How/when did you first get involved with the gaming industry?
In 2006 Evolution Gaming was opening its studio in Riga, Latvia. At the time it was the start-up company of the moment and I was invited to head this facility and later I took on the role of Managing Director. I am very thankful for the wealth of experience and industry knowledge I obtained whilst working there with market gurus that led me to the current position in the gaming business.
What attracted you to this sector?
The entertaining and fast pace environment that requires constant self-improvement and a high level of creativity. It is a great field for self expression, with an atmosphere that keeps you concentrated and looking forward, following the latest technical innovations.
What were you doing prior to the gaming industry?
I spent over 12 years in the banking/finance sector in the securities market, credit card and payment solutions field, managing different technical and financial projects.
What are you responsible for in your current position?
Everything! Obviously I am joking. Mainly I am responsible for the Operations department as a whole which mainly includes the Live Casino, Customer Support, KAM and of course Product Development.
What have been the biggest industry changes you’ve seen in your time?
The ever-growing popularity of the Live Dealer products in the online casino package. I believe this is caused by increasing quality of the product and daily improvement of global internet connectivity and growing popularity of mobile betting and gaming. Also I have seen a growing number of the regulated markets in Europe and its effect on the industry as a whole.
In terms of business, the latest acquisitions made by brands like Playtech and Amaya changing the global map of gaming providers has been a real eye opener, in a good way of course!
What are the biggest positive factors for your sector right now?
The worldwide development of the internet connectivity and growing bandwidth both wired and wireless are providing the ability to deliver the high-end product to the emerging markets and regions that we never thought would be possible. Also the global trend to official legalization of online gaming is a very promising factor.
And what are the negatives ones – the obstacles to growth?
Same as the ones mentioned above; the lack of legislation can make it difficult to deliver the quality product to some of our consumers. As a result in some areas instead of qualified service providers and operators operating the business, some of the ‘dishonest’ companies undermine the trust of both consumers and legal entities.
Looking at your entire career, what do you think was your smartest move?
I have two of them that tie in nicely; the first is when I moved from the financial sector to gaming and then the second one is joining Ezugi of course!
And dumbest one?
It was some time ago when I was still in the financial sector and I took the role of project manager in one of the banking projects.
Where do you hope you’ll be, professionally, in ten years’ time?
In business and thriving!
If you’d never embarked on this career, what other line(s) of work would you have liked to pursue?
I would probably have stayed within the financial sector, stepping more in the technical and creative part of the business, looking beyond just banking and to the other factors around it, i.e. e-payments.