Harry Lan offers some insights into his career as Chief Betting Officer with Macau’s one and only licensed sports betting operator, Macau Slot.
Inside Asian Gaming: Thanks for speaking with us Harry. Can you tell us a bit about your background? Are you a Macau local?
Harry Lan: Thanks for having me! I was born in mainland China and moved to Macau when I was 10. I attended middle school here and earned my Master’s Degree in Computer Science in the United States. I have lived and worked in Macau for almost 30 years so I would say I am a Macau local.
IAG: How did you become involved in the gaming industry?
HL: I returned to Macau in 2004 figuring there would be more job opportunities than in the US at that time. I wasn’t really looking to work in the gaming industry but was looking for a job that was computer and internet related.
IAG: Is that what led you to work with Macau Slot?
HL: Yes, it just so happened that Macau Slot was hiring an IT auditor and the job description fit my background, so I joined. I haven’t worked for another company besides Macau Slot since.
IAG: You are Chief Betting Officer. What does an average day for you entail?
HL: My main duty is to make sure our company is operating within the defined rules. This means that first and foremost it has to meet all the regulatory requirements set by the DICJ (Macau’s gaming regulator). Next is business performance – making sure things like turnover and profit are at our expected level. And lastly, ensuring our product and services constantly maintain their market competitiveness and operate in the most cost-effective way.
IAG: What do you enjoy most about your job?
HL: Since Macau Slot is the only licensed sports betting operator in Macau, there are plenty of opportunities to meet industry peers from other regions. I often have the chance to see the latest gaming products and business tools in our industry and to meet the regulatory bodies from other jurisdictions. I enjoy learning about new technologies and meeting some of the brightest minds in our business.
IAG: What are the biggest challenges?
HL: Adapting our products and services to new regulatory requirements, because Macau is highly influenced by mainland China’s policies. And because China itself is in a transitional stage, their policies are adjusting to their new needs and Macau is greatly affected because of that. Making sure our operation doesn’t violate the new rules and maintaining our business performance is the biggest challenge at this moment.
IAG: I assume you are a sports fan. What are your favorite sports and which teams do you follow?
HL: I am a big NBA fan. In fact, I am a well-known trading card collector myself. So my job gives me a little advantage in picking the new guys to collect and invest in.
IAG: Do you have a favorite place to eat or drink in Macau?
HL: I am a family man. I spend most of time with my family so playgrounds and kid-friendly restaurants are my favorite.
IAG: When Macau’s borders are opened back up to the world, where is the first place you would like to visit and why?
HL: Japan. I love that country so much and we used to travel there two or three times a year before COVID. The food, shopping, theme parks and everything are very enjoyable.
IAG: Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?
HL: I will be living and working in Macau because I still think Macau is one of the best places in this world. But I’m not sure if I will still be in the gaming industry 10 years from now because China is transforming and Macau is transforming, so the next big growth may very well be in another sector.