Harry Lan: Best bet – IAG
Harry Lan provides insight into his career as Betting Manager 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 resident?
Harry Lan: Thank you for! I was born in mainland China and moved to Macau when I was 10 years old. I did my high school education here and got my masters in computer science in USA. I have lived and worked in Macau for almost 30 years so I would say I am a Macau local.
IAG: How did you get involved in the video game industry?
HL: I returned to Macau in 2004, believing there would be more job opportunities than in the United States at the time. I wasn’t really looking to work in the gaming industry, but I was looking for a job related to IT and the internet.
IAG: Did this lead you to work with Macau Slot?
HL: Yes, it turns out that Macau Slot was hiring an IT auditor and the job description matched my experience, so I joined. I haven’t worked for any company other than Macau Slot since.
IAG: You are the betting manager. What is an average day for you?
HL: My main mission is to make sure that our business operates within the defined rules. This means that it must first and foremost meet all regulatory requirements set by the DICJ (Macau’s gaming regulator). Next is business performance – making sure things like sales and profits are at our expected level. And finally, to ensure that our products and services constantly maintain their competitiveness in the market and operate in the most cost effective manner.
IAG: What do you like 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 get to see the latest gaming products and business tools in our industry and meet with regulators from other jurisdictions. I love learning about new technologies and meeting some of the brightest minds in our business.
IAG: What are the biggest challenges?
HL: Adapt our products and services to new regulatory requirements, as Macau is heavily influenced by the policies of mainland China. And because China itself is in a phase of transition, its policies are adapting to its new needs and Macao is greatly affected. Making sure our operations don’t break the new rules and maintaining our business performance is the biggest challenge right now.
IAG: I guess you are a sports fan. What are your favorite sports and which teams do you follow?
HL: I am a huge NBA fan. In fact, I myself am a well-known collectible card collector. So my job gives me a little edge in choosing which 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 the time with my family, so playgrounds and kid-friendly restaurants are my favorites.
IAG: When Macau’s borders open again to the world, what’s the first place you would want to visit and why?
HL: Japan. I love this country so much and we used to go there two or three times a year before COVID. The food, the shopping, the theme parks and everything is very nice.
IAG: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
HL: I will live and work in Macau because I still think Macau is one of the best places in the world. But I’m not sure if I’ll still be in the gaming industry 10 years from now because China is transforming and Macau is transforming, so the next big growth could very well be in another industry.