President, Australian ESports Association & Executive Producer, Australian Esports League
Australian ESports Association; Australian Esports Association
Darren is the founding president of the Australian Esports Association being a passionate advocate for esports, driving for the recognition and respect of esports he saw the need to support the growth of esports and introduce good governance. Previously he had been involved in the financial sector overseeing investment portfolios and acquisitions exceeding $100m’s in value. He leads the AESA with over 16 years of esports experience that includes competing, advocating (including presenting the emergence of esports at a TedX event in 2010), leadership, development, planning execution and event experience.
Darren was the driving force for Australian membership to the International Esports Federation and holds broad connections in the esports community with relationships spanning the globe.
He is currently the Executive Producer for the Esports Broadcast Group, a multi-regional esports organisation with operations throughout South-East Asia. Providing quality oversight, partner relationships, strategy and development.
With almost 20 years’ experience in traditional sports along with strategy and management consulting roles, Dave entered esports in 2016 through an initial investment in LG Dire Wolves under his business Guinevere Capital. Dave has previously held roles across top Australian, UK and International sports organisations, including the NRL, international/domestic cricket, English Premier League & English Football League. Dave holds an MBA from the University of Oxford and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Dave oversees a portfolio of title winning esports teams including LG Dire Wolves (League of Legends OPL x 3), Sydney Drop Bears (Overwatch Contenders Australia) along with broader projects including the SCG Esports High Performance Centre.
Department of Innovation, Tourism Industry Development and Commonwealth Games
David’s professional background is in economics, infrastructure, project management and public policy. He has had a distinguished and successful career at senior levels of the State’s public and private sectors and is currently the Projects Cheif Executive for the Queensland Department of State Development with responsibility for the delivery of Queen’s Wharf Brisbane, the largest private property development in the nation, and the other prospered major integrated resort development on the Gold Coast.
In addition to his role with the department, David is a member of the State Advisory Council for the Queensland Committee for Economic Development of Australia, the Chairman of Lifetec, a not for profit organisation supporting people with disabilities, and a member of the Board of the Wesley Mission Brisbane, a not for profit community service organisation who provide a range of services to support people in need.
Deputy Director, Gambling Treatment and Research Clinic
The University of Sydney
Dr. Sally Gainsbury is Deputy Director of the University of Sydney Gambling Treatment and Research Clinic. She has over 10 years’ experience conducting research to understand the psychology of gambling with an aim to develop and evaluate policies to minimise gambling-related harms. Dr. Gainsbury is the recipient of numerous research grants, has published over 75 peer-reviewed articles, 2 books, and is frequently invited to speak at international events and provide expert input into policy discussions with international stakeholders.
Ed Comins is the President of WatchandWager.com LLC (WAW), a USA licensed on-line wagering company, based in Marin County, Ca, with an operational centre in Lexington, Ky. WAW is licensed in multiple States throughout the USA, and offers the widest range of domestic and international content to its player base through a variety of different wagering protocols. In its financial year to end May 2018 the company handled in excess of $400 million into multiple pari-mutuel horseracing jurisdictions. WAW is also the operator of Cal Expo racetrack in Sacramento, CA, offering harness racing from October to May.
Ed has over 25 years’ experience in the gambling industry, mainly in the UK with Coral, Ladbrokes and the Tote. Ed is also the Managing Director of the parent company of WAW, Webis Holdings PLC, listed on London Stock Market (AIM). Ed resides in Marin County, CA.
Hai is co-founder of Spawn Point, a strategic advisory firm that operates at the intersection of gaming and esports. He routinely speaks publicly about esports to the gaming industry and collaborates with the Nevada Esports Alliance, UNLV’s International Gaming Institute, and Esports Integrity Coalition on emerging esports issues. With more than three decades of experience in technology, and more than a decade in gaming, his acumen fuels solutions that thrive at the intersection between industries. He is a regular contributor to iGaming Business, and section editor of iGaming Business North America’s Fantasy and eSports Section. He is also an owner of Chaos Theory, Singapore’s first professional esports team.
An expert technologist, Hai is also co-founding partner at Neomancer, a technology strategy and management group. He is credited with designing and orchestrating the first AR demo on the floor of the NYSE and the first AR tool deployed on the floor of NYMEX. Over the last several years, he has been a technology ambassador for Open-Source VR, showcasing the opportunities that VR can bring to the motion picture and iGaming industries.
Under his leadership at Neomancer, the company forged a development relationship with Continent 8 Technologies that led to Hai’s appointment as CIO. During his tenure, Hai and his team helped the company expand into Asia.
Jeffrey Haas is the Chief International Officer of DraftKings, a leading Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) destination that is the fastest-growing company in the industry since its launch in 2012. Haas oversees DraftKings’ business expansion into new markets outside the United States and manages the International operations team in the United Kingdom.
Haas is a business development veteran with more than twelve years’ experience opening markets for new gaming products around the world. Before joining DraftKings, he worked in the international gaming where he gained his extensive knowledge in international business development, commercial law, regulatory compliance, game design and public affairs efforts around the world. He led award-winning online and mobile product innovation teams for PokerStars and oversaw live gaming operations in more than 40 jurisdictions.
Haas previously managed the Discovery Channel’s Interactive Group in Canada and worked as an independent consultant for numerous technology, financial, media and gaming companies.
Haas resides in London, England with his wife and children.
An experienced media professional Karl was appointed Marketing and Commercial Director of News Corp Australia’s Wagering Division in January, 2018 having formally served as News Corp’s Head of Sport in Queensland and Commercial Partnerships manager.
A former journalist and sports editor, with a passion for sport and racing, Karl manages News Corp’s key wagering partnerships and is responsible for working through regulatory compliance for News in this ever-changing and dynamic environment.
Luke has worked in the sport and entertainment industry for the past 20 years, across five continents. Chief Commercial Officer and Chief Marketing Officer of Football Federation Australia, he joined FFA in February 2014 after 7 years as Cricket Australia’s Head of Commercial Marketing.
In his current role, he oversees football’s domestic and international broadcast, and digital rights, the code’s commercial business including sponsorship and licensing, marketing of the game across all levels including the national football leagues and teams, as well as FFA’s digital network.
Luke’s role in the transformation of FFA’s business is displayed by his leadership of the development of a new digital platform for the game, FFA’s largest ever non-football investment. The Football Network delivers enhanced experiences for over 2 million participants and 7 million fans across Australia.
During his time in sport, Luke has had unique experience in creating new properties, including developing the commercial model for the KFC T20 Big Bash League, the establishment of football’s FFA Cup and ongoing evolution of the Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League. Most recently he has led the development of FFA’s eSports program and the inaugural E-League, FFA’s eSports competition launched in early 2018. He has also worked as a consultant with a range of sports and entertainment organisations in China, India, South Africa and the UK, as well as with clients in the USA, Middle East and across Asia.
He has also been involved in the exolution of the sport betting industry in Australia, negotiating the original partnership between Betfair and Cricket Australia and having been involved in negotiating many deals as well as working with stakeholders including broadcasters and government on appropriate advertising guidelines.
Luke holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Marketing.
Martin Williams is a journalist covering regulatory and market developments in Asia for London and Washington-based GamblingCompliance. After completing a doctorate on Taiwanese ethnic politics and history, Martin spent four-and-a-half years as chief copy editor, editorialist and columnist at the Taipei Times newspaper. Martin later served as Taiwan correspondent for the English-language service of Kyodo News, Japan’s biggest news agency. Fluent in Chinese, Martin is based in Taipei and is a former president of the Taiwan Foreign Correspondents Club. He has spoken at or moderated gaming conferences and seminars in Macau, Hong Kong, Singapore, Manila, Tokyo, Sydney, London and Taipei.
Matt Bekier is Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of The Star Entertainment Group. Matt was previously Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director of the Company. He was also Chief Financial Officer of Tabcorp Holdings from late 2005 and until the demerger of the Company and its controlled entities in June 2011. Prior to his role at Tabcorp, Matt held various roles with McKinsey & Company over 14 years. During that time, he focused on building a substantial practice in both post-merger management and financial services, working across four continents. Matt holds a Master of Economics and Commerce and a PhD in Finance from St Gallen University in Switzerland. He is also a member of the Board of the Australasian Gaming Council and an honorary adjunct professor at Macquarie University.
Mike was appointed Executive Director of the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation as of 1 July 2008, having formerly held the position of Executive Director of the Queensland Office of Gaming Regulation from October 2006. His responsibilities include managing the gaming and liquor regulatory licensing and compliance regimes and implementing the responsible gambling strategy and harm minimisation programs. The position also has responsibility for the administration of the Gambling Community Benefit Fund.
Mike’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Business (Accountancy) from the then Queensland Institute of Technology and a Graduate Diploma of Business (Professional Accounting) from the Queensland University of Technology.
Mike is also a current member of the Gambling Community Benefit Fund Committee, the Responsible Gambling Advisory Committee and is a member and former vice president of the International Association of Gaming Regulators
School of Psychology, The University of Adelaide, AUSTRALIA 5005
Paul graduated from the University of Adelaide with degrees in Arts, Commerce and Economics and a PhD in psychology. He has published extensively in several areas, including the psychology of gambling, child protection and child welfare and has been a regular advisor to State and Federal Government bodies. He has over 300 publications in these areas including over 200 national and international refereed journal articles. Over the last decade, he has conducted research into the nature of adolescent gambling, examined the psychology and social impacts of gambling, conduct epidemiological and experimental studies and research into responsible gambling initiatives. His recent research interests have related to the interaction between technology, social media and gambling as well as the relationship between clinical co-morbidity and problem gambling.
Rossi has a strong foundation with both traditional fantasy sports and esports alike. FantasyEsports.gg is the most sophisticated fantasy platform with superior user engagement and live experience. Rossi spent his early years within the top digital marketing companies and advising global organisation on customer engagement which he has now translated to the sports and esports fan.
Stephen is the Chairman of the Esports Integrity Coalition in the Asia Pacific Region. As a forensic accountant with accompanying qualifications in law, his background as an experienced forensic expert has given him exposure to the investigation and resolution of multi-million dollar fraud cases. Further to this, his experience in business growth and technological development has guided a number of start-up digital organisations to growth and success. Stephen plays a pivotal role within ESIC, particularly in his pioneering of technological advancements and forensic expertise within ESIC’s integrity services administered globally.
Sudhir H. Kalé, Ph.D., is the Founder of GamePlan Consultants, a business that offers boutique high level consultancy and training to gaming establishments all over the world. Currently, he is also Honorary Professor of Marketing at Bond University in Australia and a Senior Consultant to the clubs industry in Australia through Bulls Eye Services. Till June 2015, Dr. Kalé was a full-time advisor to Sands China Limited, the largest gaming company in the world.
Professor Kalé is widely regarded as an expert in various aspects of gaming management such as customer relationship management (CRM), customer loyalty, customer service issues, market segmentation and positioning, and customer lifetime value (LTV). A frequent contributor to leading gaming publications and online sites, he has worked tirelessly to further the continuing education of gaming executives.
Professor Kalé has conducted over two hundred executive development seminars on a range of topics such as cross-cultural interactions, smart selling, applications of the MBTI in management, applying the Enneagram in organizations, and providing exemplary customer service. He also trains and consults for different industries on various aspects of organizational diagnosis and development, communication and leadership, corporate culture and culture change, relationship marketing and customer service.
Professor Kale’s gaming client list includes diverse casino companies such as Marina Bay Sands, Galaxy Macau, Starworld Hotel and Casino, Mohegan Sun, The Olympic Entertainment Group, Sun International, Casinos Austria, Mocha Slots, IGT and Crown Casino. He has been a regular speaker at the Global Gaming Expo (Las Vegas and Macau), Gaming, Racing and Wagering Australasia, and at the University of Nevada (Reno) Executive Development Program for senior gaming executives.
Professor Kalé has a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry from University of Poona, a Masters in Management from University of Bombay, and an M.S. in International Business, and a Ph.D. in Marketing from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. An eloquent, intriguing, and sometimes provocative speaker, Professor Kalé’s views on a wide range of issues have been quoted by media the world over.
Sue Schneider is one of the world’s leading experts on the internet gaming industry which she began monitoring in 1995. Starting as an owner of leading gaming consumer portal from ’95-‘99, she then launched River City Group, which produced the largest i-gaming events in the world (GIGSE and EiG) as well as key industry trade publications, such as iGamingNews.com and the Internet Gambling Report.
In July, ’06, River City Group was purchased by Clarion Events, one of the UK’s largest event producers, and Schneider remained as CEO/Americas there until June ’09. She remains the principal of www.egamingbrokerage.com and consults on a variety of other independent projects in the industry.
Schneider was a founder and served as Chairman of the 120 member Interactive Gaming Council (IGC), a trade association, from its inception in l996 until 2004. She currently serves as Editor-in-Chief for Liebert Publications’ Gaming Law Review. Until 2016, she was a partner with the US-based conference (www.igamingnorthamerica.com) which was sold to iGaming Business, a division of Clarion Events Gaming. She’s a former partner in the www.maltaigamingseminar.com and, in addition, works with the G2E event as a consultant for the iGaming Congress. She recently became a Chief Advisor to Sports Betting Communities (www.sbcevents.com) on their efforts to launch a sports betting show in the US.
She is a frequent speaker at international gaming conferences and has testified to the US Senate, the US House of Representatives as well as the National Gambling Impact Study Commission in that country.