SBC News caught up with Golden Race CEO Martin Wachter to reflect on an eventful 2016 in the sports betting industry, and an award-winning year for the virtual sports supplier.
Favourite Memory of 2016
This 10th anniversary year saw so many successes for us and our partners, but to pick one – I’d say our recent opening party for our new building. I do not get to connect face to face with many team members as much as I would like because of traveling.
Seeing all the faces of the Golden Race family, old and new, and our wonderful new premises – it’s great to be able to celebrate with the people who collaborate with myself and dear friend and business partner, Thomas De-Bruyné, to live the dream which started over 10 years ago!
There were hours and hours on airplanes – I took more than 100 flights this year alone – but this is nothing really. My worst memories of this year are the terrible acts of violence committed against innocent people around the world. France, Germany, Turkey, all over the Middle East. It is a terribly sad fact that this year saw a huge number of these horrific events. For the business side, I have no bad memories whatsoever – really we had a great year all around.
Favourite Sporting Event
I wish I could tell you ‘Austria winning EURO 2016’, but we won’t talk about that! Our sponsored motorbike-racer Alejandro Medina had a fantastic race and took the gold at the Spanish Speed Championship in the Stock 1000 category in September – a great success for him at 19 years old.
We also have our dear friends and sponsored snowboarders Alessandro and Luca Hämmerle in the 2016 SBX World Cup at Montafon – that is a must-attend event for me. We are very proud to support these young, talented athletes, and look forward to their continued successes!
Most Important Industry Development
Absolutely, without a doubt, that would be Real Fighting! If you know the industry, you know that 3D digital games are everywhere, trying to be as realistic as possible. Before Real Fighting, no-one has put together real video and digital 3D environments, but already competitors are trying to reproduce that concept.
We were also the first to bring live-rendering of 3D virtual football to an Android device this year, at an incredibly low cost, allowing the small guys and emerging markets to get in on the action – we are proud to be pushing the industry forward in these ways.
Favourite Industry Event
Well, the SBC Awards night was a great party, and really, we were very pleased to receive the award for Real Fighting. The launch of that game at ICE was also quite special – ICE is of course the big event, and the reception for the game was fantastic – operators were all over it, and I think everyone really enjoyed the live fighting display in our MMA cage.
One to watch for 2017?
It will be almost impossible not to watch us in 2017. While there are many companies doing interesting things, including many of our large and small partners, I do not think it is appropriate to name only one!
My focus, what I’ll be watching, honestly, is always the same: Golden Race, continuing to improve and meeting the demands of our growing customer base around the world. We will be the company which has to be on the watch list of any serious operator.