TABCORP is planning to close online bookmaker Luxbet following its $11 billion merger with the Tatts Group.
Luxbet customers were advised last Friday that bets will no longer be taken from December 22 as TABCORP concentrates on its TAB brand. Account holders have until January 19 to withdraw funds in their accounts.
TABCORP established the Northern Territory licensed Luxbet in 2008 to compete with other Darwin based corporate bookmakers.
Luxbet reported earnings before interest and tax loss of $13 million for the past financial year. TABCORP has had the company under review since August this year.
Analysts say the market looks set to undergo further consolidation as bookmakers will need to seek scale to compete with the combined resources of TABCORP and Tatts.
Sources: agb / AFR / RACING .COM
SYDNEY PUB GETS BITCOIN ATM
The Metropolitan Hotel on Bridge Street in Sydney’s CBD – has installed an ATM that allows punters to buy and sell Bitcoin. Mind you, you’ll need more than beer money to buy Bitcoin. At the time of writing, the value of a single Bitcoin was $23,237. To give you an idea how volatile the cryptocurrency is when I started the article it was a tad over $20,000! In fact, the value of Bitcoin has increased over 2,000% in the past year.
Australian company BitPOS is behind the Sydney ATM. BitPOS co-founder Jason Williams said Williams said Bitcoin had grown beyond the realm of the tech experts, and that the ATM has been designed to be used by anyone who has a Bitcoin wallet. He also said his customers were looking for more ways to buy and sell Bitcoin locally.
However, not everyone is as enthused by the Bitcoin. Reserve Bank governor Dr Philip Lowe has talked down the cryptocurrencies saying that the current fascination feels more like a speculative mania than it has to do with their use as an efficient and convenient form of electronic payment.
He went on to say, “When thought of purely as a payment instrument, it seems more likely to be attractive to those who want to make transactions in the black or illegal economy, rather than everyday transactions.”
His views were echoed by Reserve Bank of New Zealand acting governor Grant Spencer who told TVNZ. “It looks remarkably like a bubble forming to me.” Over the centuries we’ve seen bubbles, and this appears to be a bit of a classic case. With a bubble, you never know how far it’s going to go before it comes down.”
Investment bank JP Morgan’s boss Jamie Dimon has gone further, calling bitcoin a “fraud” that will eventually “blow up”.
But that certainly hasn’t stopped the rise and rise in the popularity of Bitcoin.
COULD YOUR CLUB CASH IN ON THE BITCOIN CRAZE?
You don’t have to go down the ATM path, but if I were a Marketing Manager, I’d be looking at cashing in on the massive interest and purchasing a Bitcoin as a promotional prize, and I’d set up a screen with the market rate for the cryptocurrency ticking over in real time. It would certainly attract the interest of jaded patrons – and the social media reach could be enormous. The trick, like any fad, would be to get in and out quickly. Any takers?
Sources: Information Age / SMH / Computerworld / ABC.NET