Jon Friedberg is a US – facing online marketer and one of four experts invited to speak on LAC’s “How the Change in US Regulation is Affecting Affiliates” panel. I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with Friedberg at past G2Es, GiGses and LACs and have followed his journey since regulated iGaming affiliate licensure.
Now that Freidberg has a license to operate in Nevada as an affiliate and has been approved in New Jersey as well, the iGaming side of his online marketing business is starting to take shape and he’s got some serious plans for the future.
Seeing as the LAC about to kick off, I wanted to catch up with Friedberg and encourage the iGaming Affiliate community to hear him speak on Friday, February 7th. As you will see from our conversation, Friedberg is a saavy businessman who has been involved with the American gambling market for years and brings a unique background to the iGaming Affiliate table.
Becky Liggero: Thanks for joining me again Jon, its always a pleasure. So its been 18 months now since you received your Nevada license, how have things been going for you in Nevada so far?
Jon Friedberg: Nevada took a while to get going for us due to the state’s delay in launch and pace at which new sites have been given the green light. Things are finally picking up some steam now that two sites have been live for a few months, and hopefully others will be launching soon as well.
BL: How did the process for obtaining a license in New Jersey differ from Nevada?
JF: The online gaming license application process in Nevada and New Jersey are pretty similar, although each state has focused more extensive levels of investigation in different areas. However, I am not fully licensed in New Jersey (we only have a transactional waiver while pending final license approval), so I can only speak to my experience in the process thus far and cross my fingers for what lies ahead.
BL: Assuming you are granted the license, what are your plans for the New Jersey market?
JF: My plan is to form long-term and mutually beneficial partnerships with the online casino providers and do whatever I can to help position each company and the entire industry for success within and beyond just New Jersey. We all have a lot to learn about online gaming operations in the newly regulated intrastate US market, so I am doing what I can now to best position ourselves for the future of this industry.
BL: Its very expensive to obtain these licenses you have, how do you justify the money for a market that is so uncertain?
JF: I have a very high risk tolerance, I live for innovation, and I have access to capital. I have also invested many millions into risky, long-term, and uncertain opportunities, so what’s another 6 or 7 figures? My philosophy in business and gambling is that you can’t win if you don’t play.
BL: You’ve rebranded your company name from Pokertrip Enterprises to Overlay Gaming Corporation- why?
JF: The industry has evolved since I founded the company in 2011, and so have we as a company. In the spirit of my commitment to over-deliver on value to real-money gaming players and providers, Overlay was the perfect upgrade to our corporate brand.
BL: Can you give me examples of how your company itself has changed since 2011?
JF: When I first founded the company in 2011, our focus was on bricks and mortar gaming. Since the day that the DOJ reversed their stance on the Wire Act and various states began pursuing legalized online gaming, I have extended our focus to service the online industry as well.
BL: What can we expect to see from Overlay Gaming Corp in 2014 & beyond?
JF: We expect to deliver a number of innovating products, intriguing developments, and hopefully some pretty surprising announcements in 2014 and beyond. I have a lot of new initiatives, ideas, and concepts that I am excited to be pursuing, many of which I expect will be raising some eyebrows throughout the industry.
BL: Excellent Jon, keep those innovations coming and we look forward to hearing you speak on Friday at the LAC Affiliate panel.