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PEOPLE TO WATCH 2014: Tim Richards

General Manager and Senior Vice President of Interactive Solutions, Global Cash Access

PEOPLE TO WATCH 2014: Tim Richards

Most people look to place themselves in a growth industry.

For Tim Richards, the philosophy worked in reverse. It has found him.

The general manager and senior vice president of interactive solutions for Global Cash Access positions his company for the burgeoning online gaming market. GCA already is a powerhouse, holding 70 percent of the cash-handling, land-based casino market, he says. GCA distributes approximately $20 billion in cash to gaming patrons each year via more than 95 million transactions. The Las Vegas-based company has over 8,000 patron touch points around the globe.

Online gaming, at maturity, is anticipated to equal 10 percent-15 percent of land-based play, according to industry estimates. That’s a substantial new revenue source for those who can corner it. As casinos recruit online players to their land-based properties, they need to offer patrons a seamless transition across different systems and vendors.

Richards anticipates a growing acceptance of iGaming in 2014 and a possible boom in 2015. New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada figure to be the major iGaming players in 2014. The online market will become a major focus for him. Richards also expects the growth of i-lottery in 2014. GCA operates i-lottery payments for Scientific Games in Minnesota and North Carolina.

“This will begin to set the stage going forward,” he says. “The industry can say, ‘Hey, now this is all being done legitimately.’ Operators can see how states have done well with this and put their regulations in place. We are starting to enter the comfort years, in which states begin to see this as a feasible business and banks become comfortable with it from the standpoint of processing transactions.”

The fear of customer fraud and tepid support from the U.S. government has kept iGaming on the back burner for the last few years. Yet as casinos begin dealing more with known customers, they figure to give them more instant cash access.

Richards, who grew up in Tucson and lives in Las Vegas, has entered his third decade of gaming. He has been influential with new products at every location. At Interblock, for example, he helped now-CEO Tom O’Brien roll out the successful G4 series of multi-player electronic games. Richards assisted IGT’s foray into table games and helped Progressive Gaming in its RFID gaming product.

He is a prominent player in GCA’s Everi suite of products, which provides comprehensive payment processing, along with detailed reporting, player and transaction analytics.

Everi Payments is a payment wall built specifically for online gaming. It consolidates numerous payment options into one integrated experience. The Everi Digital Wallet enables customers to load, store and withdraw funds 24 hours a day. The one-view account profile enables players to keep information up to date. The Everi Productivity Suite provides online gaming operators with tools for player acquisition, retention and revenue growth.

Casino Connection Sports Editor Dave Bontempo is an award-winning sports writer and broadcaster who calls boxing matches all over the world. He has covered the Philadelphia Flyers in the playoffs, as well as numerous PGA, LPGA and Seniors Golf Tour events, and co-hosted the Casino Connection television program with Publisher Roger Gros.

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