Streaming:

Hedge fund billionaire Bill Ackman, of Pershing Square investments, has grabbed a US$1.1 billion stake in streaming pioneers Netflix.

Netflix’s stock price has almost halved from an October high of around US$700-a-share, after the company reported a slow-down in new subscribers.

But Ackman obviously believes the movie channel is seriously undervalued and is in it for the long haul.

Metaverse:

Monolith Microsoft has made a massive play on the so-called Metaverse by buying Activision Blizzard—creators of “Call of Duty”, “Candy Crush” and World of Warcraft–in a US$68.7 billion all-cash transaction, making it the third-largest gaming company in the world behind Tencent and Sony.

A slap in the Facebook and bite of the Apple.

It Takes Two:

Interactive and mobile entertainment leader Take-Two is to merge with rival Zynga in a US$12.7 billion cash and stock transaction.

“Harry Potter” meets “Grand Theft Auto”. It’s going to be a thrilling ride.

House on Fire:

Aussie iGaming operator PlayUp, currently in dispute with their former USA CEO Dr. Laila Mintas, who allegedly threatened “to burn the house down”, have appointed professional financial fire-fighter Art Hamilton as their new CFO — while announcing a US$35 million investment from cryptocurrency exchange FTX.

It’s all hands to the hoses, as Dr. Mintas—buoyed by a recent legal ruling in her favour–ups her claim for “substantial” compensation in a Nevada court.

Gulag Jamun:

MK Stalin, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, has threatened to ban iGaming outright in the south Indian state, to “protect innocent people from the evils” of online gambling.

Internet betting functions in a murky grey zone in India because of an arcane definition of what constitutes “gambling”: When, for example, does a game of skill become a game of stakes?

Until the argument is settled, the country, population 1.2 billion, remains the betting industry’s last great-untapped market.

And Finally:

Speaking of untapped markets, China–India’s biggest rival in the population stakes, and another country where online betting is illegal– has cracked down on foreign flights into its real-world gambling entrepôt of Macau.

Amid continuing coronavirus paranoia, the former Portuguese colony is likely to soon lose its casino top spot to a resurgent Las Vegas.