A New Gambling Magnate in the Wings
As reported in the Sydney Morning Herald, it appears that Laurence Escalante is aiming high, for if everything goes to plan he is set to be Australia's next gambling magnate, even if he won't be able to take bet from folk who live in Australia! Escalante has his sights on the Chinese market, and is expecting to be awarded his Philippines based gaming licence in the near future.
This turn of events is a long way from Escalante's former job as Perth based financial planner! Only a few years ago he was moonlighting from his day job by producing online games in the evening, most of these were produced for offshore based clients.
That was until two and a half years ago when he founded Virtual Gaming Worlds, (developed by Chumba casino, played on facebook.) At present the game has in excess of 50,000 players. At present you cannot win cash playing but when Escalante does launch his games in the real world you will be able to!
This is the very first time a social media game has made the transition to the real world, and involves money.
When you consider this it could open the flood gates for many more of those social media games to make the transition over to the real world. Apparently one of the reasons that this transition of games has not been attempted before is because social games are very different to real-life games and the complexity of the technology and licensing is very involved.
You would think that with all of the above going on that there is a fantastic team behind Escalante, well that couldn't be further from the truth! Escalante runs his business from his home and he is also the only executive in the business based in Australia! (Although he does have an advisory board most of who are located in Sydney with one director based in Ireland.)
Escalante also uses 20 software developers in India whom he sourced through an online freelance labour website, ODesk. He also makes use of artists from all over the world too, including Europe and Mexico.
So what's the catch?..Well these types of games are illegal in many countries (including Australia and the US) although legislation is continually being argued over and changing in both countries and this did prove a problem when Escalante was attempting to raise capital, although he has been able to raise a staggering $3.5 million to develop the business.
So whatever your views are to online gambling, there is little doubt that if Escalante manages to achieve his dreams, besides being a massive global opportunity it could make him very famous, and very wealthy!