Matthew Davey, CEO of Tekkorp: Online Casino
The journey into iGaming
Matthew Davey has over 25 years of experience within the digital media, sports, entertainment, leisure and gaming ecosystems, as well as the public sector. He is an experienced public company executive officer and board member across the gaming technology arena. Over the course of Mr. Davey’s career, he has overseen multiple mergers and acquisitions and has raised over $2.0 billion in debt and equity capital to support the companies he has led.
Tekkorp is a NASDAQ-listed blank check company created to acquire and unlock the value of businesses poised for growth in the digital media, sports, entertainment, leisure and/or gaming ecosystems, by coupling transformative expertise with access to the deepest, most liquid public capital markets in the world. Its offices are located in London, New York City and Las Vegas.
This episode discusses the following topics:
- (14’) Early career experiences in Australia, the UK and eventually moving to Las Vegas
- (15’) What made London an online gaming hub
- (17’) Matt’s relationship with Party Poker
- (19’) Purchasing Zen Entertainment in Las Vegas
- (20’) Entrepreneurial challenges in the gaming industry and seeing trends come and go
- (23’) The importance of psychographic drivers in development within the gaming industry
- (25’) “Our guys aren’t after an education experience, they want an entertainment experience”
- (26’) “The gambling industry itself isn’t about a lot of new product innovation. It’s about how the market evolves”
- (30’) Discussing which exchanges to go public on and breaking down advantages and disadvantages of major markets
- (32’) How to raise money pre revenue for companies depending on factors such as management teams and stages of development
- (37’) Thoughts on the Aristocrat deal, which involves NFL themed slot machines
- (40’) Where sports betting stands in the US compared to more mature sports betting markets in Australasia and Europe
- (43’) The importance of branding and marketing for sports betting companies, particularly based on the fact that some Americans aren’t aware of sports betting becoming recently legal in some states
- (45’) Thoughts on VR and AR sports gambling
- (46’) Where Matt has gotten it wrong in the past and the need to be flexible to market trends
- Matt’s response to being called a ‘trend spotter’ and ‘CEO whisperer’
- (49’) What trends Matt is looking out for and what gets him excited
- (52’) Development of social media influencers in the gaming space
- (55’) Companies and ideas that Tekkorp is excited about
- (59’) Gambling stories
“Our guys aren’t after an education experience. They want an entertainment experience”— Matthew Davey
“The gambling industry itself isn’t about a lot of new product innovation. It’s about how the market evolves”— Matthew Davey
About Matthew Davey
The current CEO of Tekkorp, Matthew Davey was previously the Chief Executive Officer of SG Digital, the Digital Division of Scientific Games Corp. (Scientific Games) SG Digital was established following the purchase by Scientific Games of NYX Gaming Group Limited (formerly TSXV:NYX) for $631m, where Mr. Davey served as Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Director. In 2014, Mr. Davey oversaw the initial public offering of NYX, and after the public offering, from 2014 to 2018, Mr. Davey oversaw seven acquisitions which helped establish NYX as the fastest growing global B2B real-money digital gaming and sports betting platforms. NYX was the leading B2B omni-channel sportsbook platform in the market and the supplier to over 300 gaming operators globally with an extensive library of desktop and mobile game titles, including more than 700 on NYX platforms and more than 2,000 on the OpenBet platform. These acquisitions, together with meaningful organic growth, increased NYX’s revenue from $24 million in 2014 to $184 million annualized in 2017 and a team of 1,000 employees. Mr. Davey was named 2018 CEO of the Year at the prestigious Global Gaming Awards.
Since leaving Scientific Games, Mr. Davey established Tekkorp Capital as one of the pre-eminent investors in the global digital ecosystem and is now its Chairman as well as Chief Investment Officer of the Tekkorp Capital Partners Fund 1. Mr. Davey is CEO of a NASDAQ Listed Special Purpose Acquisition Company, Tekkorp Digital Acquisition Corp., which comprises many gambling industry luminaries.
About Tekkorp Capital
Tekkorp Capital Advisors advises companies in the global gambling sector on mergers and acquisitions (M&A), joint ventures (JVs), strategic partnerships, disposals, carve-outs, and private capital fundraisings. The company also provides consulting services across a broad range of areas including growth strategy formulation, new market-entry, product, technology and operations due diligence and vendor selection.
Tekkorp is made up of people who have all been in CEO, MD or CFO roles at major operators, as well as having distinguished M&A backgrounds, giving us stronger knowledge of what works from an operator standpoint in M&A, compared to other advisory firms.
About MaxBet Media
Two gambling enthusiasts, with a passion for all things gambling. Whether pressing our luck in the high limit room, testing the money line in the sportsbook, or just making friendly wagers on the back nine… we love to gamble! Our careers in the gaming industry have shown us that this industry is filled with some amazing people, with even more amazing stories. Our goal is to help provide a platform for those stories to be shared, while also helping everyone look good in the process.
About Landon Michael Jones
Manager and Co-Founder
Landon’s fascination with the casino industry began when he was just 12 years old and ultimately landed him in Las Vegas, where he earned a degree in hospitality management from University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). For over a decade, Landon has been involved in various aspects of the gaming industry, including operations, management, and supply & distribution.
Landon’s tenacity and passion afforded him the opportunity to serve the gaming industry’s key players and regions throughout the United States. Landon enjoys collaborating with industry leaders to create the ultimate gaming experience for the end-user.
About Mike McKiski
Manager and Co-Founder
A seasoned gaming industry executive and expert in building, marketing, and monetizing gambling related technologies, Mike McKiski currently serves as President of MaxBet Media, Inc., the digital media upstart delivering an unfiltered, authentic, and at times irreverent look at the people who are driving the gambling industry forward.
As he was founding MaxBet Media, Inc., McKiski worked for PlayAGS, Inc. (NYSE: AGS) serving as the company’s Vice President of Sales, with revenue responsibility for the Western United States and all of Canada. Under McKiski’s leadership the revenue team doubled in size and grew revenues over 300%. He is a market transformation catalyst who has been at the forefront of launching mobile and social marketing products for hundreds of casino operators across the continent.