Indonesia’s foreign debt rises in April as govt issues global bonds, debt papers

first_imgIndonesia’s foreign debt growth accelerated in April, driven mainly by the government’s issuance of sovereign debt papers (SBN) and global bonds to cover for the widening budget deficit to fund its COVID-19 fight, Bank Indonesia (BI) announced on Monday.The external debt of Southeast Asia’s biggest economy, which includes borrowing by the government and the private sector, was recorded at US$400.2 billion, with a growth rate of 2.9 percent year-on-year (yoy), according to BI data. It marks an increase in the annual growth rate from 0.5 percent yoy in March.The government’s foreign debt rose 1.6 percent yoy in April to $189.7 billion, driven by the weekly issuance of SBN, as well as the issuance of dollar-denominated bonds worth $4.3 billion issued in the United States to finance the budget deficit in 2020. Public sector debt, raised by the government and the central bank, amounted to $192.4 billion. “The management of the government’s external debt is conducted in a prudent and accountable manner to support government spending in priority sectors, focusing on COVID-19 handling and economic stimulus,” the central bank said in a statement on Monday.Indonesia’s budget deficit is expected to widen to 6.34 percent of GDP to cover the Rp 677.2 trillion ($47.65 billion) in economic stimulus packages and additional healthcare spending to fight the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.Private sector external debt, which includes the debt of state-owned enterprises, grew 4.2 percent to $207.8 billion in April, slower than the 4.7 percent growth recorded in March.“The development is due to the deeper contraction of external debts in financial institutions amid the stability of the external debt of non-financial institutions,” BI said.Private sector external debt is largely disbursed across four sectors, namely mining, manufacturing, financial services and insurance and electricity, gas and steam procurement. The sectors accounted for 77.4 percent of private sector external debt.The central bank deemed the overall external debt level as healthy as the foreign-debt-to-GDP ratio was recorded at 36.5 percent by the end of April, up from 34.6 percent the previous month. Long-term loans account for 88.9 percent of the current outstanding debt.Topics :last_img read more

Tramlink enters the construction phase

first_imgA 28 km light rail network to open in Croydon in 1999 will greatly improve east-west orbital journeys through south London and alleviate growing road congestion in Britain’s eleventh biggest centre,Mike Heath MBE is Tramlink Project Manager for London Transport. Bob Dorey is Chairman of Tramtrack Croydon LtdTHIS SPRING sees the start of work on the Tramlink light rail network to serve the south London suburb of Croydon. Promoted jointly by the London Borough of Croydon (LBC) and London Transport (LT), Tramlink will be financed, built and operated under a 99-year concession awarded to Tramtrack Croydon Ltd (TCL) on November 25.TCL comprises local bus operator CentreWest, construction groups Sir Robert McAlpine and Amey, rolling stock supplier Bombardier Eurorail and financiers 3i and the Royal Bank of Scotland. Total cost of the project is put at around £200m, of which £35m will go on rolling stock. The British government has agreed to contribute to the project, with the announcement by the then Minister for Transport in London Steven Norris on July 22 1996 effectively forming the last go-ahead before work could start. Construction of a light rail network in Croydon has been under discussion for over 20 years, but the present scheme originated in the late 1980s. At that time, LT and British Rail were looking at ways to improve the quality of public transport in south London, and one of the options was to enhance the existing rail network. Croydon was faced with major traffic problems which LBC feared could damage the attractiveness of the town centre.Over the past 30 years, Croydon has achieved considerable success in establishing itself as the largest commercial and shopping centre in southeast England outside Central London. With over 800000 m2 of commercial office space, the town centre has more capacity than many provincial cities including Sheffield, Newcastle and Nottingham. Retail floor space in the town centre exceeds 250000 m2. Its 320000 inhabitants make Croydon the most populous of the 32 London boroughs, and equivalent to Britain’s eleventh largest city. Developing the networkCroydon’s north-south rail links are excellent, with East Croydon station lying astride the London – Brighton main line midway between Victoria and Gatwick Airport. East Croydon is currently London’s busiest commuter station, and also sees through InterCity services to the northwest and Scotland. However, east-west travel in the south London suburbs is much more difficult, as it crosses the radial corridors developed by competing private railway companies in the last century. Road links are also poor, with the so-called South Circular Road more of a concept than a reality. Thus better east-west links were identified as crucial for Croydon’s future success.LT and LBC co-operated on a series of studies between 1990 and 1992 into options for making better use of existing road space. Improved bus priority and bus-only schemes were considered, as well as a more extensive review of the rail network. The crucial factor in determining the viability of any project was the level of ridership that could be attracted and the reduction of car travel and road congestion.The key advantage of light rail with segregated running is that it gives a fast and reliable service, which encourages people to transfer from cars. In the light of this, and following reviews by a number of independent transport consultants, LT and LBC concluded that light rail was the best option for the borough. They jointly promoted a private Bill in Parliament which received Royal Assent as the Tramlink Act in July 1994.To meet the needs for improved east-west links, the 28 km Tramlink network is based on a loop in the town centre with three radial branches running northwest, northeast and southeast. Two of these involve conversion of existing railway branches which are under-utilised, and in part will run alongside operational Railtrack routes. The third branch will use part of a derelict rail alignment en route to serve the major satellite residential area of New Addington at the farthest extremity of the borough, which has been served only by buses since it was built almost 60 years ago.Project Development GroupAlthough Tramlink pre-dated the Private Finance Initiative, the promoters had already taken on board some of the government’s aspirations for private-sector involvement in public investment schemes. A private/public partnership was formed in October 1992 to develop the scope and economics of the scheme. This Project Development Group was formed by LT, LBC and a consortium comprising Tarmac, AEG and Transdev, who provided expertise in construction and project management, railway engineering and light rail operations.The PDG developed the Tramlink concept through a series of context drawings, to outline the route, impact on shopping centres, and so forth. It also undertook further consideration of the scheme’s economics, balancing potential revenues with operating costs. More importantly, the PDG helped to draw up the commercial terms which were essential before the project could proceed – for example defining the responsibility for dealing with utilities diversions.The PDG then drew up a draft Concession Agreement for discussion with the government, both the Department of Transport and the Treasury. At this stage it became necessary to incorporate details of the proposed risk transfer which would be fundamental if the scheme were to proceed under the terms of the Private Finance Initiative.When the time came to launch the bidding competition for the concession – which had always been envisaged – it was necessary for all parties, including the members of the PDG, to ensure a level playing field for the competition, which was held under the EC negotiated procedures. Therefore the group was dissolved in March 1995. LT and LBC developed the Information Memorandum and marketing material for the tendering competition.Concession biddingThe competition for Tramlink was announced by Steven Norris on May 26 1995. Initially, it was difficult to convince other groups to invest time and resources in bidding for a project where one consortium appeared to have an inside track. However, the promoter’s investment in promotion and pre-marketing generated eight good prequalifying bids, which arrived in mid-September 1995. Of these, four consortia were shortlisted on October 2 for the formal invitation to tender. Final bids were requested by mid-January 1996. On offer was a 99-year concession to design, build, finance, maintain and operate the Tramlink network. As a Private Finance Initiative project, the primary risk relating to those tasks must rest with the concessionaire, who will recoup its investment through revenue, either directly from cash-paying passengers or via revenue sharing arrangements for Travelcard and concessionary fares. While public transport in Greater London remains regulated, the concessionaire will have some protection through LT’s duties to co-ordinate public transport. For example, LT will be able to restructure its tendered bus network to complement Tramlink when it opens, whereas in other British cities light rail lines face direct competition from unregulated private bus companies.From prequalifying right through to selection of the preferred bidder, the competition was judged on a range of criteria developed after extensive discussions between LT, LBC and the government. Essentially, the concession would go to the consortium submitting the most economically advantageous tender. But within that overall concept, various criteria were ranked in descending order of importance:1. Ability to comply with mandatory project requirements throughout the concession period, including the minimum requirements of the performance specification attached to the invitation to tender and any mandatory contracts with designated third parties.2. Financial strength of the tenderer and its capability to raise the necessary finance.3. Lowest call for a public sector contribution to the cost of construction.4. The degree of risk transfer from the public to the private sector.5. Use of proven and established technology to construct, equip and operate the network.6. Quality of the service, equipment and works offered by the tenderer in excess of the minimum requirements of the performance specification.LT’s commercial confidentiality provisions preclude explaining in detail why the winning bid was selected. What can be said is that the crucial criteria, relating to complying with the mandatory requirements and the financial strength of the bidder, were hurdles for all consortia to clear. Other aspects of the tender covered the different bidders’ proposals for alternative approaches to meeting the output-related performance specification.Other essential requirements before a bid could be taken forward included safety, the ability to meet operating requirements, and the ability to comply with undertakings and representations made in Parliament about the environmental impact, passenger comfort, reliability and overall aspects of the scheme, including good practice during construction. Once the bidders had cleared these hurdles, it was inevitable that a project which required substantial public funding must have as a critical factor the lowest available call for contributions to the construction cost. For the bidders, this is a balance between those costs and the forecast revenues. It is an important element of a PFI project that the ridership risk passes to the concessionaire, and that there are no ongoing revenue subsidies. The remaining criteria balance the risk transfer, the certainty of delivering the project, and the added-value concepts to ensure that the most economically advantageous tender is chosen.Construction scheduleCroydon’s residents have already had their first experience of disruption from Tramlink construction, as one of the main shopping streets in the town centre was shut during October and November for preliminary works. This prepared the way for utilities relocation, which remains the responsibility of LT. Utilities work will continue in phases as necessary for construction to proceed up to the autumn of 1998.TCL’s engineering teams have already begun preparatory works such as boreholes, surveys and site accommodation, giving less than three years before the network is scheduled to open in late 1999. Heavy construction is due to be finished by the spring of that year, leaving six months for commissioning, fine tuning, and test running. The ex-BR branches from Wimbledon to West Croydon and Elmers End to Addiscombe will be closed at the end of May to allow conversion work to begin. Extensive track refurbishment will be needed on the two rail lines, together with conversion from third rail to overhead power supply. Parts of the Wimbledon – West Croydon route will be restored to double-track. Street tracks will be laid in central Croydon, providing for the first time a direct link between East and West Croydon stations through the heart of the town. A new reserved-track alignment will be built to carry the New Addington branch through Lloyd Park and Addington Hills, alongside Gravel Hill, and through Addington Village.Another short section of new alignment will be built along the back of South Norwood Country Park, to connect the Elmers End route to Railtrack’s Crystal Palace – Beckenham Junction line. This former double-track route was singled some years ago, leaving space for a second track to be laid on the alignment to carry Tramlink services. Passing places will be provided at Avenue Road and near Beckenham Road to accommodate the planned 10min frequency of service.New bridges will be needed to carry Tramlink over Connex South Central tracks at two points: the Sutton – London line near Mitcham Junction, and the Sutton – West Croydon line near Waddon New Road on the approach to Croydon town centre.Another major tranche of work covers the refurbishment of three sections of tunnel on the disused railway alignment between Sandilands and Coombe Lane.The choice of signalling and communications systems has been left to TCL, although the specification stipulates that whatever is provided must satisfy the requirements of HM Railway Inspectorate. The trams will be controlled using a combination of ‘line of sight’ driving and appropriate signalling systems, for example at passing loops on the single line sections.Rolling stockTramlink will be worked by a fleet of 24 low-floor LRVs supplied by Bombardier Eurorail’s Prorail arm based in Wakefield. This will provide 21 cars in daily service plus three spares. The CR4000 design is derived from the 120-strong fleet of K4000 cars being supplied to Köln by Bombardier Eurorail’s plants in Brugge and Wien. The six-axle articulated vehicles will be of low-floor design, 30 200 mm long and 2 650 mm wide. The concession agreement specifies that at least two doors on each side of the vehicle will provide level access between car and platform, to ensure accessibility by unassisted wheelchair users. There must be a minimum of two wheelchair spaces on each car. Total capacity will be around 240 passengers per vehicle, of which 74 will be seated. Existing platforms along the converted rail routes will be lowered to suit the tram floor height, and new low-height platforms will be built at the other stops. Power will be supplied by conventional 750 V DC overhead catenary. The fleet will be based at a new maintenance depot at Therapia Lane on the Wimbledon line, where normal servicing, light maintenance and routine repairs will be undertaken.Passenger servicesA comprehensive range of information and communications systems is envisaged. CCTV cameras will be provided at each stop, linked to monitors in the control centre. Passenger information displays on every platform will provide ‘current’ and ‘next’ tram information, including destination and estimated time of arrival at the stop. Each platform will also be equipped with a Passenger Communication & Assistance System, with alarm buttons and a two-way speech link to the control centre. Radio links will carry voice and data messages between the control centre and the vehicles, allowing conversations between the drivers or passengers and controllers.For fare collection purposes, the concession agreement requires Tramlink to conform with LT’s London-wide zonal ticketing system. Travelcards and Concessionary Permits will be accepted. The level and structure of fares will be proposed by the operators and determined by London Transport. Tickets will be issued by multi-fare vending machines at all stops – at least one per platform. They may also be sold from TCL’s central Croydon office and other agencies. Tickets will not be sold or validated by the tram drivers.Routes, service frequency and journey times will all be subject to agreement between TCL and LT. Three main routes are planned: Wimbledon – Elmers End, Croydon – Beckenham Junction, and Croydon – New Addington. The typical journey time from the town centre to Elmers End would be about 14 min, and to any of the other termini about 20 or 21 min. During the week, daytime frequencies of six trams/h are envisaged to Wimbledon, Elmers End and Beckenham Junction and nine trams/h on the New Addington branch. This will give a combined service of 20 trams/h each way on the core section between East Croydon and Sandilands, and in Croydon town centre. There will be scaled-down service levels in the evenings and on Sundays. Flagship systemWhilst some disruption during construction is inevitable, the effects will be minimised through close liaison with the affected boroughs of Croydon, Bromley, Merton and Sutton, and by ensuring the public is kept informed at all stages of the project. The long-term benefits of this major improvement to public transport and the subsequent boost to the local economy will outweigh any short-term concerns.Tramlink will be seen as the flagship for the southeast in terms of a modern, environmentally-friendly and integrated public transport system.CAPTION: Road closures to allow diversion of services clear of the tram tracks have begun in central CroydonCAPTION: At present Connex South Central operates an irregular service between Wimbledon (above) and West Croydon, with a two-car EMU covering this under-utilised route about every 45 min. Tramlink will not merely improve service frequency, but also give direct connections at East CroydonCAPTION: Preparatory work just east of the main line station at East Croydon requires road traffic diversion. Construction of Tramlink will provide the first direct rail connection between here and West Croydon. The Tramlink consortium is drawing on the experience of Britain’s other modern tram construction projects in keeping the public informed about the benefits which will follow construction (inset)TCL shareholdersCentreWestSir Robert McAlpineAmeyBombardier Eurorail3iRoyal Bank of ScotlandTramlink entre en phase de constructionUn réseau de métro léger de 28 km améliorera énormément les trajets périphériques est-ouest passant par le sud de Londres lorsqu’il s’ouvrira en 1999. Tramtrack Croydon Ltd a une concession de 99 ans pour la conception, la construction, l’exploitation et l’entretien du réseau qui comprend une boucle autour du centre ville et trois embranchements radiaux dont deux seront convertis à partir de lignes ferroviaires existantes. Le membre du consortium Tramtrack, Bombardier Eurorail, construira 24 voitures à plancher bas dans son usine Prorail située à WakefieldTramlink nimmt Bauphase aufEin 28 km langes Stadtbahnnetz, das 1999 eröffnet werden soll, wird die Ost-West-Umgehung durch Süd-London stark verbessern. Für Entwurf, Bau, Betrieb und Unterhaltung des aus einer Zentrumsschleife und drei Radialabzweigungen bestehenden Bahnnetzes verfügt Tramtrack Croydon Ltd über eine 99-Jahres- Lizenz; zwei dieser Abzweigungen werden aus vorhandenen Bahnstrecken umgebaut. Das Tramtrack-Konsortien-Mitglied Bombardier Eurorail wird in seinem Prorail-Werk in Wakefield 24 Niederflurwagen bauenTramlink entra en fase de construcción Una red de 28 km de trenes ligeros mejorar? considerablemente los desplazamientos orbitales Este-Oeste hasta el sur de Londres cuando se abra en 1999. Tramtrack Croydon Ltd posee una licencia de 99 años para diseñar, construir, poner en funcionamiento y realizar el mantenimiento de la red, la cual comprende un lazo del centro de la ciudad y tres ramas radiales, dos de las cuales ser? n reconvertidas de rutas férreas ya existentes. Bombardier Eurorail, miembro del consorcio Tramtrack, construir? 24 trenes de suelo bajo en sus instalaciones Prorail de Wakefieldlast_img read more

Beachfront home in tightly held pocket on the market

first_img20 Palm St, Rowes BayThe large veranda has uninterrupted views of Magnetic Island and the ocean while the living area and master bedroom also have panoramic ocean views.There is a second kitchen downstairs and a second bathroom with separate toilet.Polished timber floors feature throughout the home and the main kitchen upstairs has plenty of bench and cupboard space, stainless dishwasher, oven, gas cooktop and servery to the veranda.There is also two-car accommodation with drive though access to the backyard.Ms Hyde said most of the interest in the home had come from families. 20 Palm St, Rowes BayA HOME perfectly located across the road from the beach in one of Townsville’s most popular suburbs has come on to the market for the first time in more than 20 years.20 Palm St in Rowes Bay is for sale for $875,000 and is attracting plenty of interest from buyers keen to enjoy a beachside lifestyle. 20 Palm St, Rowes BayThe last time the home changed hands was in 1996.The house has five bedrooms, two bathrooms, three car spaces and is on a 809sq m block. It’s in the tightly held oceanfront pocket of Rowes Bay where homes rarely come onto the market.Re/MAX Townsville selling agent Michele Hyde said the house had been designed to face the ocean and make the most of the views.“The views are what this home is all about and there is something really refreshing about the sea breezes coming in,” she said.“We’ve already had really good interest because it’s in such a sought-after spot.More from news01:21Buyer demand explodes in Townsville’s 2019 flood-affected suburbs12 Sep 202001:21‘Giant surge’ in new home sales lifts Townsville property market10 Sep 2020“People don’t leave here in a hurry because there is only a few homes along there.”The home is great for entertaining and spacious inside and out.center_img 20 Palm St, Rowes Bay“People are saying the home has lots of potential,” she said.“I think it’s a lovely character home the way it is but there would be things you could do to make it even better – and because of where you are, you’re not going to over capitalise.“You’re minutes from town and across the road from the ocean.last_img read more

Wenger hails resilient Gunners

first_img “We are now back to four points behind, we have a game in hand and we’ve played two away games on the trot now. “We have five games at home and we will see. It makes, of course, the next game a very big one. “We needed the three points after a disappointing result at Stoke and I think that was still on our mind. “Overall, we know to stay in the race it was vital to win and our away fans have been brilliant since the start of the season.” Tottenham head coach Tim Sherwood struggled to contain himself at times at White Hart Lane and at one point threw his gilet at the dugout in anger. Despite that frustration and the fact Spurs have now lost three in a row, he could have few complaints with his side’s effort. “After going behind so early in the game, you fear the worst but they did me proud today,” Sherwood said. “They stuck together and took the game to Arsenal. We’re talking about a team pushing for the title here and we didn’t deserve to lose that game. I think we deserved to win it. “To be honest, I am a winner. I want to win and I would rather play bad and win the game. “Anyone that saw that game today will know we didn’t deserve to lose that. “They had one shot in the second half, when Mertesacker forced Hugo Lloris into a good save. “They came here to counter-attack and that is a credit to us. They did that pretty well in the first half but the boys stuck to their guns, we showed some quality. “We should have scored, it’s as simple as that. When we score, we go on to win the game because the momentum would have taken us there. “The crowd were fantastic, stuck with us all the way today and you would expect that when they are seeing the boys give that sort of effort.” The Gunners’ first win at White Hart Lane since September 2007 was far from easy and, in fact, they were fortunate to leave victorious. Tomas Rosicky’s thunderbolt after just 72 seconds proved enough in a tense north London derby, which only ended 1-0 thanks to Spurs’ wayward finishing and some wonderful defending. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was proud of the “special resilience” his players displayed in keeping Tottenham at bay and themselves in contention for the Barclays Premier League crown. Press Association Wenger was proud of the resilience shown by his side in a victory that sees Arsenal move into third in the standings and crucially closes the gap on leaders Chelsea to four points. “It is a huge result,” the Arsenal boss said. “We were under pressure to win before the game because of course it was a very important game. “Our early goal maybe influenced too much how we played because we missed a second goal and after that we wanted to protect the lead and sometimes we were under pressure. “Tottenham played well, we must say. For me, they were absolutely up for it and we needed some special resilience to get away with it. “As long as we didn’t score the second goal, of course it was a very tight game, but in the end, for us, it is a three massive points.” Wenger was quick to highlight the “exceptional” centre-back pairing of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker for helping Arsenal over the line at White Hart Lane. The result was the ideal response to the defeat at Stoke in their last Premier League outing and may well prove a catalyst to success in next weekend’s trip to leaders Chelsea. “It gets us a bit closer to Chelsea and makes the game next week even more interesting,” Wenger said. last_img read more

Winning Post – Another week, another credit card consultation

first_img Winning Post: Swedish regulator pushes back on ‘Storebror’ approach to deposit limits August 24, 2020 Related Articles Industry strategic consultancy Regulus Partners kick starts the week by assessing the global changes to taxes, the Australian government’s crackdown on credit cards, and the recent NHS statistics released in the UK.Global: gambling tax changes – call of dutyThis week has seen three elements of ‘bad news’ from a tax perspective. Denmark (€520m run-rate online market) has announced that it will increase online duty by 8ppts (40%) to 28% in 2021, to go some way to normalise the rate with landbased. Brazil has opted to maintain a 3% turnover duty rather than a proposed 1% of turnover for its forthcoming domestically regulated betting market. In a smaller market, but with a bigger impact for those concerned, tax increases in Lithuania (by 3ppts to 18% for retail and 13% for online) have caused Olympic Entertainment to close nine betting shops (6 of national supply) and two casinos (11%).On the one hand, it is hard not to sympathise with the reaction of the Olympic MD for Lithuania and apply it across the board: “Initiatives to aggressively change the tax environment not only create uncertainty but have also forced us to rethink and change our business model. We will move the activity from the closed facilities to other operating units, such as betting shops, casinos or the remote gambling platform.This is how we respond to changing market conditions so that we can ensure the sustainability of our business through legal action.” Higher taxes makes it harder to make money (in theory – bear with us on that) while ‘aggressive’ changes can certainly detrimentally affect business models. But if we examine each of these markets in turn, a more nuanced view can emerge.When Denmark domestically regulated online gambling in 2011 the government had to face down a state aid legal challenge from domestic retail operators for providing online with a far more favourable rate of tax (Denmark’s casinos and gaming machine face taxes of 41- 75% GGR – online is paying less than half of this). Denmark’s logic was simple: the benefits of ‘liberalisation’ outweighed the issues of differential tax treatment, while there was sufficient precedent (e.g. UK) – the European Commission agreed. However, two things then occurred.The first was rapid channel shift, with overall market growth of 58% since 2012 (ex lottery) but 189% online – retail overall grew by only 31% (all betting as operators competed against the erstwhile monopoly) while casinos have been flat (no new supply or demand) and gaming machines have declined (by 21% since 2012). The second was a very rapid growth in online advertising – with Kantar reporting that radio and TV ads has more than doubled since 2012 (triggering voluntary restrictions and calls for tighter regulation – as in many other jurisdictions). So who has won from liberalisation? – online gambling operators and media companies. Who has lost? – landbased gaming operators and the treasury.Further, given that Denmark’s rate of VAT is 25% (20% cash), growth in online gambling is tax neutral beyond the (very important) element of channelling from the black market, but a fiscal problem for channelling from landbased to online. While a 28% tax rate might squeeze some operators, it is unlikely to have a material impact on consumer choice (the number of high or at least reasonable quality licensees available) and therefore channelization, in our view. Equally, the vast majority of marketing spend tends to be focussed on market share rather than growing the market.Consequently, higher taxes tend simply to drive lower marketing spend and higher operating efficiencies (e.g. UK growth and channelling was completely unaffected by adding a 15% duty where before there was none – despite baleful industry predictions and ‘analysis’ to the contrary). A 40% tax hike, however aggressive it may sound, therefore kills a few birds with one stone: cutting advertising, levelling the playing field a little (after all retail operators tend to employ more people per € of revenue generated and are still subject to roughly double the rate of tax) and making the treasury a net beneficiary of online gambling growth away from other forms of consumer expenditure. These elements might have just made the Danish market more sustainable – remote operator cries for politicians to ‘come to their senses’, notwithstanding.Brazil’s position has less compelling outcomes for similar input logic. A 1% turnover tax would have been among the lowest in the world – Ireland doubled its tax rate to 2% last year. On a 10% blended GM, Brazil is suggesting a 30% equivalent GGR tax vs. 10%: the former gives the state a more significant but still sustainable level of skin in the game and makes growth beyond black market channelling attractive (Brazil’s GST rate is c. 17-20% in a very complicated Federal-Provincial model, so 10% would effectively mean a relative betting operator subsidy vs. general consumer taxes).However, while Ireland can meaningfully talk about a 10% GM being a representative outcome given the horseracing mix, Brazil is likely to be dominated by soccer and US sports. The former creates margins between 2% and 30%, while the latter (along with in-play) averages at around 6%. So offers that are soccer multiple led pay far less tax than offers that are singles or in-play led (which would see effective tax rates of over 50% if they tried to offer ‘natural’ prices to compete in value terms with the inevitable black market). This is likely to cause significant market distortions and black market leakage, in our view.If Brazil doesn’t want to sacrifice its potential tax base (logically enough), then a 30% GGR tax would be far more efficient than a 3% turnover tax (even a 6% one for retail), in our view – and create a win-win model for betting operators and the government (caveat: gaming still seems not to be included – so not many operators would actually net benefit, in our view, if restrictions are enforced).Lithuania is again a mixed message in terms of its regulatory policy and fiscal policy. Its online market has been growing strongly to a run-rate of €42m GGR – catching up with a landbased gambling market of €71m GGR. Channel shift has led to a relatively stagnant overall landbased supply in terms of revenue and the number of units over the last four years.Lithuania is also noticing and reacting to increased gambling advertising – with the regulator introducing significant restrictions last month. However, while online continues to benefit from a material tax advantage (going up from 10% to 13% vs. 15 to `18% for retail – so still a 5ppt or 38% advantage), this gap is likely to continue to drive retail decline (with related job losses) and encourage as many forms of online marketing as possible.UK: regulation – NHS BS offers gloomy prognosis for sensible policyThis week raised the question once again of why so many of the people who set themselves up as guardians of moral rectitude seem to be such colossal fibbers. On Tuesday, the National Health Service published details of the Health Survey for England 2018, including survey data on gambling. The data indicates that the long-term decline in adult gambling participation has continued – down from 62% in 2015 and 56% in 2016 to 54% last year (excluding the National Lottery, it fell from 45% to 42% to 40%).The trend is largely visible across the board with a sustained erosion of participation in most modes of wagering (the only two forms that grew were society lotteries and non-remote novelty betting). The rate of problem gambling (using combined figures from the DSM-IV and PGSI screens) fell once again – down to 0.5% of adults from 0.9% in 2015 and 0.7% in 2016. This therefore seemed to be a mixed bag; further concern for operators that their product is losing relevance; reassurance for all that harmful gambling is (if we can tell anything from prevalence surveys) in retreat.That of course is not the way that the senior management of the NHS sees things. For its chief executive, Simon Stevens the fact that more than half of adults gambled on at least one occasion last year was a “stark reminder of how common gambling is in our society”. This was a revealing comment, suggesting that Mr Stevens is concerned not so much about the number of people who might meet the diagnostic criteria for gambling disorder (a valid health matter) or even whether gambling is increasing in popularity; but simply the fact that some grown-ups occasionally gets their kicks from playing games and placing bets (a matter of personal choice).It would seem that to Mr Stevens, the act of gambling is in itself (and irrespective of any assessment of problems) a health issue – one of equal prominence to asthma, obesity and longstanding medical conditions. This is as clear an illustration of the prohibitionist agenda that – as we have written previously – seeks to position gambling as an inherently harmful activity, similar to tobacco consumption.Mr Stevens went on to state that the data demonstrated “how easy it is to become addicted, particularly with the aggressive push into online gambling”. Of course, the data shows nothing of the kind. Indeed, it contained no information on gambling addiction. Even if we take gambling disorder as a imperfect proxy for addiction, the indication that one-in-two-hundred adults may meet the diagnostic criteria for a mild, moderate or severe disorder (down from around one-in-one-hundred-and-ten) is not really suggestive of ease.Mr Stevens perceives online gambling to be at the root of things – but do the figures support this contention? It is true that participation in online sports betting (which has been linked with relatively low to moderate levels of problem gambling in every prevalence survey since 2007) nudged up fractionally – from 7.4% to 7.8%; while online gaming (which has had a moderately high level of problem gambling in all studies) edged down from 3.1% to 3.0%.Annual participation in online gambling in total was 9.4% – exactly the same rate recorded in 2016. Indeed, it is somewhat remarkable that one-quarter-of-a-century after the emergence of remote gambling, it remains a relatively niche pastime. Given that 38% of Britons shop online at least once a week (according to a recent survey by Episerver), gambling appears if anything to be something of a laggard in e-commerce.The idea therefore that remote operators are responsible for an increase in gambling and problem gambling over the past two years is demonstrably not supported by the latest survey data. It is unclear why Mr Stevens felt the need to embellish and distort his own organisation’s data – but sadly his organisation has form. Earlier this year, at the launch of the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms, one of Mr Stevens’s colleagues made public comments about gambling and suicide that were based – by his own admission – on nothing more than hearsay. Recently, another high profile figure from the NHS claimed that the city of Hull was “inundated” with casinos (there are two casinos in Hull – one per 130,322 inhabitants).The fact that we cannot rely on NHS senior management to be reliable witnesses is troubling given that the Conservative Party has committed itself to a department of Health led review of gambling legislation in the next parliament. It is a disappointing aspect of the policy debate on gambling that so many of those in positions of political, regulatory and spiritual leadership have chosen in recent years to make highly public misrepresentations of the basic facts.They may not always have done so deliberately (interpretation of gambling data often requires a degree of understanding that few generalists possess) but there is a sense that they are viewing all new information through the prism of a “public health crisis”. When pressed and in private, the more honest will admit to their mistakes – but all seem incapable of public acts of correction or contrition.While remote gambling is currently the focus of ire for many of these public figures, the NHS’s misinterpretation of its own survey data should be a cause for alarm for all operators (and indeed any consumers who value the right to gamble if they choose). This is because the elimination of online betting or gaming is likely to have only a very modest effect on overall gambling participation (quite aside from the creation of a black market). If Mr Stevens wishes for gambling to become even less “common” than it currently is (a low since records began) then the National Lottery (39% annual participation), scratchcards (18%), charity lotteries (14%) and betting on horseracing (8%) are all promising targets. It will be time to bid farewell to all that funding for historic buildings and Olympic endeavour; time to tarmac over Epsom and Ascot.The nature of the debate over gambling is shifting. There is a real risk that the central question for gambling policy in the forthcoming governmental review ceases to be about the balance between consumer enjoyment and consumer protection; and concerns itself instead with whether gambling should be permitted at all.Australia: regulation – banks take evasive action on credit cardsAnother week, another consultation on whether credit cards should be permitted forms of payment for gambling services. The fact that Australia is currently reviewing the question is not particularly surprising; the identity of the reviewer is perhaps more interesting.This week, the Australian Banking Association initiated a public consultation to address a number of questions related to gambling on credit – what are the risks? Should it be permitted? Should restrictions apply to all forms of gambling? What might happen as a result of restrictions? Should banks be given more time to come up with intelligent solutions?The consultation appears to be a rare example of an industry (financial services rather than gambling in this case) getting ahead of a problem in order to give intelligent solutions a fighting chance over prohibition. The consultation runs until March 2020.__________Content provided by Regulus Partners Submit Tabcorp double burdened by covid and group impairment charges August 19, 2020 Flutter moves to refine merger benefits against 2020 trading realities August 27, 2020 Share StumbleUpon Sharelast_img

Besser Museum hosting Pokémon Go Open House this weekend

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisAlpena, Mich. — Last fall, we learned about how fans of the game Pokémon Go flock to the outside of the Besser Museum because of their many pokestops, places to catch these virtual Pokémon.Fans of the game now have the opportunity to explore even more. This Saturday, the museum is holding a Pokémon Go open house to encourage folks to play the game inside and explore what the museum has to offer.It’s the second time the Besser Museum has done a Pokémon-themed event to try and draw players into it’s halls.“Pokémon is a great way to encourage people to get out and explore their local community and area,” said Planetarium Coordinator Johnathan Winckowski. “It allows them to see places and things that they normally wouldn’t have thought about.”Stop by this Saturday between 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. and compete with other Pokémon Go players all afternoon. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit the Besser Museum website AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThis Tags: Besser Museum, Besser Museum for Northeast Michigan, Pokemon, Pokemon GoContinue ReadingPrevious Clark’s Laundromat fire considered a total lossNext Councilman Mike Nowak hearing out ideas, comments on Saturdaylast_img read more

Over 50 Teams Will Compete in Dragon Boat Festival

first_imgFacebook88Tweet0Pin0Submitted by the Port of OlympiaPaddles up! Over 50 local and regional teams will race for the gold at the 12th annual Saint Martin’s University Dragon Boat Festival on Saturday, April 29 at the Port Plaza.   More than 5,000 spectators are expected to cheer the racers on, enjoy cultural performances, and browse the booths along the boardwalk. Booths include food, fun and cultural arts and crafts. The Dragon Boat teams represent colleges, universities, high schools, school districts, government agencies and community organizations. Saint Martin’s University (SMU) hosts the festival. The event is free and open to the public. If you go: Saturday, April 29, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Port Plaza on Budd Inlet, immediately north of Percival Landing at 701 Columbia Street NW. Look for the large viewing tower. The Port of Olympia is a proud sponsor of this community event. For more information, including ways to support the festival or organize a team, visit or email read more

Three runners aim for Olympic qualification

first_imgThey are 400m specialist Nelson Stone, 400m sprinter and hurdler Mowen Boino and sprinter Theo Piniau.Athletics PNG will select one male athlete for the Games under the universality rule.Universality rule guarantees every Olympic Committee a place for one male and one female athlete regardless of qualifying standards.Stone competed in the 400m event at the 2012 Summer Olympics but was eliminated in the first round despite setting a season’s best time of 46.71Boino is a track and field athlete, who specialises in 400 metres sprint and in the 400 metre hurdles. He is a three-time Olympian and four-time national record holder for the 400m hurdles.APNG confirmed in a statement that whoever has the best performance between now and mid-June will be nominated.Piniau is on scholarship at West Texas A&M University in the USA and Stone’s training and competition program is being funded by the PNG Olympic Committee.Boino as yet does not have a sponsor for his program.last_img read more

Bloomfield, James win easy at Carifta Trials

first_imgKINGSTON College Akeem Bloomfield and Tiffany James of the Mico University College brought the final day of the Carifta Trials to a grand ending yesterday with spectacular runs in the Under-20 400 metres events. Bloomfield has been absent from the track all season and qualified to the final after cruising to 47.44 seconds on Saturday in his first race in over a year. Running out of lane four in the final, he covered the field early — running the first 200 metres at a rapid pace and leaving his rivals for dead — before taking his foot off the gas for the remainder of the race, even stopping metres before the finish line to clock a season best 46.51 seconds, the fastest time among Class One boys this season. St Jago High’s Sean Bailey ran on strongly for second in 46.76 seconds, with Terry Thomas of Greater Portmore third in 47.76 seconds. Former Papine High standout, James, now under the guidance of Bertland Cameron at Mico, delivered a peach of a run in the women’s Under-20 final. St. Jago High’s Aleesha Kelly went out like a scared hare from lane four, but James kept her cool in lane five and went up a gear towards the end to score a big win in a fast 52.53 seconds, beating her nearest rival, Semoy Hemmings (53.77) of Hydel High, by over a full second. Satanya Wright of St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) was third in 55.28. Kingston College athletes registered a quinella in the boys’ Under-18 400 metres. Dashawn Morris, running out lane seven, won in a personal best of 47.52 seconds, with Tyreke Bryan second, also in a personal best, of 47.87 seconds. Third went to Anthony Cox of St Jago in 48.39. There was also a mild upset in the girl’s Under-18 400, metres as STETHS’ Stacey Ann Williams won in 53.87 seconds ahead of St Catherine High’s Annakay Allen (54.61). Favourite Sanique Walker of Vere Technical was third in 54.87 seconds. Vere’s Class Three athlete, Brittany Anderson, won the girl’s Under-18 200 metres. Anderson, who had captured the long jump on Saturday’s opening day, sprinted away from St Jago High’s Shaniel English to win in a personal best of 23.92 seconds. English clocked 24.17 for second, with third going to Joanna Reid of St Jago in 24.51. Overseas-based Damion Thomas, of North East High in Florida, was very impressive in winning the boys’ Under-18 110-metre hurdles in 13.73 seconds. Oquendo Bernard of Jamaica College (JC) was second in 13.97, with third going to Brandon Brembridge of Excelsior High in 14.04. Rohan Cole of the University of Technology took the boys’ Under-20 equivalent in 13.48 seconds, beating KC’s Orlando Smith (13.92) and Tyrone Bryan (13.95) of Calabar High, respectively. Daszy Freeman of Manchester High won the girls Under-18 100 m hurdles in 13.77 seconds, with Jada Campbell of Hydel second in 13.85 seconds. In the Under-20 event, Rushelle Burton of Camperdown High won in 13.74 seconds, beating Sidney Marshall of Manchester High (13.84). Selected Results GIRLS 200 METRES UNDER 20 1. Shanice Reid St Jago 23.85 2. Kimone Hines Green Island 23.92 3. Roneisha McGregor Hydel 24.20 1500 m UNDER 18 1. Cemore Donald EDA 4:40.80 2. Britney Dixon Vere 4:43.42 3. Kayon Green EDA 4:50.00 SHOT PUT UNDER 18 1. Gabrielle Bailey St And 14.63M 2. Akio Jones Wol 13.45M 3. Test Bryan Hyd 13.09 SHOT PUT UNDER 20 1. Janell Fullerton St J 14.78M 2. Sahjay Stevens Steths 13.95M 3. Devia Brown Hydel 12.73M DISCUS UNDER 18 1. Shadae Hudson *Holm 39.20M 2. Kimone Reid EDA 38.98M 3. Akiko Jones Wol 38.42M HIGH JUMP Under 20 1. Britney Kerr Hydel 1.70M 2. Lorean Murray St And 1.65 3. Gabrielle Foster Alpha 1.60M BOYS 200MUNDER18 1. Michael Stevens CHS 21.61 2. Michael Bentley St J 21.72 3. Delano Williams Mun 22.03 200 m UNDER 20 1. Angel Miller Xlcr 21.30 2. Imar Tomlinson Xlcr 21.55 3. Bonanza Cummings Herb Morr 21.63 DISCUS UNDER 20 1. Sanjae Lawrence Pet 51.84M 2. Kyle Mitchell Wolm 50.30M 3. Kevin Nedrick Pet 50.15 DISCUS UNDER 18 1. Phillip Barnett Xlcr 59.62M 2. Roje Stona St J 56.88M 3. Daniel Cope Pet 54.92M LONG JUMP UNDER 18 1. Shakwon Coke KC 7.23M 2. Joel Morgan Xlcr 7.17M 3. Shaquille Lowe KC 7.03M SHOT PUT UNDER 20 1. Warren Barrett CHS 19.89M 2. Sanjae Lawrence Pet 19.06M 3. Kevin Nedrick Pet 18.18Mlast_img read more

Home-grown sports here to stay, say SEA Games chiefs

first_imgJoeart Jumawan and Alvin Pangan of Philipines during the Chinlone event at the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur where Chinlone team won the 1st silver for the country.INQUIRER/ MARIANNE BERMUDEZSoutheast Asian Games organizers have given their strong backing to keeping home-grown sports like sepak takraw — as well as the policy of tailoring the program to suit the host country.The biennial Games, whose 29th edition is underway in Malaysia, are known for their distinctive regional sports and unashamed home-nation bias.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES National Historical team rescues Amorsolos, artifacts from Taal Police seize P68-M worth of ‘shabu’ in Pasay MOST READ “So yes, we will certainly have Olympic sports where we want to do well in Southeast Asia… but we also have to cater for sports that are popular within the region.”Ball-juggling sport sepak takraw, played with the feet and a rattan ball, and the martial arts of pencak silat and wushu are among the disciplines that remain little-known outside of Asia.The current, 11-nation SEA Games also feature lawn bowls, petanque, Muay Thai boxing and figure skating among their diverse schedule of 38 sports.“Sepak takraw is very much a regional sport and very popular, so we have to ensure that those sports are properly covered,” said Tunku Imran. “And then you have to give some opportunity to the host country to win some medals.”ADVERTISEMENT PH volleybelles bow to Vietnam, draw Thailand in semis Hotdog’s Dennis Garcia dies The hosts have topped the medals table at six of the last 10 editions, and Malaysia look set to finish top in Kuala Lumpur — for the first time since they last hosted the Games in 2001.The current Games feature only one Olympic champion, Singapore’s US-based swimmer Joseph Schooling, reflecting Southeast Asia’s struggles on the world stage.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’But Games organizers said there were no plans to revise the SEA Games’ approach of showcasing colorful regional pursuits such as pencak silat to focus more closely on Olympic sports.“The Olympic sports are very, very important, but some countries don’t have facilities for many of the Olympic sports,” said SEA Games Federation president Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja’afar. Bishop Baylon encourages faithful in Albay to help Taal evacuees Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:11SEA GAMES 2019: PH’s Nesthy Petecio boxing featherweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)08:07Athletes treated to a spectacle as SEA Games 2019 officially ends06:27SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold05:02SEA Games 2019: Philippines clinches historic gold in women’s basketball05:21Drama in karate: Tsukii ‘very sad’ over coach’s bullying, cold shoulder03:24PH’s James Palicte boxing light welterweight final (HIGHLIGHTS) According to the SEA Games charter, athletics and aquatics, which includes swimming and diving, are compulsory, and the hosts then choose at least 14 sports from a list of 38 which feature at the Olympics or Asian Games.The home country can also pick between two and eight sports out of 16 listed in a third category, which includes the Southeast Asian favourites.“We try to do a balance of what’s compulsory, what’s on the programme of the Olympic Games and Asian Games,” said Low Beng Choo, secretary of the Games’ sports and technical committee.“But we also give the host country an opportunity to choose the regional or the sub-regional sports that are good for the host country.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson What’s in store for your animal sign this year Search on for 5 Indonesians snatched anew in Lahad Datu Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to give up royal titleslast_img read more