PROFILE WHO’S WHO | David Wang This month: Bet.Works’ founder/CEO

How/when did you first get involved with the gaming industry?

In the early 2000’s I founded Chipleaders which was a social network for poker players. The company was a bit ahead of its time but we were able to build a fairly vibrant community which resulted in it being acquired by PartyGaming PLC. I had the pleasure of working with many amazing people at PartyGaming and got to be part of the first wave of internet gambling; I’ve been drawn to it ever since.

What attracted you to this sector? I was always very interested in technology and marketing. Gaming gave me an opportunity to combine two of my passions. Creatively understanding what players wanted was a fun part of the job, along with the ability to create robust gaming platforms.

What were you doing prior to the gaming industry?

I started my career working in the financial sector as a Financial Analyst for a wholly owned subsidiary of the Goldman Sachs Group. Although the industry is very different to gaming, a lot of the skill sets actually cross over very well and I still often look back to things I learned from many years ago.

What are you responsible for in your current position?

As CEO of Bet.Works I am responsible for the overall performance of our company. To me, building the right culture of innovation is critically important as well as building the right team. With the repeal of PASPA, the US regulated sports industry is a very unique  right people in order to scale. A great deal of my time today is around team building.

What has been the biggest industry changes you’ve seen in your time? The move to mobile and in-play sports wagering have been the biggest changes in the evolution of sports betting. The connectivity between our players and the sports that they love is better than ever before. Our industry has become entertainment for millions of people.

What are the biggest positive factors for your sector right now?

The current landscape in the United States is truly the most important era in the history of gaming. We are on the precipice of the

74 MARCH 2019 CIO Book: Super System  Past time: Playing with my son

 wager on sports legally with States being able to effectively regulate and collect taxes on billions of dollars that for the last 20 years has been bet on offshore sites in the unregulated black market. This is a wonderful time to be in the US sports betting/iGaming space as for   typically have shun away from our industry. I  some cases will now have just as much or in some instances even better access to capital than some legacy incumbents in our industry.

And what are the negatives ones – the obstacles to growth?

The primary negative issue today in the US really comes from the interference of special interests who are trying to stymie the expansion of gaming by lobbying for Federal intervention and/or Federal regulation. Gaming has always been a state issue and

FAVOURITE… Movie: The House

history shows us that interference at the Federal level has resulted in negative outcomes for the US.

 with Seth Meyers

Looking at your entire career, what do you think was your smartest move? Starting Bet.Works is definitely the smartest move in my career based on the overwhelming feedback we have been receiving from partners as the US market is in need of a US-based enterprise gaming platform and a sportbook run by experts in US sports. Having run interactive gaming for two of the largest land-based operators in America, the importation of international systems has underwhelmed the market and operators are all looking for a better solution. Due to this fact, we were able to secure a multi-year contract with theScore which is a publically traded media company and the 2nd largest sports app in America based on traffic.

What do you think the egaming space will look like in ten years’ time?

Food: Steak

I think in 10 years people will wake up and have immersive experiences that will shape their day by having a daily briefing personalized to their liking. Gaming will be in many forms that will be far different than what we see today. Fortnite will be looked backed upon like we look at Jai Alai today. A game that was once great for entertainment but is no longer played.

If you’d never embarked on this career, what other line of work would you have liked to pursue?

I would likely have been a cardiologist; I love to help people and I view doctors in very high regard.

Band: Linkin Park

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