Thursday September 5,2013 : EUROPEAN ONLINE GAMBLING EXEC HIRED BY U.S. CASINO FOR INTERNET POST
 
Former Betclic exec will head up Landry's Golden Nugget venture in New Jersey
 
In yet another indication of its serious ambitions in the U.S. online gambling sector Golden Nugget owners Landrys Inc has hired former Betclic executive Thomas Winter (39) to head up its online business as the land gambling company prepares for the start of legalised online gambling in New Jersey in November this year.
 
Recruiting Winter will advance Houston-based Landry’s plan to introduce Internet betting in New Jersey and Nevada as early as this year, Steve Scheinthal, executive vice president and general counsel for the firm, said Wednesday.
 
Business Week reports that U.S. land casino operators are tapping European executives to draw on their industry expertise.
 
Winter, who will be vice president of online gaming for Landrys, spent four years at Betclic as chief operating officer then chief executive officer, as it expanded to $200 million in revenue from $20 million over three years. He moved to Expekt.com, a Scandinavian online gaming operator before it merged with Betclic.
 
Golden Nugget is partnering with Bally Technologies Inc. to provide Internet gaming products and support. Las Vegas-based Bally last year acquired the online gaming business of Chiligaming, a company with offices in France, the U.K. and Malta .
 
“They had the experience with gaming in Europe and we didn’t want to do business with someone who will compete against us here,” Scheinthal said.
 
In New Jersey, online operators are required to partner with casinos located in Atlantic City. Las Vegas-based Caesars Entertainment Corp., the largest owner of casinos in the U.S., plans to offer online games with Gibraltar-based 888 Holdings plc. MGM Resorts International and Boyd Gaming Corp. have partnered with Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment plc, also based in Gibraltar.
 
Collaborations and in some cases consolidations between European and U.S. gaming companies are likely to continue, according to David Berman, an investment banker with Macquarie Capital USA Inc. in Los Angeles.
 
“The Europeans are the only companies with real-money gaming online expertise on any scale — yet the U.S. gaming operators have the gaming licenses, customer data bases and local knowledge,” he said.