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European Gaming Q3 Meetup Part II: The Importance of Company Culture in iGaming

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European Gaming Q3 Meetup Part II: The Importance of Company Culture in iGaming
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The European Gaming Q3 Virtual Meetup that took place on 13 September had it all: from Commercial Marketing and the Player Lifecycle, to Employer Marketing, Talent Acquisition and Retention, industry experts from the European iGaming scene provided insights in two informative and honest panels that no professional should miss! Read on and find the link to the Livestream recordings to watch the EGQ3 Meetup on YouTube!

The European Gaming Meetups by Hipther Agency are designed to keep you up-to-date with what is fresh in the European gambling industry.

The meetups feature several panel discussions per region and topics that are joined by key industry experts, CEOs, C-Level Executives, Business Development Managers, and sometimes government officials/regulators.

The European Gaming Q3 Virtual Meetup featured two thought-provoking panels: “Mastering the Player Lifecycle” and “The Importance of Company Culture in iGaming”.

 

Panel 2: “The Importance of Creating a Company Culture in iGaming”

Speakers: Kevin Perks, Senior Talent Acquisition Partner at Van Kaizen | Nana Shneider, HRD at BETBAZAR | Tom Galanis, CEO at TAG Media & First Look Games

Moderated by: Zoltan Tundik, Co-founder and Head of Business at Hipther

Watch the Panel Discussion on YouTube and HiptherTV!

 

The panel discussion promptly emphasized the pivotal role of fostering a positive company culture within the iGaming sector.

Nana Shneider, HRD at BETBAZAR, initiated the conversation by underlining the significance of motivation and growth in the workplace, recognizing the impact of personal lives on employees’ well-being. She stressed that a positive company culture can contribute to achieving a harmonious work-life balance.

Tom Galanis, CEO at TAG Media & First Look Games, shared insights from companies that operate as remote workplaces. He highlighted the indispensability of strong communication, especially in remote work settings. While attractive salaries can incentivize talent acquisition, Tom emphasized that for talent retention, a company must offer something unique that motivates individuals to work and grow within the organization.

Kevin Perks, Senior Talent Acquisition Partner at Van Kaizen, offered insights from a recruiter’s perspective. He emphasized the essence of company culture both in general and from the job seekers’ viewpoint. Interestingly, he noted that candidates typically inquire less about “superficial” perks like game rooms or ping-pong tables and focus more on company culture. Key questions revolve around whether a company is people-centric, if employees are trusted to perform their tasks without micromanagement, and if there are ample learning and development opportunities. Kevin also stressed that while talent attraction involves marketing communications, the foundation for retention begins with building honest and strong relationships with candidates during the recruitment phase, where the company culture and values play a vital role.

 

The discussion then delved into the contemporary workspace and remote work environments. The panelists explored the role of company culture in these settings.

Nana emphasized the importance of motivation and connection. She contended that companies must motivate employees by fostering a sense of unity and support, even among remote workers. Tom, with his experience leading remote-work companies, highlighted the challenge of forming meaningful connections in remote work settings. He emphasized that a strong company culture provides meaning and motivation in such environments.

Kevin pointed out that company culture is fundamentally what the business stands for, making it essential for companies to establish a clear culture. In remote settings, effective communication becomes even more critical, with middle managers playing a crucial role in shaping and maintaining company culture.

The discussion also touched on employer marketing and the challenges of conveying company culture in media within a remote work context. Nana highlighted the need for clarity and conciseness in messaging and values to reach everyone, regardless of diverse backgrounds. She emphasized the value of democracy and finding common ground between the company and employees. Tom emphasized honesty and trust as fundamental values, while Kevin reiterated that a positive company culture equates to a people-centric culture, with every individual responsible for creating a safe environment, upholding company values, and advocating for them.

Regarding leadership and company culture, Nana stressed that leaders set the tone for the company and are crucial not only for business development but also for employee growth. Tom echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the importance of leaders displaying soft skills and prioritizing training tools while fostering empathy in interactions with employees. Kevin agreed and reinforced the significance of managers in establishing company culture, emphasizing the promotion of people not just for task completion but also for their people management skills.

Lastly, the discussion explored changes companies can implement to promote a positive company culture. Nana emphasized the importance of companies attending to employees’ needs, embracing flexibility, and fostering communication through calls, discussions, and meetings between top management and employees. Tom urged leaders and management to revisit their vision and culture, offering support and assistance to employees. Kevin emphasized that candidates now closely scrutinize a company’s culture during the recruitment process. They seek signs of culture, which are often not evident in a company’s media communications. Thus, the recruitment process and the relationships established during it are vital.

In conclusion, the panelists underscored that people should be at the heart of company culture, enabling them to derive satisfaction from their work and personal growth. They emphasized that everyone within a company shares the responsibility for shaping its culture.

Read more about the first part of this exciting and informative edition of the European Quarterly Meetups, a panel discussion on Company Culture in iGaming!

Industry News

Azerion Announces Proposed Changes to its Supervisory Board

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Since the start of 2022, Azerion has seen a period of significant transformation and growth including its listing on Euronext Amsterdam, the completed sale of the Youda card games portfolio and the recently announced placement of EUR 165 million of senior secured floating rate bonds.

Following their successful stewardship throughout this period, Azerion now announced the decision of Peter Tordoir (Chairman) and Derk Haank to step down from Azerion’s Supervisory Board. Both decisions to step down are expected to take effect as from the date of an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) to be convened as soon as is reasonably practicable to appoint the proposed new Supervisory Board members described below.

As Azerion prepares for the next stage of its growth plan and the business continues to scale into becoming one of Europe’s largest digital advertising and entertainment media platforms, Azerion welcomed Zafer Karataş and Wim de Pundert as proposed new Supervisory Board members. Further details relating to both proposed Supervisory Board members and the arrangements for the EGM are expected to be published shortly. A new Chairperson will be appointed by the Supervisory Board in due course.

Umut Akpinar, CEO of Azerion, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Peter Tordoir and Derk Haank for their invaluable contribution to the success of Azerion and, in particular, during its initial phase as a listed company. We will be pleased to welcome Zafer Karataş and Wim de Pundert as new Supervisory Board members bringing additional commercial, industry and capital markets experience to the Board.”

Background on Proposed New Supervisory Board Members

Zafer Karataş brings extensive experience in Business Management, M&A, Reorganizations and Financial Audit. He is currently Chairman of the Board of technology company MeritGrup and a Supervisory board member of DVA Bilisim and Most Teknoloji.

Wim de Pundert has been active as an investor and entrepreneur since the early 1990s, including through the use of buy and build and market consolidation strategies. De Pundert founded HTP Investments, a shareholder of Azerion, together with Klaas Meertens. He is also a member of the supervisory board of Knaus Tabbert AG, a European manufacturer of caravans and mobile homes listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

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Industry News

Entain Provides Update on Current Trading and FY23 Guidance

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Entain plc has provided an update on current trading and FY 2023 guidance, as well as plans to update shareholders on the progress of ongoing actions to accelerate operational performance and drive shareholder value.

Current Trading

Post the summer, Online Net Gaming Revenue (NGR) has been mixed across the Group, but in aggregate, softer than anticipated. Q3 Online NGR growth is now expected to be up high single-digit percent, and down high single digit percent on a proforma basis. Key drivers include:

  • Adverse sporting results impacting sports margins during September
  • Group wide implementation of industry leading safer gambling measures and ongoing regulatory headwinds persisting longer than expected, particularly in the UK
  • Slower growth than expected in Australia and Italy
  • Good underlying Online growth (ex-regulatory impacts) as evidenced by further strong proforma growth in active customers across the quarter
  • Strong performance from recent acquisitions, particularly SuperSport in Croatia
  • Robust performance across Retail

BetMGM in the US continuing to perform well: on track to deliver positive EBITDA in the second half of 2023; FY2023 NGR at the upper end of $1.8-$2.0bn guidance; and the successful rollout of Single Account Single Wallet, as well as online sportsbook enhancements supporting strong start to the NFL season.

Entain now expect Group Online NGR for FY2023 to be up low double-digit percent with proforma NGR down low single digit percent. The company reiterate their expectations for FY2023 EBITDA to be in the range of £1.00bn-£1.05bn supported by robust operational controls.

Actions to Accelerate Operational Strategy and Performance

Over the last three years Entain has undergone a significant strategic transformation, improving the quality of earnings and aligning operations to ensure the Group is positioned as strongly as possible to deliver long term shareholder value.

Alongside the Q3 trading update on 2 November 2023, management will share more detail on how these actions are being implemented to accelerate performance and delivery, including:

  • A comprehensive market review focusing on long-term sustainable organic growth
  • The simplification of Group structures and operations to improve operational leverage and reduce costs
  • A plan for the migration of acquired businesses on to the Group’s industry leading technology platform
  • Optimising our capital allocation priorities
  • Progress on delivery of the Group’s Online EBITDA margin target of 30%

Jette Nygaard-Andersen, CEO of Entain, said: “We continue to see good underlying growth in our online business and are reiterating our EBITDA guidance for the year despite softer than expected revenue growth in Q3 and the ongoing roll-out of industry-leading safer gambling measures. We continue to attract more customers than ever before to enjoy our products and services. BetMGM remains on track to deliver positive EBITDA in H2 and a full year NGR performance at the top end of our expectations, and we are particularly excited about the product improvements that we are rolling out over the NFL season.

“We have made significant changes to the Group over the last three years. Our focus now is on accelerating the actions we are taking to drive sustainable organic growth, expand our margins, capitalise on the US opportunity and deliver long-term returns for our shareholders. We remain confident in our ability to deliver on the vast opportunities ahead of us, and look forward to sharing more detail about the changes that we are making alongside our Q3 trading update in November.”

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Industry News

Holland Casino Identifies New Groningen Casino Site

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Holland Casino has chosen Business Park Ter Borch as the new location for its Groningen casino. Holland Casino selected the location at the gateway to Groningen for its accessibility and construction opportunities. Business park Ter Borch, on the edge of the municipality of Tynaarlo, offers Holland Casino the best opportunities to build a casino that meets the company’s architectural and sustainability requirements. Moreover, the location at the gateway to Groningen is easily accessible for guests and there is ample parking.

CEO Petra de Ruiter said: “We are happy that the decision has now been made. If the Tynaarlo municipal council is as enthusiastic as the board of Holland Casino, we can enter the period of planning and construction. I’m looking forward to that and especially to the moment when the new Holland Casino Groningen is open. That is not only good news for our guests, but also for our employees.

“They will soon be able to optimally welcome guests from a new building and offer the hospitality that can be expected from us.”

Spatial planning councilor Jurryt Vellinga of the municipality of Tynaarlo said: “The location makes sense because of the good accessibility and the space that the business park offers. For us it is a sign that the municipality of Tynaarlo and the region are still popular for companies. This location offers employment opportunities and is a great boost for tourism in our municipality.”

Attention has also been paid to the former Holland Casino location on Gedempte Kattendiep in Groningen. The casino was destroyed in a fire in 2017, with Holland Casino operating a temporary facility since 2018.

“Holland Casino offers the municipality of Groningen every cooperation to ensure that something beautiful comes back to the city center. We are grateful to everyone involved for all the cooperation and support we have received in recent years. We are very grateful to Groningen and Tynaarlo for the efforts made to find a suitable location,” Ms. de Ruiter said.

The new branch of Holland Casino, Holland Casino Groningen, is expected to open in 2027.

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