Board of Directors

Nigel Blythe-Tinker – Executive Chairman

Nigel Blythe-Tinker has extensive United Kingdom and international corporate experience spanning over thirty years and covering all forms of mergers and acquisitions, divestments, corporate finance, restructuring, AIM and FTSE 100 flotations, corporate governance and incentive schemes. He has 17 years’ experience within the international gaming sector.

He has considerable UK listed company experience and was a key member of the executive team in the successful London Stock Exchange listing of a number of companies in his career including:

  • William Hill plc, which was listed in 2002 on the London Stock Exchange. He was a member of the Executive Management Committee as well as Group Company Secretary and Head of Legal for a period of 6 years. During this 6 year period the Company’s enterprise value increased from £825m (1996) to £1.4 billion on flotation in 2002.
  • Gaming VC SA, which was listed on AIM in 2004. Nigel was the Non-Executive Chairman from 2004 – 2006 and Chairman of the Remuneration Committee from 2004 – 2014.

Between 2008 and 2015, Nigel was the Non-Executive Chairman of Pentasia Limited, which is the leading iGaming recruitment company operating in the USA, UK, Malta, Italy, Spain and South America.

He holds a Bachelor of Laws degree (LLB), various business qualifications and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (FCIS) in the United Kingdom.

Laurence Escalante – Founder & CEO

Laurence Escalante is a gaming and technology entrepreneur with a background in the financial services sector.

He has been an angel investor, founder and entrepreneur in the games industry for 12 years, founding White Knight Games in 2004, and was a founder and angel investor in Anino Mobile, one of the Philippines’ premier game development studios (which was acquired by Playlab in 2014).

Since founding VGW in 2010, he has led the raising of approximately $16 million in early-stage funding, the invention of multiple innovations in real-money and virtual-currency gaming (including VGW’s Social Casino sweepstakes gaming products) and the development of VGW’s global and highly specialised development and operations teams.

Laurence has previous experience as a technical specialist in investment advisory, superannuation, taxation and financial planning gained over a period of 10 years. He studied Economics and Actuarial Studies at Macquarie University

Mats Johnson – Executive Director & Chief Marketing Officer

Mats Johnson is an accomplished technology and online gaming leader with significant experience in establishing and growing online businesses globally.

Over the last 15 years, he has lead the growth of several well-known online gaming companies including as General Manager at Centrebet, Director at Coral Eurobet, Chief Executive Officer at Playsafe and Chief Marketing Officer at Expekt.

He has led large and often geographically dispersed teams and formulated and executed global expansion strategies and operational plans delivering significant and profitable growth in both new and established markets.

He has expertise in digital marketing, both acquisition and retention, and in-depth experience in successfully building and managing online brands globally.

He also has extensive mergers and acquisitions experience having been actively involved in six successful exits of online gaming companies, including the £2.18 billion sale of Coral Eurobet to Gala Group.

Lorenzo Escalante – Non-Executive Director

Lorenzo Escalante is a highly-experienced business intelligence specialist and IT professional with a focus spanning almost 20 years in big data analytics for major Australian corporations.

He has provided specialist business intelligence services to Woodside, BHP Billiton and Commonwealth Bank of Australia and has been employed by OnePath (ANZ), AAPT and Landcorp.  

He has extensive experience across multiple business intelligence platforms, in particular SAP BusinessObjects.

He is the founder of Lance East Corporation, the founding shareholder of VGW, and has guided Laurence Escalante’s knowledge of big data analytics as it applies to VGW’s gaming business.