Sports betting technology provider SBTech has appointed experienced lottery and gaming executive Melissa Riahei as president of its US subsidiary.
In her new role she will take charge of SBTech’s US business, with a focus on building infrastructure to support the supplier’s existing clients, as well as helping it establish a presence in newly-regulated states.
“I’m thrilled to join SBTech at such momentous time in our industry,” Riahei said. “As legalized sports betting rapidly takes root across the nation, I look forward to leading SBTech’s US expansion, establishing our operational footprint in new states, and contributing our global expertise to the growth and success of this emerging market.
“SBTech has already seen great success here through our valued partnerships with Churchill Downs, Golden Nugget, Resorts and most recently – the Oregon Lottery,” she said. “We plan to build on that success and solidify SBTech’s position as a market leading supplier in the US.”
Riahei is an experienced lawyer, having served as deputy chief counsel to the Illinois Office of the Governor, then general counsel for the state lottery. During her time with the lottery, her efforts in tandem with those of the New York Lottery were seen as instrumental in the Department of Justice coming to the conclusion that the Wire Act only applied to sports betting.
This opinion, issued in December 2011, paved the way for the roll-out of igaming in the US.
“We are delighted to have Melissa on board leading our US business, as we assemble a world-class team to steer us into the next chapter of the company’s growth,” SBTech chief executive Richard Carter said. “Melissa is an extremely talented executive, with a rare blend of business, legal and political acumen and a varied breadth of experience across all sectors in gaming.
“I’m confident that she will serve as a great leader for our US team on the ground and our partners. This appointment demonstrates our continual commitment to the US market by providing dedicated leadership of our US teams to support our partners’ ambitions.”
SBTech chair Gavin Isaacs added that Riahei would be a great asset to the supplier as it looks to leverage US opportunities.
“We’re excited to have Melissa joining our team, and I look forward to working with her,” Isaacs said.