Virtual Live Racing (VLR) has added online wagering and racing industry executive Joey D Michaels to its senior management team in a bid to build on its US presence. The firm claimed an industry first recently by launching a brand new concept in live virtual racing pari-mutuel betting products stateside and internationally for regulated operators. 

Michaels, who takes on the role of VP of Business Development of VLR, has 35 years’ experience in senior management roles within the horse racing industry, including positions as director, vice-president, president, CEO, and business owner/operator.

His main responsibilities will be to build relationships with track owners and online Account Deposit Wagering (ADW) betting operators to drive expansion into tracks, casinos, and off-track betting outlets.

For the past 20 years he has focused on the online account wagering arena where he was involved in the development, launch, and operation of over 30 gambling sites. In addition to having been an executive within the racing and online gambling industry, he has launched several non-racing related businesses. 

Commenting on his new role, he said: “I’m delighted to join the management team and drive our distribution and growth plans throughout the US. We already have a number of track partners that are live including Derby Lane and Tampa Bay Downs in Florida.” 

He continued: “Five other tracks are signed and are soon to be launched, including Hawthorne in Chicago, and Parx in Philadelphia – but I will be looking to secure more partnerships before the end of the year. We are offering racetracks the opportunity to extend their brand beyond the real-world racing calendar, reach millions of new players, and create new revenue lines and sponsorship opportunities via digital branding in virtual races.”

VLR Chairman Vincent Caldwell said: “We are delighted to have recruited Joey whose knowledge, experience, and reputation in the industry will play a major role in driving the business forward in the US.”