Venezuela hired Democratic Party donor for $6 million

first_imgMIAMI (AP) — Newly filed lobbying records show that Venezuela’s socialist government previously hired a longtime Democratic Party donor for $6 million at the same it was lobbying to discourage the U.S. from imposing sanctions on the oil-rich nation. Retroactive Justice Department filings show that a U.S. subsidiary of Venezuela’s state oil giant PDVSA agreed to hire Marcia Wiss’ law firm in March 2017. That’s the same month it signed a consulting deal for $50 million with scandal-tainted former Congressman David Rivera, The contracts were part of an effort to discourage the U.S. from imposing sanctions on the oil rich nation, according to three people familiar with the deals.last_img

Caribbean Airlines now flying to Cuba

first_imgTrinidad and Tobago-based international carrier Caribbean Airlines (CAL) started flying to Havana, Cuba last Friday.The announcement was made on Thursday by TNT’s Finance Minister Colm Imbert during a post-Cabinet news conference.Twice weekly serviceAccording to Imbert, the service will operate twice weekly and would allow people from surrounding Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states the opportunity to travel to Cuba if they so wanted.He said the route also opens the possibility of tourism and trade linkages with Cuba as a Chinese airline has a route from Beijing to Havana, with an intermediate stop in Montreal, Canada. He explained, this could provide the opportunity for Chinese tourists and business people to visit Trinidad and Tobago.Best use of JetsThe Finance minister disclosed that based on information from CAL, its fleet of jet aircraft is currently underutilized, and pilots may also be underutilized on certain routes. Explaining this has to do with take-offs, landings and the amount of time spent in the air, Imbert said CAL’s consultants have said this is the best use of the aircrafts at this point in time.He said, “the new route will not affect CAL’s jet schedule in any adverse way.”CAL’s Boeing jets could accommodate approximately 160 passengers travelling between Havana and Port of Spain in either direction, he said, and the same jet aircraft used to fly to Havana would be used to return passengers to Trinidad and Tobago.last_img read more

Nathan Rothschild: GTG Network – Why Free-to-Play is lockdown’s most valuable lesson

first_img DraftKings CBO – Industry ‘only just scratched the surface’ of US sports betting July 16, 2020 Share Share StumbleUpon MySportwetten: What German players want from a bookmaker July 10, 2020 BetInvest: The benefits of separating esports betting markets August 7, 2020 Related Articles Submit Nathan Rothschild, GTG NetworkAs the resemblance of a sports calendar remerges for 2020, the global lockdown has asked serious questions of bookmakers’ customer engagement and long-term retention capacities.Nathan Rothschild, co-founder of sports betting innovation studio GTG Network, lays out why under the toughest business conditions, free-to-play (FTP) games and content have proved their value beyond simple concepts.____________________The near-total wipe-out of global sports has understandably posed a unique set of problems for the sports-betting industry. A global pandemic which prevents all but the very merest sliver of live sporting action taking place was almost certainly not a part of any ‘disaster scenario planning’ mapped out by the sports-betting world.It is now, of course, and though many might suggest there is an element here of shutting the door after the horse has bolted, it should be admitted that even among the rubble of the current sporting schedule, we can see how operators can at least try to put together an offering designed to give their customers something to keep them primed for when big-time sport does return.Indeed, that process is already underway. This past weekend we have seen the resumption of the German Bundesliga and we won’t have too long to wait for the return of UK horse racing at the start of June.Something resembling a recognised sporting schedule worth betting on is now on the horizon. But this still represents a fraction of the content that would have been expected for this point in the calendar. The sportsbooks are still going to have to look at how to keep their customers engaged between the big events. The cupboard is still relatively bare and may well be for a while yet.Keeping the customer engaged between their betting visits is vital but in truth, the situation operators face today is only a more pronounced version of what was going on before.Gaining the attention of the sports-betting public in an ever more competitive environment and with various regulators breathing down the necks of the marketing teams has become an increasingly important challenge. On top of this, keeping a player on your site, engaged, and able to bet come the next appropriate opportunity has become paramount.The Retention FactorEnter free-to-play games. Already acknowledged as a great retention tool, free-to-play games provide an entertaining reason for players to stay on a site. Repeat use is a vital factor in the games we provide, such as Trivia and a wide suite of arcade games, including Hit the Spot for Football and Hoops Galore for Basketball. They provide the draw factor, bringing interested players back to the host site with an engaging and entertaining experience. Most critically, they do not rely on any underlying sporting contests.Now this free-to-play theory is being given its sternest test. Without sport, why would a player visit their favourite sports-betting app? Well, if a game is available that can give them some sports-based entertainment even when there is no sport available, then it will have played a part in ensuring that the sports-betting customer hasn’t disappeared entirely.More to the point, it keeps that app front of mind for when serious sports are back on the agenda. These games also create all sorts of cross-sell opportunities to other verticals inside an operator’s offering.We all know that nothing can replicate the interest that is generated by the most popular sports. The arsenal of products available for sportsbooks at this time is severely limited. Yes, there are virtuals and esports are certainly being given more of a look than was previously the case. But they can only provide tick-over revenue.Whereas free-to-play games offer something potentially much more valuable. They give a site optionality when it comes to recreational customers. They can be deployed as a means to keep these customers coming back to your app even while the main event is off the agenda.And when sport does return, when consumers once again think about having a bet, then they will start to think who they are going to have that bet with. That is an easy choice to make if they are already playing a game on the site. Being front of mind is half – or all – the marketing battle; free-to-play games give apps and sites the chance to ensure just that._______________________Nathan Rothschild – Co-founder & Partner GTG Networklast_img read more