February 20, 2008

PartyGaming’s New Chief Games Officer

Online poker group PartyGaming has created a new high-profile role for the former head of Gamebookers, the sports betting firm it bought in 2006.

PartyGaming said John O'Malia would be made its Chief Games Officer and take charge of its portfolio of games from online poker and blackjack to Internet bingo and sports betting.

PartyGaming bought the Bulgaria-operated and Isle of Man-controlled Gamebookers for $130 million in August of 2006 and has since turned it into its PartyBets.com site.

O'Malia's role is just below that of the firm's Chief Executive and Finance Director and in line with the firm's Operating Chief but the former city trader will not be a member of the Gibraltar-based firm's board.

O'Malia has been running sports betting companies since 2001 and spearheaded the development of BetBug.com with 1X Inc before engineering the purchase of BetBug and Gamebookers.com in 2005 as Chief Executive Officer of Trident Gaming.

Under O'Malia's stewardship Trident transformed and grew the Gamebookers business through aggressive online and offline marketing using a combination of guerrilla marketing and classic traffic-building and brand-building campaigns. After a series of smaller sports sponsorship campaigns, Gamebookers launched its shirt-sponsorship deal with French football team Nantes FC in August of 2006.