Hi Brandon! Please could you give us a little about your background?
I’ve been in the gaming industry for many years now, initially in the UK but primarily in Las Vegas. I’ve worked on both the operator and supplier side, with Mirage Resorts and then later with a whole host of providers, including Aristocrat, Scientific Games, Shuffle Master and IGT.
My present role is as executive director of Aruze Gaming’s interactive business and table gaming. It places me at the forefront of the cross-over between the land-based and online gaming worlds, with a strong focus on product and where consumer trends are heading.
How did you come to be involved with CasinoCoin?
I knew Ash Tawakley, CasinoCoin’s CCO, from our time together at IGT. I had held a long-time interest in the blockchain space, so when he mentioned CasinoCoin was looking for people who could help advise, particularly on the land-based side, I thought it was worth a conversation. John and I hit it off at Whole Foods of all places; he has a clear vision of how he sees CasinoCoin making a significant impact within land-based casinos, and we agreed I was well-placed to provide insight.
How big an opportunity do you see for blockchain technology within the land-based casino space?
Most of the focus has been on cryptocurrencies themselves, particularly as payment methods within online gaming, but I am also very excited by applications of blockchain technology in casinos. Blockchain is already making a material impact across all manner of industries; wherever businesses are transacting, there are opportunities for blockchain.
What is the biggest challenge when it comes to encouraging adoption of this technology in casinos?
The land-based casino industry has something of a reputation for not moving particularly quickly when it comes to new technology. That is probably fair, but I think it is changing. If you look at Europe, they have tended to be more open to new tech in the casino space, but the US is gradually catching up.
Bringing blockchain into casinos is a challenge, but it is one we are better positioned to tackle than we would have been a few years ago. It is a case of showing different stakeholders the benefits. For instance, there is a lot that can be done across KYC, AML and responsible gaming that regulators will be very interested in. Similarly, it may not be as glamorous as cryptocurrencies as a payment method, but I can see casino management systems integrating more and more blockchain elements over the coming years. Once operators become familiar with this technology, I can see things scaling very quickly.
And what about your own personal experience with blockchain and cryptocurrencies?
I’ve been watching this field with interest for a few years now. I’ll be honest, when I first heard about Bitcoin, the concept was a little daunting. I think this is the case with a lot of regular folks. But I began reading around the topic, particularly on blockchain and the potential use cases, and my interest grew from there.
From a professional perspective, I have been working to place cutting-edge technology on the casino floor for more than two decades, and the challenge of pushing blockchain in that same direction is a really exciting one.