Itay Fisher, Chief Information Officer, William Hill Online

As newly appointed chief information officer at William Hill Online, Itay Fisher is front and center on the exciting frontier of online gaming through the use of new gaming technologies.

Fisher’s career has mirrored the industry’s path of emerging technologies over the last decade, culminating with his new assignment. The position at William Hill Online is a natural fit for Fisher, given his career investment in developing the varied technologies applied in online wagering today.

William Hill Online features Fisher as the company’s online front and center, offering online wagering in a growing number of jurisdictions. The core business continues to revolve around sports betting in the U.K., which comprises nearly 50 percent of the company’s revenue. But revenue growth can be seen in the company’s popular “Vegas” platform, and in casino, bingo and other new games. Fisher is certain to address opportunities in the growing use of mobile technologies in online betting.

Born and educated in Israel, Fisher has been in an environment custom-made to foster technological innovation, which he has leveraged handily. Fisher received a bachelor’s degree in computer science in 2004, followed by an executive MBA in 2009, both from the University of Haifa.

The value of this combination between technical and business education is obvious. This direction was cultivated between 2008 and 2013 as Fisher, at the urging of a friend working at Playtech, joined the company and traversed roles in gaming technology’s epicenter. As a program manager for Playtech, he also managed the company’s E2E rollout of a product portfolio including poker, casino games, mobile gaming and bingo in the Italian market.

While at Playtech, Fisher headed the U.K. projects team, and was accountable for the delivery of programs and projects for Playtech’s Platinum licensees such as Betfair, Paddy Power, Netplay and Ladbrokes. According to Fisher, the atmosphere at Playtech “was always great, as a young company with licensees standing in line to get to the company’s products and technology. One project followed another, with new products launched on a weekly basis.”

Fisher’s last role at Playtech was program director for the Gala Coral Group, where he was responsible for platform migration, which added corporate operating experience to his skill set.

Soon after completing the migration, Fisher joined Gala Cora Group as the product and technology director, where he served from June 2013 to December 2016, accountable for desktop, tablet and mobile product development across the gaming brands.

During his time at Gala Coral, Fisher has shifted the development strategy from third-party development dependency into the in-house development powerhouse in order to accelerate innovation, reduce time to market and improve the quality of the products.

On the convergence of traditional and internet gaming, Fisher notes, “In the last two years, we have seen more and more consolidation, which I expect to continue as companies are looking to become more cost-effective. I also see more and more companies moving development in-house to increase innovation and differentiate themselves from competitors. Having the ability to create new games and develop at a company’s own pace has proven to work successfully in the gaming industry.”

Although ambitiously engaged in his career, Fisher finds time to travel and spend valuable time with family and friends. Although a sports enthusiast as a teenager and a runner today, Fisher’s most recent challenge was climbing Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, one of his “best experiences ever.”

Author: Matt Sodl

Matt Sodl is president, managing director and co-founder of Innovation Capital, an investment banking firm headquartered in Los Angeles. The firm has a practice dedicated to the gaming, leisure and hospitality industries where it provides expert merger and acquisition, corporate finance, restructuring and valuation advisory services to middle market companies in the $20 million to $500 million value range. To receive a copy of the recent webinar presentation "Distress in the Gaming Industry" presented by Innovation Capital, the Innovation Group, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Bowne and Global Gaming Business, contact Sodl at msodl@innovation-capital.com or 310-335-9191.