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

Optimal Payments has found itself with a bigger presence in American areas over the past year, owing to increased usage of brands like Neteller in regulated markets.

That appears to have paid for the business, as revenues are up a lot more than 40 percent for the company into the first 50 % of 2015 whenever set alongside the same duration in 2014.

Overall, Optimal Payments accumulated $223 million in revenues during 1st half a year of this year.

That is up from just over $159 million year that is last a substantial gain for the payment processing company.

Much of that revenue increase was due to improvement in its straight through processing (STP) department, which grew by more than 47 percent year-over-year.

Which was largely because of the purchase of two businesses based within the United States, Meritus and GMA, both of that have been acquired late in 2014.

The company’s stored value services, chiefly Neteller, also saw improvement, growing a bit more than 20 percent annually to bring in $49.8 million in revenue.

North American Operations Become Focus

The changing focus regarding the company may be seen in the regional numbers posted by Optimal in 1st half of all the last two years.

In the first half of 2014, North American operations made up just under 16 % of this company’s revenues; in the same period in 2010, that share had risen up to 43 percent, which makes it the largest portion of this company’s business.

‘ We now have continued to deliver on a number of our key objectives, notably the integration of the US businesses we acquired year that is last have notably added to the growth of the Group and recently completion of this acquisition of Skrill which will be set to transform the business on a number of amounts,’ stated Optimal Payments CEO Joel Leonoff.

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

Within the last 12 months, the business that currently controlled Neteller purchased the prepaid voucher company Ukash and Skrill, placing three of the biggest brand names in the industry under its advertising.

More Acquisitions Possible for Optimal

But that might not be the end of the acquisitions for Optimal. In accordance with Leonoff, the company is currently in the procedure of looking to get more candidates that are potential purchase as time goes on.

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

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

Analysts expect Optimal’s sales to increase significantly into the half that is second of thanks to the acquisition of Skrill. That, combined with relatively lower expenses many thanks to synergies between their platforms that are various should see profits rise as well.

Macau Gambling Still Struggling Amidst Crackdowns and Downturns

Macau gambling continues to be hit by the anti-money and economy laundering moves. Can resorts that are new the trend? (Image: AP)

Macau’s gambling industry is continuing to have a massive hit from anti-corruption moves through the Chinese mainland and a weakening economy.

Arrests were made in Macau this week as part of an effort to halt cash that is illegal into the gambling mecca, while during the exact same time a pact was signed between the Macau Monetary Authority and individuals’s Bank of China that could see more impact exerted on Macau by mainland banking institutions.

The moves come at any given time whenever Macau casinos are experiencing a downturn that is unprecedented.

Anti-corruption moves by China’s president, Xi Jinping, coupled with a smoking ban in Macau and A chinese economy that’s rapidly regarding the slide has made the perfect storm for Macau’s casinos.

China’s stockmarket collapse has led to a weak renminbi that is chinese which often has ramped up the cost for mainland gamblers to try out in Macau.

17 Arrested in Money-Laundering Crackdown

This week, 17 individuals had been arrested in Macau after police found cash that is illegal through the town’s pawn shops.

The economic downturn in the gambling hub is leading the authorities to ramp up efforts to stem the tide of illicit money, even yet in a city where money-laundering is no stranger.

Macau police seized UnionPay card terminals and records of illegal money transactions well worth around $1.7 million. Reuters have reported a leap in gambling-related crimes for 2015 to date, up to 34.5 % from 22.6 percent this time around year that is last.

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

‘The reduced number of big VIP gamblers and increasing difficulty in getting back gaming debt for a few creditors has led to the rise in these criminal activity prices,’ said Macau’s secretary for security, Wong Sio Chak.

Diversification ‘Not Working’

Section of China’s plan for Macau is transform it into a global entertainment destination, not entirely reliant on gambling for revenue.

Because of this, major casino chains like James Packer’s Melco Crown, have been busy wanting to diversify into ‘theme park’-style resorts.

Melco’s Studio City features a Hollywood theme, with a hotel based on Gotham City, Asia’s biggest ferris wheel and has even secured the solutions of Leonardo di Caprio and Martin Scorsese on promotional duties.

However, so far the moves are not working. According to Fitch reviews, non-gambling pursuits like nightclubs, restaurants and programs accounted on the cheap than ten percent of total Macau revenues a year ago.

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

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

‘ Non-gaming doesn’t make any money and it shall never make anything.

For all your people that are foolish there that think non-gaming goes to save Macau’s day, it’s not.’

Plenty on Xi’s Plate

The fallout from China’s stockmarket collapse this week will really be thought in Macau, and casino bosses here are vanishing in their shelters in order to avoid the fallout.

Some of whom are opposed to his anti-corruption crusade unlike some of his predecessors, President Xi Jinping has taken a lot of responsibility for economic decisions in China, and should he be blamed for the turmoil it could spur opposition within his party.

Xi visits the US in September, and while he can almost certainly be provided the presidential treatment (despite Donald Trump’s calls for the beleaguered Chinese President to be served a Big Mac instead of a situation dinner) he should have plenty higher than a slumping Macau gambling industry on his plate as he comes.

Macau Casinos Consider Abduction Insurance as Kidnappings Rise

Macau’s Secretary for Security Wong Sio-chak says the protection situation in Macau is stable, despite an increase in kidnappings. (Image: ggrasia.com)

As if Macau doesn’t always have enough problems lately, a new and trend that is frightening the Chinese gambling mecca is probably not going to help business any, either.

An increase in the kidnapping of high rollers from Macau’s top hotel resorts in the last year has resulted into the province’s casino operators taking right out insurance that is special to mitigate the possibility of high-profile abductions.

Macau police have said that the amount of unlawful detentions, which largely involve the forced collection of gambling debts, a lot more than doubled in the first 6 months of this year.

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

Many attribute this to economic stress on Macau from mainland Asia. Beijing’s visa limitations on people to the gambling hub, because well as a slowing Chinese economy, is hurting the profits of Macau’s moneylenders and junket operators.

14K Triad Involvement

Limitations on the amount of cash visitors can bring from the mainland has meant that those prepared to lend them cash have, until recently, done a trade that is thriving but the squeeze with this kind of business, much of which is known to have been infiltrated by 14K Triad organized crime groups, is driving up the enforced collection of gambling debts.

Speaking to the South China Evening Post, Ashley Coles, who is an assistant director of credit, political, and protection risks at Jardine Lloyd Thompson, said that most of the casino teams in Macau have expressed interest in expert risk insurance coverage.

‘Word of mouth may lead to a trend of an fascination with the policy, protection and the protection,’ he said. ‘All the casino that is major resort chains will have looked into this. Certainly there is a correlation between mainland China, Macau while the purchase and interest of this form of policy,’ he added.

Business is Business

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

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

‘[The figures] nevertheless [do] not provide evidence that is enough the current modification into the video gaming industry has affected Macau’s social public security,’ he insisted, adding that the province’s security situation was nevertheless stable.

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

‘Business is business for these [debt collectors], and it another way,’ the source said if they can’t get their pound of flesh one way, they’ll get.