One of the more prominent systems suppliers in Asia, IGT has recently recruited Nelson Cheung – a Macanese with deep roots in Australia – as System Sales Manager for Asia, utilizing his solid IT and gaming background to bolster its stocks.
Oscar Guijarro (OG): Can you tell us a bit about your background?
Nelson Cheung (NC): I’m a Macanese. I was born in Macau and then went to Australia to study when I was 15. I spent almost 10 years there and completed both high school and university in Australia.
After study, I decided to come back to Macau in 1999, just before the handover to China. I was working in an IT company and travelling to China for about seven years doing IT, marketing, sales and technical.
I sort of joined the gaming industry in 2008 when I started working for a company called PGIC, which was acquired by IGT. So I was originally with IGT 10 years ago. Then I went to work for Galaxy and helped during the opening of Galaxy Macau Phase 1. A few years later I decided to leave and join the vendor side again.
In 2018 I rejoined Galaxy for about a year and then decided to go back to the vendor side. So, my background is more in IT and I like to look at how technologies can help the gaming industry.
OG: What changes have you witnessed in the city as a local since you returned to Macau?
NC: In 1999 Macau was like a very small town, very peaceful, quiet, with less infrastructure, buildings and people. For the last 20 years the gaming industry has pushed up Macau’s economics. It has brought Macanese to the next level economy-wise and also lifestyle-wise. However, personally, I love the Macau of 15 or 20 years ago. Macanese enjoyed life a bit more, if you compare to Hongkongese. They rush a bit. The con is that Macanese don’t have the old Macau anymore.
OG: And how was life in Australia compared to Macau?
NC: It’s very different. I love Australia. It’s a bit slower. The way they work is very different than in Macau and Hong Kong. Here we actually execute very fast and achieve it. In Australia we’ll spend a bit more time analyzing to find the right things. I think Australia adopt things more widely and in Macau the range will be smaller and more focused. But lifestyle–wise I love Australia. You know, the sun, the beach.
OG: What do you like to do when you are not working?
NC: I like to spend time with family for sure. I have two kids, seven and four. They’re still young. When I am not working and travelling, I like to spend the weekend with them. I like to play sports. I am a big soccer fan and I play quite often myself, trying to get myself into two games a week if I can, just to keep fit.
OG: What are your favorite spots in Macau?
NC: I like Coloane. I think it’s because I spent so much time in Australia. I like the outdoor areas — a bit of the beach, going hiking, walking around and enjoying a bit of fresh air.
OG: What would you say are your hobbies?
NC: Reading, but I think playing with my kids is probably my main hobby these days.
OG: Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?
NC: I like the gaming industry and I think I’ll still be dealing with the gaming industry. I want to be doing a lot more on development, on innovation, what this company can bring to the market to impact them. Even designing some products myself that will benefit the operators or vendors, which I was doing before when I was with another vendor, would be great.
Helping to optimize the floor, create more revenues and generate more customer visitation is something I really enjoy.