Growing up in Las Vegas, Brooke Fiumara did not think about gaming as a profession. Her goal during those formative years vacillated between the fashion world and performing arts.
Turns out Fiumara passed over both professions in favor of the gaming industry. “I have always been equal parts creative and analytical. Ultimately my career led me to my current role of getting to use both sides of my brain daily,” she says.
That current role is co-founder and co-CEO of data company OPTX.
While still a student at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Fiumara worked as a receptionist at a spa in a Station casino. With diploma in hand, she was able to seamlessly transfer to the marketing department, her first step in the industry.
“But what kept me in the business was the fact that marketing in casinos is unlike any other industry,” she says. “As a marketer in gaming, you are responsible for multiple little businesses within your one company, from restaurant to hotel to retail to spa to gaming to entertainment. I was never bored.”
Marketing also paved the way for OPTX. Fiumara realized that in hospitality, the fundamental action on consumer behavior required the data and the tools to execute what did not exist.
“And that’s where OPTX was born, out of the deep understanding of the gaps in technology in the gaming industry.”
The same gaps existed whether at Station, Red Rock or Warner Gaming, where Fiumara spent several years in a marketing capacity.
It was important to find a team for OPTX that could bring technology and innovation to close those gaps.
“Solving yesterday’s problems was good, but anticipating the future challenges in the industry and creating a product that could not only keep up with but lead innovation in the industry was critical,” she says.
The pieces came together slowly over time.
“But we truly have the best team in this space, bringing forward new ways of looking at data and technology that have never been done before,” Fiumara says.
Covid struck in March 2020. For Fiumara, the pandemic presented OPTX the opportunity to build a great product that was ready to go by the time casinos reopened their doors.
“When most companies were doing furloughs, we were recruiting the best and brightest data engineers,” she explains.
Fiumara names Bill Warner, CEO of Warner Gaming, as an invaluable mentor.
“I worked for Bill as his chief marketing officer and learned so much about how to operate a business,” she says. “He has demonstrated through his actions what it means to build a meaningful and trustworthy business. He is my first call for advice on those tough business decisions.”
Mark Dunkenson, the CEO of JACK Entertainment, is another mentor.
“Very early in my career, Mark saw my potential and challenged me to take roles I didn’t feel I was ready for,” says Fiumara, who loves to travel with her family. “Without his lessons and advocacy, I would not be where I am today.”
Brimming with confidence, Fiumara expects in the next five years, OPTX will be the leading platform for artificial intelligence and automation of action on data across multiple verticals in the gaming industry.
“We will have also stepped out into other related verticals outside of the gaming industry,” she says. “OPTX truly is just getting started.”
Fiumara acknowledges she doesn’t always make the right decisions.
“But I have no regrets. As the leader of an agile software company, I am making decisions all day long,” she says. “After each wrong choice, I assess how we got there, learn from it and pivot if necessary.”