I was a pioneer in the online sports betting industry after starting out in the business back in 1994. My company was widely responsible for many of the different innovations in the betting industry and continues to be a pioneer to this day (even though I’m retired).
One of the best things about being in the business was the location. I was based out of Costa Rica, which might be the best place on Earth. We were very vocal about the country putting in licensing agreements back in the early 2000s. It validated the business model, legitimized our company, and helped support the country that was hosting us.
We used to work crazy hours back in the day. 14 hour days, 7 days a week during the football season. As people kept pouring into the site we had to stay on top of every little thing. However, whenever we did have a chance for a little getaway there wasn’t a better place to do it.
The summers never end. There are a ton of beaches, the nightlight if top notch, and the bars and restaurants are incredible. The resorts are world class. You can head to the beach, but there is also white water rafting, jungle tours, and all kinds of other outdoor activites.
With the long hours though it wasn’t all about partying. It seemed that a big misconception about bookmakers was they partied all the time, drank too much, and did a lot of drugs. I guess I can’t speak for everyone, but our company was not like that.
You can’t run a world class organization if you aren’t working hard. You have to study the numbers each and every day. You have to prepare a plan for how you are going to beat your competitors tomorrow, this month, this year, and in the future.
We did love a good cigar and quality food, and there is no shortage of either one of those here. The service is outstanding. They make everyone feel like a king.
The sports betting industry really expanded and the locals now are extremely knowledge about what’s going on in the world of sports. Of course they prefer soccer, but football, basketball, baseball, and even hockey are becoming known.
Of course when you are running an international book there is a lot of travel involved. We used to head up to Canada every month to see our programming team. We also thought networking was a big opportunity for us to grow. That’s why no one in the industry traveled as much as we did.
What is so much fun about today’s day and age is that you can plug in your laptop and work from anywhere. That’s what we did. We travelled to conferences, went to see affiliates, and were constantly working out deals while on the road.
Recently we started expanding into Asia, so I was traveling a lot there as well. That’s finally the straw that broke the camel’s back. I realized I had taken the company as far as I could. I sold a big portion, cashed in my chips so to say, and entered semi-retirement. Now I plan on writing this blog and consulting whenever I have the chance.
If you need anything from me, please don’t hesitate to ask!