Dustin Gouker, vice president of Catena North America
Dustin Gouker is the vice president of Catena North America and head of content for PlayUSA and regional Play-branded sites, including PlayNY, PlayMichigan, PlayNJ and PlayPennsylvania. He 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.
Read more from Dustin Gouker here.
Kim Yuhl, head of production of Play sites
Kim Yuhl is the content lead for Play-branded sites, including PlayUSA.com. She has experience writing and reporting on poker culture and the legalization and launch of sports betting in the US. Yuhl was a business story strategist for small businesses. She has a bachelor’s degree in communications.
Jenn Montgomery, regional content manager
Jenn Montgomery is a regional content manager for PlayUSA. Previous to Catena Media, she spent 20 years as a copy editor, content manager and graphic designer at multiple newspapers in the Midwest and Central Oregon. Montgomery has received numerous awards for her design work from the Iowa Newspaper Association and the Society of Professional Journalists.
She resides in Central Oregon’s High Desert where she achieves the nearly impossible task of growing sweet corn.
Derek Helling, lead writer
Derek Helling is a lead writer 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. You can also find him writing about food and restaurants for Mashed. Helling completed his journalism degree at the University of Iowa.
Read more from Derek Helling here.
Nicholaus Garcia, senior reporter
Nick Garcia is a senior reporter 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.
Read more from Nick Garcia here.
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 a fan of Manchester United and FC Barcelona (and the Toronto Raptors).
Read more from Katarina Vojvodic here.
Bart Shirley, senior evergreen content writer
Bart Shirley is a senior evergreen content writer for PlayUSA. He’s been writing and reporting on the gambling industry since 2013.
Prior to working for PlayUSA, Shirley was a feature writer for QuadJacks, a site covering issues in poker. He also writes for BonusCodePoker, a poker satire site that lampoons the lighter side of card games. Shirley is a graduate of the MBA program at Texas Christian University’s Neeley School of Business and has a degree in English from Texas A&M University. He grew up in Houston, TX, and lives in Katy, just west of Houston.
Shirley is also a former high school teacher. He is married, has one daughter, and practices Brazilian jiu-jitsu in his spare time.
Read more from Bart Shirley here.
Contributors on the PlayUSA team
Darren Cooper is a sports columnist and writer living in Northern New Jersey. It’s a long way from where he grew up next to Lake Pontchartrain outside of New Orleans. He earned his Broadcast Journalism degree from Louisiana State University in 1992 and moved to the Northeast in 1998. He married an editor and his sister is an editor, so his writing has been evaluated and corrected for as long as he can remember. He’s devoted to his three boys, Saints football and seeing as much of the world as he can.
Read more from Darren Cooper here.
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.
Read more from Martin Derbyshire here.
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.
Read more from Martin Harris here.
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, SI.com and USA Today, he’s covered everything from hockey to motorsports, and now, sports betting.
Read more from Brant James here.
Reyna Gobel MBA, MJ writes stories on responsible gambling and diversity for PlayUSA. She spent her childhood watching the horses at racetracks before her family moved to Las Vegas, where she won several stuffed animals playing the horse racing carnival game at Circus Circus. Since then, she’s written about gambling, personal finance, health and pets. She’s published on Harvard Health, Reuters, Forbes Advisor, The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal‘s Buy Side section and Today.com. She’s currently getting her third Master’s in Public Health at the City University of New York.
Read more from Reyna Gobel here.
Katie Kohler is a Philadelphia-area-based award-winning journalist. She is the managing editor at PlayPennsylvania and covers the Pennsylvania gambling industry with an emphasis on sports betting, online casino/poker and the lottery.
Read more from Katie Kohler here.
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.
Read more from J.R. Duren here.
Matthew Kredell has written about the legalization and regulation of online gambling since 2007. A USC journalism graduate, Kredell made his first foray into sports betting legalization in 2010. His work has been featured in the Los Angeles Daily News, Playboy, Men’s Journal, Los Angeles magazine, LA Weekly and ESPN.
Read more from Matthew Kredell here.
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.
Read more from Marc Meltzer here.