Looking back at the predictions I made for 2015 I did surprisingly well – 8.5/10. However, when I got it wrong, I really did get it wrong.
Last December I predicted:
1. Digital Currency: I said the profile would fall from grace even amongst its most ardent enthusiasts. I said “risk without benefit”. That is how it’s been so far. Verdict: correct.
2. On new markets I predicted good things for Africa, Mexico, and integrated resorts in Asia. Sports betting through betting shops in Africa has taken off. There are numerous outlets in Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. Verdict: correct.
3. USA e-gaming: I predicted that no new states would adopt Internet gambling. Verdict: correct (regrettably).
4. UK General Election: in the commentary I predicted a Conservative Party win then when it came to the prediction I bottled it. I went for a hung Parliament. Verdict: I have given myself half a point.
5. UK Government – In general terms I said there would be spending cuts and tax increases. Verdict: correct.
6. I said Ladbrokes would be top choice for M&A. Verdict: correct.
7. UK gambling: I said it was going to be a good year, lower energy costs, low interest rates and a general election year = money in the consumers’ pockets. Revenues have been strong even against difficult comparatives with the 2014 World Cup. Verdict: correct.
8. UK Pont of consumption tax (POCT): I said the gambler would not notice the imposition of this tax. They have not value remains outstanding, I also said marketing budgets would remain strong and they have.
9. UK POCT (2) – I said it would bite in Q4 2015. Verdict: correct.
10. Macau: I got this hopelessly wrong. I had thought the crackdown on VIP gambling would continue whereas most thought it would be a six-month purge. However, I also thought the mass market would be stronger. I had underestimated the decline in the Chinese economy and had not factored in that the GDP statistics from China were overstated. The result was that I said Galaxy Entertainment shares (then at HK$47) and Sands China (HK$40) would end the year higher. Galaxy is $23.60 and Sands $26. Ouch!
By Warwick Bartlett