Betfair US first-half revenue up 17%

Betfair US, which comprises pari-mutuel horserace betting operator TVG, and online casino site Betfair New Jersey, has announced its first-half results via its parent Betfair Group.

Total first-half (May to October) revenue across Betfair US increased by 17% to $47.3m, driven mainly by a strong performance at TVG alongside an encouraging contribution from Betfair New Jersey, which currently holds an 11% share of the fledgling New Jersey online casino market.

TVG’s strong recent growth continued with handle (the total volume of bets placed) between May and October up 15% in a wider market where handle was down 2%.

A key growth driver was an 85% increase in Mobile wagering in the first half of the year, with customers making increasing use of the smartphone channel following the launch of native TVG iPhone and iPad Apps in the Apple app store. Mobile represented 14% of TVG’s total staking, a significant increase from 2013.

The recent Breeder’s Cup at Santa Anita continued the encouraging recent trends with an 11% rise in active customers betting on TVG and meeting handle up 8% despite there being one less race. The Breeders Cup Classic, won by Bayern, proved particularly popular with customers, with over $1.8 million wagered on a race which featured a thrilling finish involving California Chrome and British challenger Toast of New York. Read the rest of this entry »

3 Tips for Retiring Out of State

Retirees flock to Florida and Arizona for year-round sunshine and golf, but all things considered, they’re not the best states for happy golden years, according to a new survey.

Along with average number of sunny days, factor in cost of living, residents’ sense of well-being, quality of health-care, crime and, yes, humidity, and the best destination is (surprise!) South Dakota, according to a 2014 Bankrate report.

“As this report correctly suggests, pre-retirees need to consider a lot more than snow days and tradition,” says Rodger Friedman, founding partner and wealth manager at Steward Partners Global Advisory and author of “Forging Bonds of Steel,” (www.forgingbondsofsteel.com), a guide to developing an excellent working relationship with your financial advisor.

“Different states have different tax laws and other regulations that can have a major impact on your retirement funds. You need to be aware of these as you plan for where you want to live and how you want to live.”

Whether you’re considering one of the other top four “best states to retire” – Colorado, Utah, North Dakota and Wyoming, in that order – here are five tips for planning ahead: Read the rest of this entry »

New-Vehicle Sales To Climb 9 Percent In September 2014

 New-vehicle sales are expected to increase 9.1 percent year-over-year to a total of 1.24 million units, resulting in an estimated 16.4 million seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), according to Kelley Blue Book www.kbb.com, the only vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the automotive industry.  Based on the robust sales pace during the past few months, Kelley Blue Book is adjusting its sales outlook for 2014 from 16.3 million to 16.4 million.

“Following an extraordinarily strong month of sales in August, with the industry above 17 million SAAR for the first time in eight years, Kelley Blue Book expects sales to level out in September,” said Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book.  “Sales will remain strong and show healthy year-over-year improvement.  Rising incentive spend in recent months has been more than offset by increasing retail transaction prices, signaling continued consumer demand.”

Key Highlights for Estimated September 2014 Sales Forecast:

  • In September, new light-vehicle sales, including fleet, are expected to hit 1,240,000 units, up 9.1 percent from September 2013 and down 21.7 percent from August 2014.
  • The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) for September 2014 is estimated to be 16.4 million, up from 15.3 million in September 2013 and down from 17.4 million in August 2014.
  • Retail sales are expected to account for 85 percent of volume in September 2014.

Read the rest of this entry »

45% of Americans Choose Banks Based on their Fees

New data from GOBankingRates, a premier personal finance website, reveals that the primary feature consumers seek in a financial institution is few or no fees on products and services.

Forty-five percent of survey respondents reported “low or no fees” as being the most important banking feature or service offered by a financial institution, followed by online and mobile banking (17 percent), convenient branch locations (14 percent), exceptional customer service (12 percent) and great interest rates (12 percent).

CLICK HERE to see full survey details.

“These findings really speak to Americans’ aversion to losing money,” said Jennifer Calonia, senior editor of GOBankingRates. “However, this might be the very handicap preventing bank customers from succeeding at saving money and growing wealth.  As interest rates rise, it will become more important for the average consumer to find high-yielding accounts.” Read the rest of this entry »