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About Us – provides reliable, trustworthy content and resources regarding the legal gambling industry, with a focus on the United States. You can read about our editorial guidelines here.

PlayUSA is one of the Play-branded sites in the Catena Media network. PlayUSA is an independently owned and operated commercial organization and not directly affiliated with any one casino or gaming website. You can read about our review process here.

Our mission:  To provide news and information regarding legal and regulated online gambling in the United States.


Contact us

Catena Media US, Inc.
8565 S. Eastern Avenue, Suite 150
Las Vegas, NV  89123


Email Catena Media

Meet the PlayUSA news team

Ron Fritz Managing Editor PlayUSA

Ron Fritz, managing editor

Ron Fritz is managing editor for PlayUSA. He has written and edited casino and sports betting content for gambling websites after a long career in newspapers. Fritz began working with Catena Media in Fall 2022 as a freelance writer.

In 2019, he joined Group, helping to oversee news coverage on its top websites before moving to the states team and assisting in the launch of websites covering legal and regulated gambling in those states.

An Ohio native, Fritz has been an editor at the York (Pa.) Daily Record, Wilmington (Del.) Journal and Baltimore Sun, overseeing award-winning news and sports sections. Fritz graduated from Bowling Green State University with a journalism degree. He lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with his wife. Sadly, he remains a diehard fan of the Cleveland  professional sports teams.

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Derek Helling, assistant managing editor

Derek Helling is the assistant managing editor for PlayUSA. He broke into covering the legal gambling industry in North America in 2018 while PASPA still existed and the only reason anyone knew anything about the Federal Wire Act of 1961 was that Robert F. Kennedy made a big deal of it when he was JFK’s attorney general.

Within a broader scope of gaming, Helling focuses on reporting on breaking news plus legislation and litigation happening in the industry. He loves to read hundreds of pages of a gambling bill or lawsuit so his audience doesn’t have to.

Prior to moving into covering gambling, Helling covered the business and legal aspects of sports for publications like FanSided’s flagship site, Ozy, and other Catena Media sites. Helling completed his journalism degree at the University of Iowa.

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Matthew Kredell, senior lead writer, legislative affairs

Matthew Kredell has written about the legalization and regulation of online gambling since 2007 and sports betting since 2010. He has interviewed more than 250 state lawmakers and four US Congressmen to produce original content on gambling legislation.

A USC journalism graduate, Kredell began his career as a sportswriter at the Los Angeles Daily News. His writing on a variety of topics has been featured in Playboy MagazineMen’s JournalLos Angeles magazine, LA Weekly and ESPN.

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Katarina Vojvodic, lead writer

Katarina Vojvodic is a Toronto-based online gambling writer. In her role as a lead writer for PlayUSA, she provides coverage of the US gambling industry with a focus on US online casinos. Before joining the PlayUSA team, Vojvodic worked for PlayCanada, covering Ontario’s online gambling regulation and legislation.

While living in Europe, Vojvodic spent four years reporting about the world of online casinos and interviewing numerous iGaming experts. 

Vojvodic holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Belgrade. Outside working hours, she can be found near the water with her husband and their two kids. She’s all about healthy, active living and is a fan of Manchester United and FC Barcelona (and the Toronto Raptors).

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J.R. Duren, writer

J.R. Duren has covered the gambling beats for more than a dozen states for Catena Media since 2015. His past reporting experience includes two years at the Villages Daily Sun, and he is a first-place winner at the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Contest.

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Marc Meltzer author pic

Marc Meltzer, writer

Marc grew up on the mean streets of the South Bronx. He’s the rare combination of Yankees and Jets fan which explains his often contrarian point of view. Marc is a freelance writer and social media consultant. Writing about steak, booze, gambling and Las Vegas is a tough job but somebody has to do it.

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Meet the PlayUSA content team

Bart Shirley

Bart Shirley, evergreen managing editor

Bart Shirley is a managing editor for PlayUSA. He has been writing about the gambling industry since 2013 and has been participating in the gambling industry for his entire life as an adult.

Shirley joined Catena Media in June 2018 as a full-time writer. He has a degree in English from Texas A&M University and an MBA from Texas Christian University. He lives in the Houston, Texas area with his wife, his daughter, and a houseful of certifiably insane pets.

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joe boozell

Joe Boozell, evergreen managing editor

Joe Boozell is an Evergreen Managing Editor at PlayUSA. He started covering the US online gambling industry in 2020, serving as the Lead Writer for PlayIllinois. Before that, he spent five years at Turner Sports as a writer and editor for, and Joe has lived in Chicago for the last seven years.

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Chance Solem-Pfeifer

Chance Solem-Pfeifer, copy editor

Chance Solem-Pfeifer is an editor, arts journalist, broadcaster and educator based on the Oregon Coast. He is a member of the Portland Critics Association and contributes journalism and criticism to Willamette Week and The Playlist, while helping young writers hone their skills in grammar and rhetoric with Writing Coaches of America.

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Picture of Martin Green, casino writer for

Martin Green, writer

Martin Green has been writing about casino and poker industry since 2014. He has written for variety of publications such as USA Today, the Miami Herald, Detroit Free Press, Kansas City Star,,, RealGM, Sportsbook Review, The Independent and more.

Green holds an English bachelors degree, a masters in creative writing, and a postgraduate in journalism.

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Photo of writer Cole Rush

Cole Rush, writer

Cole Rush spent six years with Scientific Games (formerly WMS Gaming) before venturing out on his own and becoming a full-time writer in the gambling space.

A Chicago native, he enjoys writing about the intricacies of online casinos, underappreciated casino games, and gambling’s relationship with pop culture.

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Martin Derbyshire

Martin Derbyshire, writer

Martin Derbyshire has more than 10 years of experience reporting on the poker, online gambling, and land-based casino industries for a variety of publications including Bluff Magazine, PokerNews and PokerListings. He has traveled extensively, attending tournaments and interviewing major players in the gambling world.

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Contributors on the PlayUSA team

Dustin Gouker bio photo

Dustin Gouker

Dustin Gouker has reported on and analyzed online sports betting, online casino, online poker and daily fantasy sports industries since 2015, and is considered one of the leading US analysts and resources on these burgeoning industries.

Gouker was on hand for oral arguments before the US Supreme Court struck down the federal ban on sports betting. He was a sports journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and designer, including stops at The Washington Post and the Washington Examiner.

He’s based in Oregon, is married and has a daughter.

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Brant James

Brant James

Brant James has been soaked with champagne in the winning locker room after a World Series and a Stanley Cup final, walked – carefully – from the barn to the paddock with Kentucky Derby colts on the first Saturday in May and ridden in a rally car with Travis Pastrana up Mt. Washington. The tail-hook landing on an aircraft carrier might have topped them all. Including stops at ESPN, and USA Today, he’s covered everything from hockey to motorsports, and now, sports betting.

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Alex Weldon

Alex Weldon

Alex Weldon is the Casino News Managing Editor for and an occasional contributor to PlayUSA and other Catena Media sites. He’s a former semiprofessional poker player and has been writing about online gambling professionally since 2014. Prior to his current position, he was Managing Editor at Online Poker Report and, before that, the GameIntel Poker Update, a subscription newsletter for industry executives. Alex provides news and analysis on the regulated online casino and poker industries in the US, with an emphasis on legislation, regulation, responsible gambling and business strategy.

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Martin Harris, writer

Martin Harris is a writer and teacher living in North Carolina who has reported on poker and gambling extensively for many outlets since the mid-2000s. He has a Ph.D. in English from Indiana University and has taught at colleges and universities for over 20 years, currently doing so part-time at UNC Charlotte. He is the author of multiple books including Poker & Pop Culture (2019), a history of poker in the US.

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Nicholaus Garcia

Nick Garcia was a lead writer for PlayUSA. Garcia provides analysis and in-depth coverage of the gambling industry with a key focus on online casinos, sports betting and financial markets. Garcia has been covering the US gambling market since 2017. He began his career by reporting first-hand from inside the US Supreme Court following the repeal of PASPA. 

In 2018, Garcia transitioned to covering the expansion of gambling for Catena Media by writing for several of the company’s marquee brands, including Legal Sports Report, Online Poker Report and PlayUSA.

Garcia attended Texas Tech University as an undergrad and received a Master of Arts in Journalism from Columbia College Chicago.

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If you are a member of the media, welcome! Thank you for visiting PlayUSA as a potential resource. Visit our media inquires page to assist you in your research and address any inquiries. We have a team of experts at the national and regional levels to assist.

If you want to learn more about how we can help you, please contact [email protected].

Our Play network

PlayUSA is one of many sites under the Play brand. If you’re looking for information on a specific state, you are sure to find it on one of the individual state sites below. Each team is an expert in their state, providing monthly revenue reports, industry news and covering the latest developments. Logo



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PlayUSA is growing! It seems like every month plays host to another gambling expansion in one of the 50 states. Since we are first and foremost a news organization, we always have something to write.

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