We spoke with Liz Wang briefly today and she was very enthusiastic about the topics pertaining to casinos and poker. Liz’s business operates out of Queens, New York and her business My Cards & Chips Inc. has a warehouse full of all everything you need to host your next house game. Her products ranges from decks of cards, shufflers, tables, dice, and more. When she first started this company, she was primarily selling to those who played games in their garage and she eventually scored a deal with a casino and hotel group. Liz’s business now grosses over $6 million in sales annually.
Liz: Our business is very niche and we target a very specific audience. However, what a lot of retailers did not know at the time is how much of a demand there is for playing cards, dice, and other similar products. I did not jump into this market because I knew this was a very large and untapped market, but because I actually had a lot of friends who hosted and played house games or would visit the casino frequently. I started off dealing poker at my friend’s garages and basements and started looking into getting tables and discount cards because we were constantly replacing decks of cards. I never thought that this business would grow so fast and that there was such a large demand for stuff like this.
Me: So how did you actually get your first foot in the door and begin distributing to a casino group? How much of your business is dependent on the casino?
Liz: I’d say that getting a deal with the casino got started because I knew the right people. I have spent my fair share of time in Atlantic City and I was lucky enough to meet one of the managers one day, and at the time I had already been in business for a little over two years. He was really interested in my business and said that he could try to schedule a meeting with the guy who manages the supplies. Within a month, we had a deal going. My business was doing good numbers prior to signing a deal with casino, but they definitely gave us the money we needed to fund large projects and really scale our business up. Right now we have strong sales reports to show, so I can’t say any part of our business is dependent on the sales from the casinos.
Me: I understand that you’ve expanded your business into other categories, what other categories are there?
Liz: We started doing a lot of retail in addition to the wholesale and distribution that we did. We have started private labeling sunglasses and other apparel. People enjoy wearing our products at the casinos. We have expanded very little in terms of product categories, but we now carry a larger variety of products under the same category. What we really expanded on is our clientele. A lot of bars and pool halls have started purchasing from us.
Liz will be a guest speaker tonight during our Open Mic Early Bird topic discussions.