We are all guilty of falling into the trap of translating our experiences into analytic frames of reference. The problem, of course, comes when we confuse luck for skill and then attempt to frame it. Luck is by its very nature contingent and can never be reduced to a list of indetifiable possibilities. Accordingly, the mission will always fail.
Augur the decentralized prediction/betting market protocol built on the Ethereum blockchain stumbles along, attracting very little liquidity to anything other than crypto related markets (Only $1,244.55 traded to date on the who will win the 2018/19 English Premier League betting market, for example). One of the main markets on the platform, by volume, concerns Augur traders betting that the Augur Rep cryptocurrency will appreciate in value by the end of 2018. To the question Will REP token trade above $32 at the end of 2018? only 32% of those that have traded in the market are saying yes - hardly an overwhelming vote of confidence in the Augur Exchange.
You can track the live betting markets on Augur by clicking on the link below. It is notable that most of the sports betting markets on Augur have attracted no liquidity whatsoever. So, as it stands, Augur is being used as a platform on which to hedge crypto and not much else. To the question, what is the impact that the blockchain will have on the betting market, the answer, based on what we have seen so far, is none. If the fate of a new technology can really be predicted through observing the way that it is adoped by the gambling and porn industries, then the blockchain/crypto axis can be said to be on life support. As of the evening of 17 November 2018 Augur Rep is down 1% at around $10.83 USD. Gnosis is also down 9% at $14.22 USD. The race to the bottom is on.
The only reason that the currency has any value at all is because of the significant holding of other cryptocurrencies held by the parent company Augur. In other words, Augur is the proverbial sleight of hand busted flush: the true value of the underlying business is 0 USD. I continue to ask the CEO's of Augur and Gnosis to put their egos aside and to do the good thing and return all monies to early investors whilst there is still some money left in the coffers.
In what many have seen as a Gerald Ratner moment par excellence the co-founder of Augur, Joey Krug recently described Augur as "the most complicated decentralized app on the blockchain of Ethereum.", Something with which we wholeheartedly concur.
US Betting Market
It is becoming increasingly clear that the newly regulated US betting market will be fiercely competitive. As per usual, early forecasts of a bumper bonanza for UK and Ireland based betting companies have been pared back. This is not surprising when one considers that nobody has, or indeed, can have, any understanding of the structure of the environment that they are going to be trading in. Which states will permit sports betting in a retail environment and which states will permit only online sports betting? Fierce competition equates to increased marketing costs and ultimately to reduced profitability for everyone. Paddy Power Betfair stated as regards the US betting market in its Q3 2018 Trading Update:
"We currently expect US sports betting EBITDA losses to be around £25m in 2018, reflecting marketing and promotional investment in New Jersey."
Betfair Exchange Revenue
Paddy Power Betfair stated as regards the Betfair Betting Exchange in its Q3 2018 Trading Update: "Q3 exchange revenue grew in line with our expectations, reflecting good ongoing growth in football commissions and an improved performance in racing. The exchange remains a key differentiated product for Betfair and, when combined with our sportsbook, offers customers an unparalleled sports-betting experience. The combined Betfair proposition positions us well in the UK and is a key differentiator when targeting international markets.." A positive spin one would suggest, on a increase in betting exchange revenue of +1%, particularly when one considers that the month of July contained a considerable number of World Cup matches.
Shares in bookmaker William Hill are currntly down 44% on the year, despite the company's recent acquisition of the Nordic facing bookmaker Mr Green. In a trading
statement on 6 November 2018 the company said: Adverse regulatory and tax changes will impact Online profit growth in 2018 and 2019, including enhanced customer due diligence processes and an increase in Remote Gaming Duty to 21%. The gross effect of these is to reduce profit by £20m in 2018 and a further £25m in 2019.
William Hill is sadly gaining a reputation in the City of being a company that is running out of ideas fast. Those that bought shares in Paddy Power Betfair and GVC
Holdings at their year highs are now nursing losses of around 30%. Ouuucchh. Shares in the UK betting industry have not been helped with the news that Boris Johnson will join 60 MPs rebelling over delays to a clampdown on gambling machines. A significant and heavy defeat for the gambling industry lobby and the their friends in Parliament. As regards the UK, the gambling industry has now achieved pariah status: with only worse to come where Labour to come to power. Anybody holding these stocks is engaging in a severe case of long term wishful thinking.
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Concern yourself with things before they come into existence. (Tao Te-Ching).
Source: N=All 25/05/2018. * = Stamina Dam Side