History of iGaming
Online Gambling is, no matter your view on it, an exciting industry! It all started back in the mid-late 90’s and early 00’s, when the world changed forever with the escalation of the tech industry and the .com bubble. As many businesses moved to develop online offerings, services and products becoming available online, the gambling industry also shifted and has become one of the biggest online entertainment industries in history.
The first ever real money online casino launched in 1996 by Intercasino, marking the official beginning of what would become one of the most successful online entertainment industries. It was also early in the 90’s that some of the giants that we see in the industry today were established, such as NetEnt and Microgaming. It was only a short time after that the first Online Casinos launched that Sports Betting and Poker became available online too. With the first online Sports Betting established (Intertops) in 1996, online poker followed a few years later in 1998 (Planet Poker).
Gambling has been a favourite past time for many, but it was the introduction of online gambling that made it take off in a big way. Fast-forward to today, and the iGaming industry is one of the most successful online entertainment forms with its net worth being calculated in the billions of US dollars. With its maturity in the online field and persistent young mentality, it offers some of the most exciting career development options available today!
A world of unique opportunities
iGaming is fast paced and ever evolving. With its core product, gambling, dating back to the stone age, it has seamlessly adapted over the decades to the changes in society. By choosing to work in iGaming, you are electing to work in an industry with a rich history and an exciting upward trajectory, and along with it your expanding skill set and career growth.
Whether you have decades of experience, a specific set of skills or you are looking to get on the career ladder; iGaming offers an exciting career path for all.
iGaming careers range from working in the teams of operators, the people who run actual casinos, to Platform Providers, Accounting firms, Games Producers, Payment Solutions, Legal firms, Industry consultancy and much more!
Many of the giants in the industry have offices all over the world and with start-ups, mergers and acquisitions happening in the industry all the time, the world truly is your oyster!
This would be a very long article if I were to list every city and country with iGaming career opportunities, as the industry can be found in all corners of the globe, so I will focus on the major European Hubs.
iGaming in Malta
You can’t mention iGaming hubs without mentioning Malta. In 2004, the island became the first EU Member state to introduce comprehensive legislation on remote gaming. Malta is one of the leading European iGaming hubs, in a continent which leads in the industry. Malta is the definition of an iGaming hub, and is home to many iGaming companies which are based in Sweden. It also attracts international companies and talent which fuel iGaming sites all over the world and is the host for SiGMA, an international iGaming Festival. Malta is also a popular tourist attraction, boasting warm weather and beautiful seas, making working on the island almost a holiday in and of itself.
iGaming in Gibraltar
Gibraltar is an overseas British territory located near the south of Spain. It is also the first overseas territory to open its doors to iGaming businesses. It has an established history of providing gaming and sports betting licenses since 1998. In the past, Gibraltar was a strategic position for ships of many different countries. It is home to medieval forts, Spanish defences as well as reminders of the British navy. It is most famous for the Rock of Gibraltar, a huge outcrop which can be seen from miles around. Gibraltar is perfect for those looking for a slice of British culture, mixed with the Mediterranean weather of the south of Spain. Like Malta, it is a great place for English speakers to get involved in the iGaming industry because of its multicultural and international environment.
Entry Level iGaming Careers
Whether you are freshly graduated or have no working experience behind you, making a career in iGaming is more than just a possibility! In fact, this is an industry where you can join right after high school and enjoy building your career without any professional experience at all, if you have the right work ethics and attitude!
To most, the easiest entry level first step in the industry is through using language skills, by working within Customer Support. English is required for many of these positions, but language skills are a huge plus in this global industry. Many Languages, not only European, are sought after such as; Swedish, Japanese, Finnish, German, Dutch, Turkish, Chinese, French and many more. Of course, you need to be of a native level of fluency in order to support customers in their native language.
Customer Service roles in iGaming require commitment, as although ongoing career development opportunities are there, you need to be careful not to accept a job just as a steppingstone. The industry is a close network and to truly build your knowledge of and reputation within iGaming, you need to be committed to the role you are applying for.
Customer Service teams play a huge role in iGaming, the CS teams are often the customer advocate within the business and many companies go above and beyond to ensure that Customer Service solutions are not just there to assist you with issues but also to enhance the players experience!
There is a lot of potential to take your career to the next step, depending on your background, skills, experienced gained in an entry level position and your attitude in general! Many career paths from Customer Service or Entry Level positions would take you in the direction of; Junior Marketing positions, Team Leader roles within Customer Service, Entry level positions in Fraud Payment and so much more!
Be aware that not all companies can offer internal promotions, due to team sizes, but depending on your career aspirations there is an opportunity out there for you. So, don’t rush into applying for every Customer Service job you see. Instead speak to a good knowledgeable recruiter and make sure you are applying for the jobs that match your future goals. The industry is full of companies of all difference shapes, colours and sizes so take the time, get the advice you need in order to find the right fit for you and for your career.
iGaming Customer Service is generally a well-paid job. With the example of Malta – Many Customer service agents are earning much more than the average salary and with it have the career opportunities many can only dream of. In addition to good salary packages and career development opportunities for the future, many iGaming companies offer excellent perks and opportunities for performance based bonus’ as well.
Other Entry Level Careers
Customer Service is just one way of securing an entry level position in iGaming, there are many others that also require no specific education or experience such as office positions and junior sales roles. Should you have graduated with specific skills, of course, each vertical in the industry does offer entry level positions in Accounts, IT, Marketing, Finance, Legal and many more which we will cover in the next section of this post.
Career options in iGaming
As we said, it is possible to go a long way in the industry with no industry experience or indeed no professional experience at all but, there are many career options in the industry for skilled graduates and experienced professionals as well. There are lots of aspects to running an online Casino, Poker product or Sportsbook, and just as many verticals in which to kick start or propel your career.
We can’t possibly list all career options without this article being far too long to read, so we will cover just a few career options in the industry.
IT Careers in iGaming
The iGaming industry is entirely technology dependant. It goes without saying that there is an abundance of IT careers available! As the market is ever evolving and adapting to changes in our digital society, for the IT professionals of the world, a career in iGaming is a career where you can keep your skills updated and explore new technologies on an ongoing basis. You won’t be tied down with using just one language or one system, as society changes its habits and devices, and the product needs to seamlessly adapt. Skill set growth is not only provided it is encouraged!
So much of the world is asking for experience with technologies that have been around for just a few years. Its hard to get experience when the roles require experience. With the right attitude, iGaming offers you the opportunity and understanding that skill sets can be transferred, learnt and shared across people in the company.
Career Growth in IT
Within IT in an online industry such as iGaming, there are many opportunities to diversify or grow your career. Many companies have structures in place to allow for promotions and salary increases depending on your skills and performance. There are also opportunities for IT professionals such as developers, as your industry knowledge grows, to take on management, strategic, planning and analysis positions across the business.
Many iGaming firms are now hiring junior level IT profiles who have restarted or taken a new direction in their career. If you have worked in a non-IT position, it is possible in the industry to retrain, learning new skills and embarking on a new career direction!
Marketing Careers in iGaming
Marketing career options in iGaming are huge! As a purely online product, the industry is constantly innovating whilst adapting to regulatory changes. These include: Content Writing and Management, Social Media, SEO and PPC, Graphic Design, Media Buying, Programmatic Marketing, Design, CRM, Campaign Management as well as others.
Marketing teams within the iGaming industry, have a reputation of being fun teams to be working in! But iGaming is a competitive market space, so Marketing teams work just as hard as they play!
Depending on the role, prior iGaming experience is not always a must. However, if you have worked your way through the ranks of the industry, transition and growth within Marketing department, as well as relocation all over the world, is on offer.
Career growth in Marketing
The industry provides excellent training from the ground up and with this investment in iGaming employees, so comes the trend to promote from within. As we mentioned in the IT careers section, it is possible in the industry to retrain and change your career direction. By using your previous iGaming knowledge there are paths within the industry for your skills to be transferred into a new and exciting marketing career path.
HR Careers in iGaming
The iGaming industry is doing all they can to keep up with the latest trends and ensure they retain top talent. For this reason, HR, Talent Acquisition and People professions are always in top demand in the industry in order to ensure companies are attracting and retaining the best professionals possible for their teams.
HR positions in the industry range from Junior Level Recruitment and HR executives/assistants, HR and Recruitment Team Leaders or Managers, Talent and Acquisition, Office Management, Internal Events, Employee Loyalty and Engagement all the way up to Chief of Human Resources / Chief of People. Typically, these positions do not require iGaming experience, but it doesn’t hurt your application if you are already experienced in the industry’s latest trend or come from an ecommerce industry.
Operations, administration and supporting functions
Just like any other industry, Operations is at the core of it! In order for Gaming firms to work smoothly departments such as; Accounts, Finance, Risk, Legal, Compliance and many others are in high demand! Whether you have education or experience related to the department, positions in the industry are plentiful. Furthermore, within Operations in iGaming, there are many ‘promote from within’ outlooks on Recruitment for Operations as well the opportunity to transfer skills from other industries when kick starting your iGaming career.
iGaming Specific Careers
Like any other industry, iGaming offers many positions that are very specific to the industry. Contrary to popular belief, a lot of these positions can be carried out with no iGaming industry experience. Instead using transferable skills from ecommerce industries such as online payments, Computer Gaming firms and many others. However, one common trait required in these positions is an interest and passion for the industry. Below are a few of the positions that fall in this category:
iGaming Affiliate Manager – Affiliate Managers work on acquiring and retaining affiliates. A largely relationship-based role, this calls for someone skilled at strengthening ongoing relationships and monitoring of accounts to ensure that all is running well.
Sports Trader – A vital role in any sportsbook, this is a role that requires expert level knowledge of online betting and sports. Sports traders need to be analytical and passionate about online betting. The position involves monitoring odds (pre-match and live) as well as keeping on top of market movements in order to react accordingly.
Casino Manager – The roles differ depending on the operator, but the Casino Manager is responsible for ensuring quality across the brand, ensuring Customers are enjoying the product and coming back! The role will be to collaborate across multiple teams and departments, including the creative teams to ensure innovative marketing activities and promotions for Customers.
VIP Manager – This role takes on the responsibility for acquiring or identifying and retaining high value customers. They oversee ensuring the very best level of Customer Service and Promotional activities for the operator’s VIPs.
Product Manager (Casino, Sportsbook, Poker) – This type of role varies a lot, depending on the company, brand and indeed the product too. As a product manager your role is to make sure your product is the very best it can be. Keeping ahead with industry, marketing and other trends as well as deep knowledge of the product/industry is a must have.
Country Manager – The role is responsible for a Country or Market of a brand or brands within the firm. Ensuring development and implementation of Marketing and promotions as well as analysis of performance of a brand or brands for the country you are responsible for.
Responsible Gaming Officer – All iGaming firms have responsible gaming policies, in fact most regulatory boards require iGaming firms to have this. The role of a responsible gaming officer ranges from monitoring activity of players, identifying risk, introducing new policies, driving responsible gaming cultures within teams and training colleagues on responsible gaming activities and policies.
Relocation for a new career can be a daunting idea if you have not lived abroad before, however, generally the process to move abroad is quite simple and typically within iGaming, your potential new employer will offer you assistance with this. There are many types of relocation packages that could come with your salary package ranging from advice and help during your move and when you arrive in the country.
Relocation packages offered differ from company to company, industry standards offer advice and help when you arrive to get settled and also taking care of paperwork and registrations needed when you arrive. Many companies offer financial assistance with the cost of relocation as well. It is important to discuss this with your recruiter early on in the recruitment process so that your package if possible can be tailored to you and your needs.
Find out more Information
As one of the leading iGaming Recruitment Consultancy, Betting Connections team of expert iGaming careers consultants who are well equipped to inform and advice you of your career options in the industry.
We will give first hand advice regarding relocation, starting a new career in iGaming or indeed kick starting your first step on the career ladder. We provide CV optimisation, Interview Coaching as well to all our job seekers, so don’t hesitate to get in touch if you would like to explore your iGaming career options!
About the author Krysta MuscatHead of Recruitment at Betting Connections
As Head of Recruitment at Betting Connections, Krysta’s speciality is iGaming Recruitment. She has worked in the iGaming Recruitment Industry since 2012 and is always on the look our for candidates with experience in the industry or indeed looking to kick start their iGaming career.