payout process carefully, it’s why we always strive to ensure system continuity even in cases of unforeseen errors on the side of external payment partners.” While seamlessness is the focus and e-payments are thrust into the forefront of operations, Medica insisted that security isn’t hindered in the slightest. “All payment transactions, including mass payouts, must be protected by an additional layer of security. ECOMMPAY’s security solution is the proprietary FraudStop risk management system, which is complemented by manual transaction monitoring.“This comprehensive solution detects unauthorised activity in the early stages, which enables the payment service provider to work collaboratively with its operator clients to negate the threat. The combination of automated and manual review ensures suspicious transactions are swiftly identified.“To achieve high conversion and reliable payouts on a global scale, merchants receiving high volumes of incoming traffic must ensure they have the necessary infrastructure in place. A combination of reputable partners, various payment methods, sophisticated technologies, and optimal security is key for sports betting operators looking to grow their business.” Share MuchBetter launches CashDuster to bridge payments and marketing dynamics November 28, 2019 Submit Betting on Sports to deliver biggest ever exhibition space June 14, 2019last_img read more

GameScorekeeper sees $450k cash injection for its Esports Data Suite

first_imgDanish esports data provider GameScorekeeper has received a sizable cash injection of $450,000 (£350,000) to further enhance its data tracking software which pulls results and stats from esports matches in real time. Felix Klastrup, GameScoreKeeperGameScorekeeper has been working on the development of its esports focused products since early 2016. Today the company states that it can easily be used to report live scores and settle bets in real time, and it has new features incoming. Felix Klastrup, GameScorekeeper Founder, explained: “Data from esports has a very wide range of interesting uses, from media reporting on match results, exciting new betting products, improved analysis of matches by casters and commentators to training tools for amateurs and professionals that need better insights and feedback to improve their game.”On the financing round, in which several investors and private equity firms saw their bids turned down, Klastrup added: “It’s always nice to see a broad interest when opening a financing round, but ultimately we had to narrow our talks to the parties that offered the most favourable terms. We have a fantastic team and a great concept, but we also had the luck of riding on the recent surge of mainstream media attention towards esports during the round.”The company told ESI that the funding will primarily be spent on speeding up the development of new features in GameScorekeeper’s first commercial product which is known as the Esports Data Suite. Klastrup noted that they’re looking for an expanded office space and that they’re looking to hire two new software developers. Klastrup also stated that they’ve been in discussions with clients for some time and that a deal will be revealed ‘soon’. GameScorekeeper was a beneficiary of Innovation Fund Denmark which gave it some of the capital (£39,000) needed to get the ball rolling in 2016. Those that started the likes of successful start-ups Trustpilot and Endomondo are a part of the GameScorekeeper advisory board, and they’ve helped ensure the company continues to move in the right direction. Klastrup stated: “We owe a great debt of gratitude to Innovation Fund Denmark and our Advisory Board. The prototypes, which helped convince our new investors, would never have materialised without the first grant and the help from our advisors, who gave us invaluable guidance and access to a large business network”. Esports Insider says: There are a huge amount of data points across esports titles making it more of a challenge to offer live betting markets, and provide accurate and fair odds whilst doing so. There is a significant opportunity with harnessing data across esports in general, and GameScorekeeper will spend this money to further develop its Esports Data Suite. We’re excited to see the result.last_img read more

Michael Owen & Alan Shearer: New book sparks Twitter row

first_imgMichael Owen’s new book has ignited a row on social media between the former England striker and Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer.One of the more cutting lines in the book includes Owen’s claim that his transfer from Real Madrid to the Magpies in 2005 was a “downward step”and the one move he “really regrets”.The pair exchanged barbed tweets as the story broke on Tuesday – but what is the background of their feud?‘I couldn’t wait to retire’In Reboot – My Life, My Time, which is being serialised in the Daily Mirror,Owen also goes into detail about his relationship with Newcastle’s fans during an injury-hit spell with the club, which ended with him joining Manchester United after the Magpies’ relegation to the Championship in 2009.“I should have followed my gut instincts, I didn’t want to go there – my heart was set on a return to Liverpool,” said Owen – who had left Anfield for Real in 2004 – of his move to St James’ Park.The 39-year-old former England captain also claimed Newcastle were “only a big club in the sense that it has a lot of fans and a big stadium”. Ouch.Match of the Day pundit Shearer, the Magpies’ record goalscorer, responded on social media.Tweeting a clip of Owen telling BT Sport in 2018 that he “couldn’t wait to retire for the final six or seven years” of his career, Shearer posted: “Yes, Michael, we thought that also, whilst on £120K a week.”Enter Owen again, questioning Shearer’s loyalty to Newcastle….That retort certainly got people talking, but where did this bad blood start?‘I felt I was a scapegoat’Newcastle’s relegation in 2009 appears to be the catalyst for the pair’s strained relationship, according to Owen’s book.Shearer was interim manager at the time and, going into the final day of the season, the Magpies needed at least a draw at Aston Villa or their 16-season spell in the Premier League would come to an end.Owen claims he was not fully fit but, with Villa 1-0 up through Damien Duff’s own goal, the striker came on as a substitute in the 66th minute.Newcastle could not find a response and were condemned to the Championship, and Owen alleges Shearer was “seething” with him and insinuated the player “had an eye on my next contract”, with his existing deal about to run out.“I felt I was being made a scapegoat,” said Owen.“When you analyze it, it all makes sense. Shearer’s record as a manager in the last eight games of that 2008-09 season was dire: lost five, drew two, won one.”Of his 49-year-old former England team-mate, Owen added: “Alan Shearer and I still haven’t talked this out face to face and that’s a shame because, as I’ve said many, many times, we were very good friends.”He then goes on to explain he had been part of an extensive interview with BT Sport in 2018 where he had touched upon his experiences with injury in his career and was taken aback by how Shearer had “started sniping about it on Twitter”.Owen claims he had a text conversation with Shearer following this tweet where he offered an explanation after Shearer had said Newcastle fans would be “unimpressed to hear he didn’t enjoy playing there”.“It went, as I suspected, precisely nowhere,” he added.Gary Lineker, who hosts Match of the Day alongside Shearer as well as working with Owen on BT Sport, later acted as peacemaker as the spat continued.“There appears to be a bit of history here? I like you both so don’t want to pick sides,” he tweeted. Source: BBClast_img read more