In a press release disseminated on Tuesday Caesars Interactive named Leon Thomas as their Vice President and General Manager of Regulated Online Gambling.
The position appears to be a new one, as it will oversee “the Marketing, Casino, Poker and operational functions for CIE,” according to the press release.
Thomas will report directly to CIE CEO Mitch Garber, and will be responsible for “developing, leading and driving strategic and operational initiatives across the regulated real-money online gaming operations for CIE,” according to the press release.
Shifting dynamics in Nevada
The addition of Thomas comes at an interesting time for CIE. Ultimate Poker’s announcement that they would be ceasing operations in Nevada last week leaves Caesars (WSOP.com NV) as the only notable operator in the state. WSOP.com NV could potentially take a stranglehold in the market if they are able to woo displaced Ultimate Poker players through marketing and customer service efforts.
WSOP.com NV could then parlay this boost to their player base into perhaps even more players as their liquidity increases.
It will be interesting to see if CIE (perhaps with the assistance of Thomas) can capitalize on this opportunity in the coming weeks.
This press release also predates the expected launch of two new online poker rooms, TI and 888, on the All American Poker Network Nevada (which WSOP.com will also join) as well as the interstate agreement with Delaware, which is currently expected to go into effect in early 2015.
About Leon Thomas
Thomas joins CIE after 3 1/2 years at Tombola, the largest online bingo company in the world. During his time at Tombola revenues increased and the company expanded into new markets. Prior to his time at Tombola Thomas oversaw Customer Service, Risk Operations and Regulatory matters at bwin.party.
“I have known Leon for the past eight and a half years and the timing was finally right for us to reunite,” said CIE CEO Mitch Garber. “Thomas brings a wealth of real money gaming experience from his decade in the regulated European markets and we expect him to hit the ground running as we continue to build out our real money gaming team as we work towards a bright future.”
“I’m impressed with the team Mitch has already assembled at CIE and can’t wait to roll up my sleeves and help position CIE for success in the regulated online gaming industry in the United States,” said Thomas. “While some may see struggles for the nascent U.S. market, I see plenty of opportunity and optimism for what I know is a fertile and large opportunity in a nation who enjoys this form of entertainment.”