Speakers and Advisory Board Profiles.
Adrian Halpenny is the Senior Vice President of the Australian and Asian divisions for Scientific Games. The regional headquarters are located in Silverwater in Sydney with local offices in Macau, Singapore and New Zealand.
Scientific Games is the global leader in end-to-end gaming equipment for casinos, clubs and pubs employing over 9,500 people worldwide. Locally, the company employs 300 staff, in 6 locations with 184 dedicated to R&D. Through three operating divisions – Gaming, Lottery and Digital – Scientific Games offer customers a fully integrated portfolio of technology platforms, robust systems, engaging game content, and unrivaled professional services and marketing solutions.
Adrian currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Australasian Gaming Council (AGC) and is Chairman of the Gaming Technologies Association (GTA). GTA provides members with representation nationally through policy leadership and industry advocacy focusing on maintaining a sustainable industry that acts responsibly while assisting to create a balanced and effective gaming policy, legislation and regulation.
Andrew Kelly is the General Manager for the Bankstown District Sports Club in Sydney, which is one of the leading registered clubs in NSW, servicing more than 65,000 members every year and employing over 650 staff.
Andrew has been employed with the club for over 5 years and has vast experience though various roles held in clubs throughout his 24 year career. He specialised in IT and Gaming management for over 10 years before joining Bankstown Sports in 2012.
As General Manager, Andrew focuses on improving customer service and experiences, embracing technology and change management as well as the continual influence of leadership and development of employees.
Outside of his work commitments, Andrew is a family man, and is dedicated to his wife and two teenage children.
Ben has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist and trusted communications adviser to both corporate and government leaders, providing communications counsel to a broad range of clients managing complex and sensitive projects. He also leads GRACosway’s media and presentation training sessions for senior executives in the corporate, investment banking and professional services sectors.
Prior to joining GRACosway, Ben was the Senior Media Adviser and spokesperson for a former NSW Premier. He was also Senior Media Adviser to a NSW Health Minister, and Energy and Utilities Minister.
Before his career in politics, Ben held a number of journalism roles with the ABC, including three years as NSW Parliamentary Reporter for ABC TV, and prior to that, Africa correspondent for ABC TV and radio. Ben has also worked in current affairs with ABC Radio.
Ben holds a Bachelor of Arts (Journalism) from the University of South Australia.
After several years as editor of a leading trade publication for this industry, Clyde launched PubTIC in 2015 with the aim of becoming the one-stop-shop for news and information on owning and operating pubs in Australia.
PubTIC covers all topics relating to pubs, both internal and external, the bulk of which are written by Clyde, giving him a broad industry knowledge and requiring in-depth communication with stakeholders and the readership.
Damian Quayle was appointed to the role of Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Gaming at The Star Sydney in July 2016.
Mr Quayle joined The Star Sydney in 2011, and has more than 20 years of gaming experience, including a comprehensive understanding of VIP and mass gaming markets across Asia and Australia.
Prior to joining The Star Sydney, Mr Quayle served as Director of Gaming Administration at City of Dreams Macau, operated by Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd, and as Table Games Operations Manager at Wynn Macau, operated by Wynn Macau Ltd.
Responsible for overseeing the strategic vision for gaming at The Star Sydney, Mr Quayle lead the gaming machines, table games and gaming product and strategy teams to deliver sustained growth for the casino.
Previously at ALH David has held a number of positions including General Manager Operations and National Gaming Manager.
David is on the board of the Victorian and National branch of the Australian Hotels Association (AHA) and a director of the Australasian Gaming Council (AGC)
David is a member of the Responsible Gambling Ministerial Advisory Council (Vic) and previously a member of the Federal Goverments Ministerial Expert advisory Group on Gambling
ALH operates over 330 licensed venues and more than 550 retail liquor outlets across Australia employing over 15,000 people. These venues offer a diverse hospitality experience including electronic gaming, sports bars, bistros, restaurants, cafes, retail liquor, accommodation, nightclubs and wagering.
David Edwards professional background is in economics, infrastructure, project management and public policy. He has had a distinguished and successful career at senior levels of the State’s public and private sectors and is currently the Projects Chief Executive for the Queensland Department of State Development with responsibility for the delivery of Queen’s Wharf Brisbane, the largest private property development in the nation, and the other proposed major integrated resort development on the Gold Coast.
In addition to his role with the department, David is a member of the State Advisory Council for the Queensland Committee for Economic Development of Australia, the Chairman of Lifetec, a not for profit organisation supporting people with disabilities, and a member of the Board of the Wesley Mission Brisbane, a not for profit community service organisation who provide a range of services to support people in need.
David Ford has been Deputy Director-General, Department of Justice and Attorney-General since 2011, Commissioner for Fair Trading since 2009 and Commissioner for Liquor and Gaming since 2013. He has held a number of senior Queensland Government positions in a 38 year career including Deputy Director-General in Treasury and other regulatory departments since 2005 and has been involved in the regulation of gaming since 1993.
David is a graduate of the University of Queensland, an Associate Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management, and a member (and former chair) of the International Association of Gaming Regulators.
David Punter is a Senior Executive leader with over 20 years experience in the gaming technology industry. David has worked extensively in Sales and building long term Strategic Partnerships in Australia, working closely at all levels with operators to deliver products that drive their business requirements.
David has a proven ability to build and manage high performing teams and is passionate about exceeding customer expectations by delivering optimal customer satisfaction through people, products and partnerships.
In addition to this, David has experience in the APAC Market in Sales, General Management, Strategic Partnerships, Product Development, Marketing and Distributor Management.
Felicity Zadro a passionate and energetic communicator by nature, believes the key to business communications success is a strategic integrated approach, great culture and leadership. Felicity is inspired by supporting the growth and development of companies through excellent communications – the foundation of Zadro.
Backstory: Felicity originally studied journalism and social sciences and worked in research and community-based organisations. She then went on to obtain a Masters in Communications Management. Felicity saw a need to bring integrated marketing communications to businesses and founded Zadro in 2007.
What you didn’t know: Felicity completed a thesis on The Role of Metaphor in Managing Culture which resulted in winning the CARMA Asia Pacific Region Public Relations Award for Academic Excellence in 2005.
Geoff Wohlsen – Is a business advisor, consultant and facilitator specialising in hospitality and leisure. Geoff has been practising in the sector for 25 years, working with KPMG Consulting, then in his own business as a principal in DWS Hospitality Specialists. DWS grew to employ 55 consultants and trainers with advisors based in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Cairns and the Gold Coast. In October last year, Geoff transitioned into his own practice – Wohlsen Consulting.
Giselle has been interviewing people for over 25 years. During this time she has met and spoken to a vast range of people; from the everyday person on the street to senior politicians. The most fascinating part of her job is discovering the unique story that each person has who she speaks with.
Giselle enjoys best taking on the jobs she knows little about. Prior to working for the Gaming Technologies Association she didn’t even know that the Australasian Gaming Expo even existed. This is exactly the type of job she finds both a challenge and rewarding. Giselle prides herself on being able to capture key information that helps all interested parties benefit.
25 years is a long time to be talking to people. Does it ever get boring? Never. People for Giselle are endlessly fascinating.
Harry Ashton is Director of Government Relations at Aristocrat. He is responsible for leading the company’s engagement strategy with policy makers and stakeholders in Australia, Asia Pacific and in relation to digital platforms. He is also responsible for advising the business on a variety of regulatory, legal and compliance issues. He has an extensive background in global gaming law and regulatory issues having previously led the legal and research team at the UK based GamblingCompliance Ltd.
Prior to this, Grant was the Chief Financial Officer at the Norths Group which includes North Sydney Leagues Club at Cammeray, Seagulls Club at Tweed Heads and North Sydney Bowling Club.
He gained a Bachelor of Business from Southern Cross University in 1984
For the past twenty five years, Grant has worked in various hospitality sectors including several 5 star hotels and commercial catering companies as a Financial Controller. In 1998 Grant was awarded a Masters of Commerce from the University of New South Wales majoring in Management Accountancy.
Jamie Nettleton is recognized as one of Australia’s leading experts in relation to gambling law and regulation. Jamie is the President of the International Masters of Gaming Law and a Past Chair of the Sports and Gaming Law Committee of the International Bar Association.
Jamie’s clients in the gambling sector include government agencies, gaming machine manufacturers, wagering operators, casino operators and other gambling service providers, both online and land based, as well as gambling industry associations.
In his role as a gambling lawyer, he has advised many of the leading international gambling industry participants on the application of Australian law, including in connection with establishing a gambling law business in Australia and on probity regulations.
He has specific expertise in connection with the application of gambling law to new technologies, including in relation to e-sports and social gaming.
Karina Chong Is a Senior Associate in Addisons’ gambling law practice, Karina works closely with a number of stakeholders in the gambling sector, advising on regulatory, compliance, integrity and commercial matters. Karina advises a diverse client base, ranging from local start-up businesses to established Australian and international operators in the gambling industry, as well as government regulators and industry associations.
Karina also works closely with companies providing new and innovative services which extend beyond the gambling industry, including stakeholders in the esports, video gaming and social gaming space on a range of commercial and regulatory issues impacting all aspects of their businesses.
Karina’s experience lies in advising clients on licensing, compliance and integrity matters, regulatory and policy issues, consumer issues such as consumer law, advertising and privacy laws as well as commercial, contractual and corporate issues. With experience working in-house with one of Australia’s largest online corporate bookmakers and also with a national sports controlling body, Karina goal is to provide commercially practical advice to her clients.
Michael Sarquis was appointed Executive Director of the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR) as of 1 July 2008, having formerly held the position of Executive Director of the Queensland Office of Gaming Regulation (QOGR) from October 2006. His responsibilities include managing the gaming and liquor regulatory licensing and compliance regimes and implementing the responsible gambling strategy and harm minimisation programs. The position also has responsibility for the administration of the Gambling Community Benefit Fund.
Mike’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Business (Accountancy) from the then Queensland Institute of Technology and a Graduate Diploma of Business (Professional Accounting) from the Queensland University of Technology.
Mike is also a current member of the Gambling Community Benefit Fund Committee, the Responsible Gambling Advisory Committee and is a member and former vice president of the International Association of Gaming Regulators.
Since 2006 formerly as QOGR and now OLGR the office has overseen considerable change in gaming and liquor regulation including:
- The merger of the State’s liquor and gaming regulatory regimes
- Introduction of a range of red tape reduction initiatives in 2012 and following the commencement of the Liquor and Gaming (Red Tape Reduction) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2013
- The introduction of expedited online client services with continuing development
- Introduction of the Government’s Tackling Alcohol Fuelled Violence Strategy including ID scanning, reduced liquor trading periods but an extension of gaming hours
- The implementation of the reallocation scheme for gaming machines in the club industry
- Introduction of a new liquor licensing regime and fee structure
- Partnering with other State Government agencies to procure the development of the $3B plus Queens Wharf Brisbane integrated resort including the issue of a casino licence
Justin has over fifteen years of management and high tech experience in areas ranging from research and development engineering, analog and digital signal processing, embedded systems development, product management, high speed digital networks, large scale entertainment systems, mobile and web application deployment, and interactive multimedia installation technologies. He holds two U.S. Patents and has written a number of technical papers within these areas of research.
Melanie Morson is the Group Corporate Communications & Community Relations Manager of Castle Hill RSL Group with over 18 years marketing & community engagement leadership experience in the Hospitality, Government, Sporting & Leisure industries. Melanie has a Masters of Management in Management & B.A Arts University of Technology Sydney and is an experienced lecturer at the University of Technology Sydney & TAFE NSW.
Melanie is Chair of the Mark Tonga Charitable Relief Trust, a Director for Western Sydney Academy of Sport, Program Manager for the Max Potential Youth Leadership Program & an ambassador for Help2Help, White Ribbon Australia & Hearts in Union.
Morgan Stewart is an outcome focused and influencing C-Suite leader. Morgan is the CEO of Club Taree, an amalgamated RSL and Golf club, which has grown into the destination of choice in the Manning Valley for experience, service and quality.
Morgan has over 25 years of experience in Hospitality, Registered Clubs and Casinos across a wide range of foci including F&B, Gaming, BI, People Management, Sport and Community
Nadine Grinblat graduated from the University of Melbourne with degrees in both Arts and Law in 1998. She completed her Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice in 2008 at Leo Cussen Centre for Law (Melbourne) and was admitted as an Australian Legal Practitioner in 2009.
Nadine was appointed as the AGC’s Chief Executive in January 2016. Previously she held the role of AGC General Manager after joining the organisation in 2008.
Her prior roles in the gaming industry include operational and management positions at Crown Melbourne including as Manager of Crown Melbourne’s Responsible Gaming Support Centre (2005-08).
Nadine contributes as a member of Victorian Responsible Gambling Ministerial Advisory Council, as a member of Victoria’s Responsible Gambling Awareness Week Steering Committee, and was a member of the Expert Advisory Panel for the Problem Gambling Research and Treatment Centre’s ‘Guideline for Screening, Assessment and Treatment in Problem Gambling’.
As an experienced public speaker, workshop facilitator and qualified trainer Nadine has participated in a number of policy and research forums as well as at national and international conferences on the subject of responsible gambling, industry activity in responsible gambling and gambling research.
Natasha Mann is the Executive Director at Liquor & Gaming NSW. She leads the Regulatory Policy and Strategy Branch – providing policy advice to Government, driving strategic initiatives and planning, and responsible for program implementation, monitoring, evaluation and organisational governance for the NSW Regulator.
With a legal background, Natasha has over 15 years’ experience in driving the development and implementation of strategic policy frameworks and legislative reform, in complex and sensitive regulatory and policy settings. This has included at the NSW Department of Premier & Cabinet, Department of Justice, and Ministry of Health. Natasha was also previously the head of NSW Community Justice Centres.
Neil Spencer with 30 years of industry experience, Neil is recognized as an expert in gaming machine and gaming systems operations, technical and regulatory requirements, testing procedures, operational analysis, business improvement and VIP customer relations. He is widely known to gaming operators, suppliers, regulators and testing organisations in Australia, New Zealand, USA, Macau and the UK, and is often called upon for advice on procedures, operations and technical implementation issues.
Nick Vanzetti is the Managing Director of ESL Australia. A passionate advocate of the eSports community, he has helped shape some of the region’s largest events & leagues. Nick has spent 15 years in the games industry, combined with careers in event project management, film & television and games retail management prior to the commencement of his own company, VIM. Having grown the esports & gaming services business over the last 5 years to manage 20 permanent staff, Nick helped steer VIM to become part of the world’s largest esports company in ESL.
Paula Martin is the Group General Counsel and Company Secretary for The Star Entertainment Group. The Star Entertainment Group is an ASX100 company, with hotel, casino and entertainment complexes in Sydney, Brisbane and Gold Coast. Together with its joint venture partners, The Star is also delivering the Queen’s Wharf Brisbane Precinct and a masterplan for The Star Gold Coast with the construction for the first new tower now underway. The joint Venture also recently acquired the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort on the Gold Coast.
Paula has extensive experience in the gaming and hospitality industry, commencing 13 years ago with the Casinos Division of Tabcorp and continuing with The Star Entertainment Group. Paula leads the Group’s Legal, Regulatory Affairs and Corporate Investigations teams as well as Company Secretariat functions across the Group. Paula was a member of the Queen’s Wharf bid team and has ongoing involvement with the project.
Paula has a broad commercial law and regulatory background, having practised with King & Wood Mallesons in the corporate, telecommunications regulation, information technology and competition law areas.
Paul Newson commenced in the Deputy Secretary, Liquor, Gaming & Emergency Management role in October 2016 and brings an extensive range and depth of regulatory knowledge and experience from leadership roles across a number of State and Federal organisations.
Paul’s experience in law enforcement, defence and regulatory practice includes commercial assurance activity in the import/export environment, interdiction of criminality in the border environment, educating and strengthening business resilience in response to anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing risks, consumer protection and energy market compliance. Prior to his secondment as Chief Executive of Greyhound Racing NSW in February 2015, Paul was the Executive Director of the NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing.
Paul has completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), Company Directors Course and holds a Bachelor of Arts (Politics), a Bachelor of Laws, a Master of Legal Studies, and a Master of Law & Management.
Rob Gleeson is actively involved in commercial and corporate finance for over 17 years, over 14 years involved with providing financial services and advice to the hotel and leisure industry as a specialised senior manager in hospitality banking team of St George Bank, developing a deep understanding of the unique challenges faced by hoteliers, from single pub owner-operators through to corporate groups.
He is now a principal at Mortgages & Co, independent specialist financial advisory.
Ross Ferrar has worked in the Gaming Industry since 1979, in several jurisdictions in Australia and Europe. He has held senior management positions in casino table gaming, networked keno gaming and machine monitoring and networked jackpot operations; along with a number of industry representative roles.
Ross is the CEO of the Gaming Technologies Association, whose members provide gaming products and services around the world.
Sonja Bauer with over 25 years’ experience in the tourism and entertainment industry, Sonja has spent much of her career at Crown Melbourne, one of Australia’s leading luxury resorts, where she has held a number of senior management appointments. As part of the Crown Resorts Business Operations Team, Sonja works across both Australian Resorts covering Crown Melbourne and Crown Perth. Sonja is a member of the National Association for Gambling Studies (Australia), the International Think Tank on Gambling Research, Policy, and Practice, and the Responsible Gambling Ministerial Advisory Council (Vic), as well as several social responsibility and external stakeholder steering committees and working groups.
Till June 2015, Dr. Kalé was a full-time advisor to Sands China Limited, the largest gaming company in the world. At Sands China, he was in-charge of creating an optimal customer experience for guests across six hotels, five casinos, and billions in retail sales.
Professor Kalé is widely regarded as an expert in various aspects of gaming management such as customer relationship management (CRM), customer loyalty, customer experience, market segmentation and positioning, and customer lifetime value (LTV). A frequent contributor to leading gaming publications, he has worked tirelessly to further the continuing education of gaming executives.
Professor Kalé has conducted over two hundred executive development seminars on a range of topics such as customer experience management, smart selling, applications of the MBTI in management, applying the Enneagram in organizations, and providing exemplary customer service. He also trains and consults for different industries on various aspects of organizational diagnosis and development, communication and leadership, corporate culture and culture change, relationship marketing and customer service.
Terry O’Halloran is a 20 year plus veteran of the Australian and International Gaming markets, specialising in player analysis and Insights. As the inventor of Vegas Star while at Stargames, Terry was at the forefront of the global movement to multi terminal gaming. His analytical skill set is supported by an MBA and Economic degrees, but his real passion is Player behaviour and understanding what impacts performance.
In recent years, Terry has been the leading voice in RTP and Loyalty rationalisation, looking at how these growing costs are going to have longer term implications. As a frequent keynote speaker, Terry likes to identify key trends and Benchmarks in the market and challenge Clubs how they can improve without sacrificing the total offering.
Tim’s role involves overseeing and managing the groups 862 gaming machine installations across three sites. Areas of reporting include all gaming and wagering operations, compliance, promotion, and eSports. He holds a Business degree from Southern Cross University, as well as studying at UNLV.
Tim has been running a weekly CS:GO event at Twin Towns for 12 months, building and responding to a new generation club user.
Described as an inspirational and supportive leader with a passion for the Club industry, Tracey Lentell is the Chief Executive Officer of the Moorebank Sports Club Group a role she has held for the past 10 years.
Displaying vision, drive and tenacity for success and achievement, Tracey has turned adversity into commercial success in each organisation she has led through her belief in customer service, employee satisfaction and making a difference to people’s lives through Corporate Social Responsibility.
Vic Gallo joined PlayAGS, Inc. (NYSE: AGS) in February 2010 as Vice President, Licensing and Compliance and Compliance Officer and currently serves as the Company’s General Counsel, Secretary, and Compliance Officer. AGS is a U.S. headquartered gaming equipment supplier holding over 260 gaming licenses. Previously, Mr. Gallo was General Counsel and Vice President of Business Development for Youbet.com (NASDAQ: UBET), an online advance deposit horse racing pari-mutuel wagering company and Vice President of Legal and Compliance and Corporate Counsel for Konami Gaming, Inc. Mr. Gallo has also worked as a patent attorney in private practice, and was an active duty Captain in the U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General Corps. Mr. Gallo received his Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Southern California and a Juris Doctor from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. Mr. Gallo is a member of the bar of the State of California, is registered in-house counsel in the State of Nevada, and is registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Yianni Barthelmess is the Food & Beverage Group Executive at the Aster Group (Wests Illawarra and Port Kembla Golf Club). He has over 20 years of leadership experience in the Hospitality industry including stints at: The Star, Ayres Rock, Orpheus Island and most recently at the Shellharbour Club, prior to joining the Aster Group.
With a strong passion for keeping up with trends, knowing his market, strategic planning and developing multi-outlet venue plans, Yianni see his future in food in developing the links between primary production, manufacturing and service delivery.
Outside of work Yianni is a keen hunter and fisherman which he enjoys experimenting with this produce for new ideas for implementation.
Joining Stargames (SG Gaming ANZ) in 2006 as Development Director for the Electronic Table Division, he progressed through various roles within the company to become Vice President of Research & Development for SG Gaming in 2011.
Prior to joining SG Gaming Arthur held senior positions at both IGT Australia and Ainsworth Game Technology applying his knowledge to the successful commercialisation of technology that facilitates gaming operations and the development of technical standards for regulatory purposes.
Arthur has been the Chair of the Technical Committee for the Gaming Technologies Association since 2006. The GTA’s members provide technology and equipment to hospitality venues in over 300 jurisdictions around the world.
Arthur resides in Sydney, Australia with his wife and twin boys.
David Green prior to founding Newpage, was a partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers in Macau, and later Director of the firm’s gaming practice. He has advised on casino regulation in a number of geographies, including New Zealand, Singapore, Macau and Taiwan.
He has also advised on regulation of internet gaming, sports wagering and lotteries. David served as Presiding Member of the Independent Gambling Authority in South Australia prior to relocating to Macau in 2001.
David has lectured in, and practised revenue and commercial law. He spent almost 7 years as a tax manager and partner with Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu in Australia, working predominantly with large corporate taxpayers in industries as diverse as mining, vehicle manufacturing, retailing and education. He coauthored an edition of Deloitte’s client guide to doing business in Australia.
David has postgraduate qualifications in Law (LL.M, University of Melbourne, Australia) and Business Administration (MBA avec mention, IMD, Lausanne, Switzerland).
He has been admitted to the Bar in Australia since 1977. He is also a qualified accountant, and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He has worked in the public sector, having served as Commissioner for Consumer and Corporate Affairs in Adelaide, South Australia.
Peter Cohen is Director Regulatory Affairs for The Agenda Group having previously been the Executive Commissioner and CEO of the Victorian Commission for Gambling Regulation. As the VCGR’s inaugural Executive Commissioner, Peter was responsible for all aspects of gambling regulation in Victoria including regulatory oversight of a casino, slot machines, lotteries, parimutuel and fixed odds betting (including sports betting), keno and charitable gaming. Peter’s main areas of expertise are providing gambling policy advice to governments and regulators, developing compliance regimes, recommending improvements in regulatory processes and assisting industry to achieve improved regulatory compliance. Peter was a Board Member of the International Association of Gaming Regulators from 2005-10 and Chairman of that group in 2009-10 and is now a Trustee of the International Association of Gaming Advisors and a member of the Advisory Board of the UNLV International Center for Gaming Regulation.