eGaming Review January 2015 - Page 61

FORTUNE FAVOURS THE BRAVE THE QUIET GIANT OF UK MOBILE GAMING IS GETTING READY TO SCALE UP AND TAKE ON DESKTOP AND THE REST OF THE WORLD. WE SPEAK TO CEO SIMON WILSON AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR SIMON LLANOS TO FIND OUT MORE W Simon Wilson CEO mFortune W W W. E G R M A G A Z I N E . C O M BY ALUN BOWDEN hen acquisition targets in online gambling are mentioned one firm frequently finds itself in the spotlight. With a diverse gaming portfolio, in-house technology platform and deep experience of mobile, Birmingham-based mFortune is considered to be on most major Xmas lists. But there is just one problem. “We are not for sale,” mFortune CEO Simon Wilson says. “Any company that is as successful as mFortune is going to be constantly touted for a sale or opportunity of some kind. But the owners are committed to taking advantage of this massive opportunity by building the business,” Wilson adds. And it’s clear where the opportunity lies. After five years developing and honing its offering on mobile, the firm looks a genuine contender to take on some of the bigger names in the UK gaming sector. And unlike almost all of its rivals it welcomed the PoC tax. “We have been waiting for this time. These are exciting years. We have been paying PoC since the day we started and now the playing field is level for us and the opportunity for us to compete is high,” Wilson says. Founded in 2003 as a fixed odds betting terminal manufacturer, it wasn’t until 2007 the firm began to morph into the mobile gaming operator of today. The original vision, according to Wilson, was simple: “to build the best mobile casino in the market”. At the time that meant Java-based games for feature phones. The firm started to build out games for mobile phones through a development office in Bucharest, which remains its core technology centre, with the IP, marketing and customer service centre based in Birmingham. Its first mobile casino games came in 2007 with bingo following shortly afterwards and poker in 2011. It’s been a period of rapid growth, and it now has around 100 staff spread across its three offices, with the p 59