Having graduated with an Economics and Finance Degree from the University of Bristol, he joined Ladbrokes on a graduate program and worked on everything from retail bookmaking to odds compiling and eventually iGaming. He quickly developed a passion for Casinos and moved to Betfair in 2006 where he subsequently launched and ran the Gaming portfolio that exists on their website today.
The CasinoEuro Team is made up of 38 betssonites; 14 in the Tech Team and 24 in the Business Team. Responsible for delivering both the products and revenues of the five brands they run: CasinoEuro, EuroCasino, NorgesAutomaten, SverigeAutomaten and HarryCasino, they enjoy a degree of autonomy yet undeniably still rely on the core central functions of the wider business, which provides the services and expertise to complement those of the CasinoEuro Team.
Delivery of the 5 year Strategy
Personally at the helm of the CasinoEuro Team, Sam hopes to provide his team with the vision, support and leadership to drive the business into the future, following the strategic goals set out by the Key Initiatives.
‘As a team I think CasinoEuro can provide a valuable exploratory service to the wider gaming business over the coming years. Our lean and nimble technical infrastructure means that it is cheaper for CasinoEuro brands to succeed or fail with new ideas; as such we can drive innovations in the marketplace. Our successes and failures can provide strategic direction to the Techsson Gaming Platform. The launch of our new CasinoEuro website sets the foundations we need to start pushing the boundaries,’ he says.
‘We began executing the new strategy in 2013; by redeveloping our product we took a very data led and customer centric approach. Throughout Q2 you will see us roll-out the new product across our languages and brands.’
The product boasts a range of new features that truly improves the customers’ experience.
‘Once the product is live we will have an agile platform to respond to player feedback and real time data to enhance every aspect of the casino experience,’ he continues. ‘My team will be the driving force in delivering almost all elements of the strategy. The product and business decisions we make will help shape the strategy, whilst our product and operational execution will create the customer facing elements.’
The Present and the Future
So far the CasinoEuro Team has created the building blocks at a product level that will provide the platform for executing the strategy in 2014 and beyond. Sam is proud that they have also created some excellent workflows internally that will make the transition towards the strategy smoother. Some of the old thinking and historic workflows were not beneficial to a culture of real-time actionable data and customer centricity.
‘As a team we needed to evolve in order to enable the next steps, and I feel we have made good progress. The next step for the CasinoEuro Team is to turn theory into practice! We will run our businesses in truly real-time for the first time in Q2, which will be a challenging and an eye-opening journey for all involved.’
Sam feels that complacency has set in within the iGaming industry, and thinks the future will see players mobilise and demand better experiences like never before.
‘I think the impact of the ‘big brand’ will be less important, and rather players will shop for products that best fit their gaming habits and experiences. As such I feel having a multi-brand strategy will become of even greater benefit to the Betsson Group, as we evolve and use our portfolio to cover far greater reaches of the gamblers’ needs. I also feel customers will get used to having more control over their gaming experiences, and therefore we should ensure we are building products that cater for control and customisation.’
Passion and Drive
Sam is motivated by a competitive spirit inside and outside the work environment; ‘I am a terrible loser and to me pretty much anything can be turned into a game or a competition!’ he smiles, ‘In the office I am of course driven by numbers and performance, but I am also greatly inspired by the energy of my colleagues and the Betsson working environment. I passionately believe that great ideas can come from anywhere if you create an environment for people to express and conceptualise them.’