US Digital Gaming (USDG) has announced the appointment of Jon Richmond, a former senior exec at Fox Interactive and Walt Disney, as CEO. Co-founder Richard Baskin, who had been acting as interim CEO, can now forget the day-to-day drudgery of being CEO of a company that doesn’t really do anything to concentrate on being co-chairman of a company that doesn’t really do anything.
For the uninitiated, USDG is “the developer of the most comprehensive US-based ‘end-to-end’ business solution for legalized online gambling” in a nation in which online gambling isn’t quite legal yet. USDG is pinning its hopes on being the go-to provider for states who beat the federal government to the online gambling finish line. USDG thought they had an inside track to get their first gig in Iowa, until the draft legislation was reduced to a mere study of online gambling’s potential impact on local corn growers. The more recent news of the California Online Poker Association’s choice of Sciplay as their tech provider if/when the Golden State gives the gambling go-ahead also can’t have done much to boost morale at USDG headquarters.
Whether the $3m USDG has managed to raise from outside investors (matching the $3m ponied up by its co-chairmen) will keep their current 15 employees punching their time cards until somebody offers the company a paying gig remains, pardon the pun, a gamble. USDG has been around since 2009, but has yet to generate a penny of revenue. As co-chairman/founder Richard Bronson told the Wall Street Journal, “If they never legalize poker online then we’ve made a bad bet.”