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New Heads in Online Gaming

By: Adam Baker, Sunday June 13th 2010
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Two of the leading entities in the online gaming industry have new leaders at the top. One is the online gaming operator Bodog Europe and the other is the software provider Playtech.

Because of the tremendous growth in the European online gaming market Bodog Europe has created a new position of CEO and has selected Patrik Selin to fill it. Selin is a Swede who has made London his home. Selin made a permanent name for himself in the online gaming industry when he struck what is still referred to as the biggest deal in gaming history. As the head of the OnGame network he sold it to BWin for €500 million.

Selin spoke at length about his new job and its priorities. He first acknowledged that the team he has been asked to lead is second to none. He said that he would steer the growth in the United Kingdom but the focus would be on other European markets. As and when these markets open to a clear regulatory environment Bodog Europe would apply for regional licenses. He does not accept the wisdom of some experts that the European market has no room for further operators. He accepts that Europe is a crowded market, but says, "When many similar products exist you only have to be different to stand out a mile and few would argue that Bodog’s brand is very different."

Selin offers an innovative approach that fits in with the Bodog brand. Bodog Europe will soon be launching its Bodog Poker Network. Selin has announced that they will be offering a different rakeback formula in which depositing players will be more heavily rewarded rather than winning players. This has already got the online poker industry rethinking. According to Selin the European market is filled with "online versions of old-fashioned High Street betting companies". Bodog Europe will "bring its sense of fun and entertainment back to online gambling".

Playtech has announced the appointment of David Mathewson as an additional independent Non-Executive Director and chair of the audit committee. Mathewson is a qualified chartered accountant with significant experience in the banking and finance sectors and in the gaming industry. He has served on the boards of Rodime Plc (now named as Sportech Plc), Noble Grossart Limited, Noble & Co Limited and UK Tracker Trust plc. Playtech’s Chairman, Roger Withers, made the announcement saying, "I am delighted to welcome David to the Board of Playtech. He brings considerable finance experience to the role of chair of our audit committee, together with an excellent understanding of the gaming industry and of the public markets."

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