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Taylor Made

Randy Taylor, President & CEO, Everi Holdings

When Mike Rumbolz was elevated from the board of Everi Holdings to its president and CEO, the company was in dire straights. While the fintech division, the former Global Cash Access, was clearly the leader in that field, the quirky slot manufacturer it had recently acquired, Multimedia Games, didn’t seem to be a good fit.

Rumbolz came in and got everyone on the same page. He built a corporate culture that focused on cooperation and involvement of all employees and executives, and within a few years, Everi was living up to its name—offering everything the industry needed in those two spaces. Share price bounced back and Everi was recognized as one of the movers and shakers in the gaming industry.

Rumbolz’s little secret, though, was he wanted to retire even before joining Everi, so he put everything he had into turning around the company. So a few years ago, Rumbolz, who was elected to the American Gaming Association’s Gaming Hall of Fame in October, put an exit plan in place and identified Randy Taylor as his successor.

Taylor had been with Everi for over 10 years, starting on the fintech side and becoming the chief financial officer, and then learning about the games side before being elevated to chief operating officer, where he learned about the operations side of the business.

So when Rumbolz took his final bow as president and CEO to take the position as executive chairman of the board, he passed the baton to Taylor, and the company seemingly hasn’t missed a beat. And that again is a credit to the foundation laid down by Rumbolz.

Taylor says the communications between the divisions is stronger than ever, mostly due to each one having its own leader—Dean A. Ehrlich heads up the games division and Darren D. A. Simmons leads the fintech side.

“Mike’s been my mentor,” says Taylor. “He’s been great for my career. But I feel pretty good with the management team we have here, and we’re set to move forward. And Mike has paved the way for us. I feel good with the people we have and can continue to follow in his footsteps.”

Everi’s success in the fintech market is undisputed. The company owns Central Credit, which has been supplying operators with information about players for more than 50 years.

“It’s basically a clearinghouse between casino operators that are all part of Central Credit that allows the operators to understand what credit’s been provided to an individual at different locations, and really, the worthiness of that individual,” he says. “So it really helps them make good decisions about how much credit to provide to a particular customer.”

As an early supplier of ATMs to the casinos, Everi now has a product line of full-service kiosks that do everything from cashing TITO tickets to accepting payments for previous debts, with a longevity that gives comfort to operators.

“I think casino operators know us,” he says. “We’ve been around for a long time. We have a great renewal rate because we give a great experience for the patron and efficiency for the casino operator. And that’s really what we base all the services that we pull together on, whether it’s self-service kiosk, whether it’s AML reporting or a loyalty product. We’ve got 17,500 gaming machines out there with a service department that really resonates with our casino operators. And I think our experience really shows through with the amount of customers that we maintain and continue to renew.”

Everi also has had a head start in getting money into the hands of gamblers via cashless transactions. Its CashClub Wallet was launched in 2019 and is in more casinos than any other cashless solution.

“It’s not just a wallet, but it’s something that we really want to make sure can go all across the integrated resort,” Taylor says. “So we have connections to food & beverage and to retail and to showrooms if the operator wants it. It’s really based on when the customer wants to install it.”

On the games side, Everi just completed one of its best G2Es ever.

“We did think this was a tremendous show for us. We showed two new cabinets, and they got a great response. Dean Ehrlich, who directs our games business, has a very specific roadmap. He works with the development team on our normal ‘bread and butter games’ because those games are still popular. But you have to have unique games, and then you have to have new cabinets. So we’re really excited about our games, and I think they got a lot of buzz.”

Everi has been making inroads on the iGaming side, too, with partnerships with almost all legal iGaming sites in the U.S.

“I’m really pleased with how quickly we’ve become one of the providers that anybody who launches a new site wants to be part of,” he says. “We’ve got great mechanical product, we’ve got a great library on the land-based side that we’ve been able to really port over.”

Taylor has goals for the next few years that don’t sound unreasonable.

“On the games side I want see Everi as one of the preferred vendors,” he says. “If there’s an opening, if there’s an expansion or replacement, we should be one of those companies that are a must at that casino, and that’s also on the iGaming side.

“And then on the fintech side, I expect us to continue to be, in my view, the leader in that area. I want our wallet to continue to expand. I want to be the best in class.

“And then I want to see us expand a little bit outside of North America, however much that will be. We’re putting our toe into Australia. So I expect that to be a place where we continue to grow.”

Roger Gros is publisher of Global Gaming Business, the industry's leading gaming trade publication, and all its related publications. Prior to joining Global Gaming Business, Gros was president of Inlet Communications, an independent consulting firm. He was vice president of Casino Journal Publishing Group from 1984-2000, and held virtually every editorial title during his tenure. Gros was editor of Casino Journal, the National Gaming Summary and the Atlantic City Insider, and was the founding editor of Casino Player magazine. He was a co-founder of the American Gaming Summit and the Southern Gaming Summit conferences and trade shows. He is the author of the best-selling book, How to Win at Casino Gambling (Carlton Books, 1995), now in its fourth edition. Gros was named "Businessman of the Year" for 1998 by the Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce, and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Gaming Association in 2012.

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