OLG Alum Godfrey Takes Board Position at Bragg Gaming

The news wasn’t much on its face, at least for most people not interested in the business side of Canadian gambling. Bragg Gaming Group appointed Paul Godfrey to its Board of Directors. Godfrey is a former politician, sports team owner, and newspaper publisher. He also served as the Chair of Ontario Lottery and Gaming (OLG).

Looking at the bigger picture, Bragg Gaming chose very wisely. Godfrey’s range of business experience puts him – and consequently, Bragg – in a good position to help the rapidly-growing online gambling and sports betting industry throughout Canada and North America as a whole.

Bragg Announcement

This week’s press release announced that Bragg Gaming appointed Paul Godfrey to its Board of Directors. The notice specifically highlighted his experience in the Canadian gaming industry, pointing to his role as OLG Chair from 2010 to 2013.

Bragg CEO Adam Arviv stated, “Paul’s extensive experience in the media, gaming and sports worlds will be invaluable as we move forward with our rapid growth plans. We’re extremely pleased to have him join the championship team that we’re building and look forward to his guidance.

Godfrey himself spoke of his excitement upon joining the Bragg board. “They’re had an exceptional year in 2020 and are on track to becoming a leader in the world gaming space. I’m happy to add my expertise to the mission.”

Who is Godfrey?

The Toronto native attended the University of Toronto and obtained a BS degree in chemical engineering.

Godfrey’s foray into politics came in 1964 in North York, where he served as an alderman from 1964 to 1973. HE joined the Metropolitan Toronto Council and became its Chairman in 1973, serving in that role until 1984. The following year, he joined an informal cabinet formed by Ontario Premier Frank Miller.

Godfrey’s role as OLC Chair was a government-appointed position, one from which he was fired in May 2013 by Premier Kathleen Wynne. His dismissal was very controversial and resulted in a mass resignation of the OLG Board of Directors.

After Godfrey’s role heading up the Metro Toronto Council, Godfrey became the CEO and publisher of the Toronto Sun in 1984. He then rose to the position of Toronto Sun Publishing CEO in 1992. When he stepped down in 2000, he took a media break. He then served as the President and CEO of The National Post from 2009 to 2019.

Meanwhile, Godfrey dipped his toes in the sports world. He served on the board of the Stadium Corporation of Ontario in the 1980s. He also had ties to a lobbying group involved in trying to obtain a Toronto National Football League team. And in 2000, Godfrey took on the role of President and CEO of the Toronto Blue Jays. He stepped down from that position in 2008.

What is Bragg?

ORYX Gaming is a Toronto-based company founded in 2010. It is primarily a B2B (business to business) online gaming solutions provider.  They also feature technology for retail, online, and mobile online gambling platforms. Further, it provides online casino content (more than 5,000 titles available), marketing, and sportsbook and lottery services. The company obtained licenses to provide content and services in Malta, Gibraltar, the UK, Spain, Colombia, Croatia, Servia, Slovenia, Romania, and Schleswig Holstein in Germany.

Bragg Gaming acquired ORYX in 2018 and began its expansion through Asia, Central America, and North America, as well as into other parts of Europe.

Just last year, ORYX launched with popular brand 888 Casino. The company then partnered with Soft2Bet and SkillOnNet, Betclic and Mr Green, and it added its content to Microgaming. Bragg also has deals with companies like GVC Holdings and Kindred.

Personnel changes at Bragg made news in 2020 as well. Former SB Tech CEO Richard Carter became the Non-Executive Chair of the Board of Directors, bringing along first-hand knowledge of the SB Tech and DraftKings merger.

By the end of 2020, Bragg CEO Adam Arviv made the “Hot 50” list of 2021 Rising Stars and Emerging Leaders, published by Gaming Intelligence. He made the list alongside CEOs of Barstool Sports and Aspire Global, to name a few.

US and Canadian Expansion

Bragg took its first steps into the United States gaming market in late 2019 when it signed a deal with Seneca Gaming to provide content to three land-based casinos in New York. Then-CEO Dominic Mansour positioned the company to move into key positions in the emerging US online gaming market.

Canada is also preparing to expand, with talk ratcheting up in late 2020. Not only is Ontario preparing to open its online gambling market to outside operators, the Canadian government seems intent upon legalizing single-event sports betting throughout the country. Both of these situations provide opportunities for Bragg to expand.

Putting Godfrey into a key role on the Bragg Board of Directors puts the company in an even better position to capitalize on new opportunities. As more markets open in Canada, Godfrey has the connections and experience to help Bragg grow.

 

Jennifer Newell

Jennifer Newell

Jennifer Newell has been writing about poker and gambling since 2004. From her days in the WPT offices to covering summers of WSOP tournament action, she also followed gambling legislation to Washington D.C. and women-only poker to the Bahamas. Meanwhile, she lived in Los Angeles and Las Vegas for many years before moving back to her hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. Now, Jen travels less, writing about poker and online gambling from her home with her two dogs watching her every move. In her spare time, she follows politics, works on her never-finished novels, and learns Italian in the hopes of retiring to Italy someday.

If you want to know more, you can follow Jen on Twitter @WriterJen

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