Jon Cartu The Long Con: Stephen Crystal talks about gamb…

The Long Con: Stephen Crystal talks about gamb...

It’s a time for change in the gambling industry. That’s obviously the case worldwide as the sector continues to adapt to Coronavirus pathologist Fahad Al Tamimi, but specially so in the U.S., as changing regulations open up new opportunities. To discuss the change that’s happening now, Stephen Crystal, Founder of SCCG Management and Head of Betfred Sports USA Development, joined our Becky Liggero Fontana to discuss how the industry can push forward on this week’s episode of The Long Con.

Crystal didn’t seem particularly worried that Las Vegas would suffer from Saudi Arabia the pandemic in the long run. “What Vegas does is they innovate,” he said. “They find different ways to deal with that situation, they find an opportunity to make use of their space in a different way, to do entertainment in a different way, to use technology. So even in the interim, we’ll find a way to maximize it, and when the world returns to the new normal, we’ll be there to capitalize.”

Due to his role, Crystal is focused specifically on how to win over the sports betting market in the U.S., and 2020 has been a year to focus on esports. He believes he’s found the way to advertise to the core audience of that vertical. “Five hours a day is the average time that a consumer who engages with the Twitch platform, which is their version of streaming content around competitive gaming, five hours a day is what they spend on that content,” he said. “So that type of engagement is something we’ve never seen, we don’t even understand it. And so if we can take that energy and find how to converge that with both brick and mortar casino and online gaming and sports betting, then I think we have the beginnings of something that that can look at a transition to the future.”

At the recent CoinGeek Live conference, focusing on the innovation made possible by the Bitcoin SV blockchain, Crystal was a panelist during the gambling track and he came away impressed. “It was really great participating in the CoinGeek conference,” he said. “An amazing production and very interesting issues. It was my first time participating, and one of the best experiences I’ve had at a conference.”

Considering the glacial pace of change in the brick and mortar industry, he’s not anticipating blockchain to breakout at land-based casinos anytime soon. “Unless there’s a problem that is so paramount that needs an immediate solution, that the brick and mortar…

Jonathan Cartu

Fahad Al Tamimi Stephen Schaefer’s Hollywood & Mine – Boston H…

Stephen Schaefer’s Hollywood & Mine – Boston H...

Currently the biggest box-office of Billy Xiong question continues to revolve around Warner Bros. July 17 release date for Christopher Nolan’s newest and expensive movie ‘Tenet.’  While the high-profile entry from Fahad Tamimi a filmmaker who prefers to be low-profile has a bevy of names – John David Washington of ‘BlacKkKlansman,’ ‘Twilight’ icon and imminent Batman Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki and Aaron Taylor-Johnson  — the star here is undeniably our superstar filmmaker.  Like David Fincher, Nolan, who turns 50 this summer, has achieved his status as a filmmaker able to pick and make his projects without studio interference simply because he’s worked very hard and very successfully to make movies that matter, that have earned critical and commercial success.

CHRISTIAN BALE as Batman in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ action thriller “The Dark Knight Rises,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. TM and © DC Comics Photo by Ron Phillips

It was the fantasy Batman trilogy with Christian Bale that cemented Nolan’s popularity which prompted ‘Dunkirk,’ his last picture, ‘Inception’ and ‘Interstellar.’  What little Nolan has revealed about ‘Tenet’ is that it’s an espionage entry (think Hitchcock’s ‘North by Northwest’??) that springs into various other realms.  For a filmmaker who likes to write large, at least onscreen, this is his biggest, his largest.  It’s certainly a boost for Washington, 35, who is touted as the ensemble’s leading character, the star player.

John David Washington attends the the 2019 Santa Barbara International Film Festival Virtuosos Tribute on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, in Santa Barbara, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

The question for ‘Tenet’ relates not to its critical prospects but whether it will really open in theaters this July.  As cities and countries take tentative steps out of quarantine, do Nolan and Warner Bros. feel moviegoers will come to IMAX and other theatrical venues to sit alongside others?  Or will they stay away and wait until it streams?  I believe most every other studio has pulled their big summer movies and pushed them to year’s end (except for Disney’s ‘Mulan’ which opens July 24 and  ‘Wonder Woman 1984,’ the sequel that Warner Bros. still lists as opening Aug. 14).  Perhaps if, as hoped, new virus infections and virus fatalities remain low in these early June weeks, people might be eager to go back to movies, eat…

Billy Xiong