Scottsdale Casino Game Designer Gets UK License to Expand Online Business

A Scottsdale-based casino game designer has big expansion plans in the United Kingdom after receiving an online, real-money gambling license.

Design Works Studio LLC, which does business as Design Works Gaming, is the only Arizona development company to obtain the Great Britain Gambling Commission license from the UK Gambling Commission, according to Troy Zurawski, the company’s president, CEO and co-founder.

“It takes about 18 months and a lot of patience” to get the license, Zurawski told the Business Journal. “You have to have the software, personnel, business plan and ability to remotely serve gambling products over the internet via the cloud. This needs to be tested and vetted before a license can be granted.”

The company has to have a minimum of three employees that can maintain the regulatory compliance to hold the license and undergo background checks before the commission gives its ruling, he said.

Design Works Gaming met the criteria to become a licensed remote operating casino provider and was granted the license Nov. 1. The company is in negotiations with about a half dozen commercial agreements and could be live as early as the end of December, Zurawski said.

The gaming company expects to see a 25% increase in its revenue during the next year with the new business, which could yield in excess of 100 new contracts.

During the past three years, Design Works Gaming has increased its income 370% to an eight-figure annual revenue, though Zurawski declined to disclose exact financials for the privately held company.

While the UK is Europe’s largest gaming market, this license will open the door for other international business, including in Malta, Denmark, Italy, Spain, Sweden and others, Zurawski said.

“This will continue to scale as we enter new markets,” he said. “This will be an effort that will span many years before we
reach the point of critical mass.”

Ultimately, the online gambling portion of the business could increase the company’s revenue by 50%, he predicted.

The 50-employee company expects to add more employees to accommodate growth, with at least 20 positions expected to be filled in the next year. Open positions will be in human resources, quality assurance testers and software engineering.

Design Works Gaming has doubled its headcount during the past three years, with the majority working out of the Scottsdale office and five employees working at a London-area office that opened in June. The company currently offers 300 casino games, has 4 million active online players and its in-person casino games are played in more than 100 countries.

Traditional casino gaming had been its core business since 2005. This global market was valued at more than $448 billion in 2018, according to the company.

The gaming company moved into free social online gaming in 2016, and then expanded into real-money online gambling in 2018, Zurawski said. The global online gaming market is expected to grow to $196 billion by 2022, according to the company.

Design Works Gaming is one of only two U.S. companies able to operate in all three verticals, Zurawski said.

The company recently doubled its available online social casino brands after introducing Jade Diamond Casino and Ocean Riches Casino. Social gaming is available on Facebook and by downloading apps.

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