Profile: From the Navy to the crest of the online gaming wave

Profile: From the Navy to the crest of the online gaming wave

Friday, November 20, 2015 Totally Gaming
Michael Daly believes US operators should seize the initiative in the online sector

Michael Daly began his career as a US Navy officer and, after spells with Bally Technologies and SHFL Entertainment, has just been appointed executive vice-president of systems (North America) at GAN. Here, he tells about his new role with the gaming solutions provider, formerly GameAccount Network, and assesses the huge opportunities already on offer in the online gaming space in North America What was the appeal of taking this role at GAN? 

Michael Daly: I’ve been following GAN for a number of years. I first met chief executive Dermot Smurfit and the GAN team while managing Bally Interactive, and had further interaction with them while running SHFL Entertainment’s interactive division. I’ve always been impressed by the products GAN has developed and with the first-rate team they’ve assembled across the board.

TG: Could you describe your role and outline what your focus will be in the coming months?  

MD: My role is to manage our relationships with the growing number of casino equipment manufacturers who work with GAN to bring their land-based game themes online. My focus is to ensure we continue to provide top themes from our current partners- which together represent over 25 per cent of a typical US casino gaming floor- as well as to integrate new and unique content manufacturers to GAN’s proprietary GameSTACK internet gaming system. 

TG: Where will be the key areas of growth in North America in the next couple of years? 

MD: The North American gaming landscape changes in fits and starts, and I’d expect the real-money online gaming regulatory landscape to continue to slowly expand until it reaches a tipping point in three to four years. Virtual currency gaming is a strong revenue opportunity for the next few years for both GAN as well as casino operators. GAN is able to offer US casino operators an opportunity right now to generate incremental revenue, and increase brand awareness with our simulated gaming offering.

We have a growing number of top land based casinos going live with us long before their jurisdictions regulate real-money online gaming, and they are seeing significant returns from our simulated gaming social casino offering. On top of this, in GAN they have a system that can migrate to real-money when their jurisdiction allows.

TG: What would be your key piece of advice for a land-based operator that wants to expand into the interactive space?

MD: Don’t wait! There is money to be made right now in simulated gaming, long before your jurisdiction allows real-money online gambling. If you wait until those regulations change, you will find a competitor already has all your land-based players signed up online, and winning them back will be costly if not impossible.

It can be hard to initially appreciate how large an opportunity exists today for casinos to leverage their extremely valuable brands in the virtual currency environment, so I would encourage everyone to explore it.

TG: You spent eight years in the US Navy at the start of your working life; how do you believe that has influenced your career?

MD: The US Navy is the reason I am where I am today. I was a pretty smart kid, but did not have much experience leading either people or projects.  The Navy paid my way through MIT, and for the next eight years ingrained in me the skills necessary for success both in the Navy as well as business.

I started my career as an officer onboard a frigate, and then spent a number of years running a Naval Special Warfare unit. With these units I spent time in very fluid environments - no pun intended - around the world, such as the Middle East, Asia and Central America, and I learned about focusing teams - large and small- on short-term priorities while remaining cognisant of long-term objectives.

As I was often working in conjunction with people from all around the world, it gave me a great appreciation for global business and a fair bit of humility as an American. In short, it was the best management programme one could ask for.  


Name: Michael Daly

Role: Executive vice president of systems (N America), GAN

Education: MIT, University of Utah

Experience: Automated Cash Systems, SHFL, Bally, US Navy


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