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Ulrik Bengtsson appointed CEO and President of Betsson AB

The Board of Directors of Betsson AB has appointed Ulrik Bengtsson as new CEO and President of Betsson AB.
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Ulrik Bengtsson on the cover of SiGMAgazine

Ulrik Bengtsson has extensive experience in digital consumer services and four years of experience in Internet gaming through his role as CEO of Betsson Malta. He will replace Pontus Lindwall who will return to his previous role as working Chairman of the Board.

Lars Linder-Aronson, current Chairman of the Board, will remain on the Board as a member. Ulrik Bengtsson will assume his role as CEO and President on 1 March.

Ulrik has long-standing experience of digital consumer services, including MTG and Viasat. Over the past four years, he has successfully worked as CEO of Betsson’s operational company BML Group Ltd, on Malta. Going forward, Bengtsson will also continue to serve as CEO of BML Group on Malta.

“It will be great to have Ulrik as CEO of the parent company as well, as he knows the entire operations of the Betsson group. Ulrik has played an important role in the development and the execution of the strategies which have resulted in significant value growth for the group,” says Pontus Lindwall, current CEO and President of Betsson AB.

“Ulrik’s knowledge of Betsson bodes for a continued good continuity”, says Lars Linder-Aronson, Chairman of Betsson AB.

“I have been a part of an incredible journey over the past four years with Betsson but I think that we are still only at the start of a structural transformation of the entire industry, which is enabled by a continued transfer of the activity towards online. In my role as CEO and President of Betsson, I will continue to ensure that in the first instance the group focuses on customers, and that innovation takes place where it is important for them. In this way Betsson will continue to gain marketshare. Our strategy to grow both organically and through acquisitions remains” says Ulrik Bengtsson.

Source: Betssonflash.com

Richard Carter to Join SBTech as Chief Executive Officer

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Richard Carter, newly appointed CEO at SBTech

Gaming industry leader, Richard Carter, will be appointed as SBTech’s new CEO. Carter, former Director of research at Deutsche Bank was responsible for running the highly rated European equity gaming franchise for the past 7 years.

John Anderson, Chairman of SBTech commented, “We are honored to have Richard join the team. Over the last few years, SBTech has achieved significant growth and global penetration, successfully strengthening its position as a market leader. Richard will focus on reinforcing the impressive momentum gained by SBTech; advancing the company to the next level”

Between 2003 and 2009, Richard worked at the London listed Stockbroker Numis Securities, as Key Member of their highly rated Leisure and Gaming team. Carter was notably positioned at the forefront of several highly renowned global online gaming companies such as 888, 32Red and Empire Online, raise equity and list on the London stock market.

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SBTech’s stand at SiGMA15

Richard Carter commented, “I am delighted to be joining SBTech as Chief Executive, the business has exceptionally talented people and a clear strategy for becoming the industries most trusted and innovative sports betting software partner. I look forward to leading the company as it grows and delivers for its customers, its people, its partners and its shareholders.”

ABOUT SBTECH:

Established in 2007, SBTech is a leading provider of interactive Sportsbetting solutions and services in both traditional and regulated markets. The offering includes a comprehensive suite of innovative, dynamic and highly customizable turnkey and fully managed online, mobile and offline solutions, which pushes the interactive betting industry into new frontiers.

 

SiGMA interviews LeoVegas CEO Johan Styren

From a workforce of 170 today to some 300 by mid 2016, Johan Styren is at the helm of what’s arguably the fastest growing operator in Malta. In an interview with SiGMA the charismatic CEO discusses the success behind LeoVegas and its exciting plans for the future.

 

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Johan Styren, LeoVegas CEO

The LeoVegas brand has grown massively since its inception in 2012; which factors do you attribute to your successover the years?

First of all we have an amazing product. Having a mobile casino in itself is not unique, however the way we have been able to innovate and stay ahead of the competition is. We have kept our focus in product as well as marketing and that has kept us in the lead. On top ofthat we have constantly been able to find the most talented and hard working people, I can’t stress enough what a difference that has made.

LeoVegas has always been at the forefront on mobile gaming; where do you see mobile gaming heading in the next few years?

First of all it will keep on growing, people are still moving from offline to desktop and from desktop to mobile. That transition is far from over. I’m expecting new devices to play a bigger part of the mix including the new I-pad pro and the new version of the I-watch. We always look at new tech releases and especially apple for new inspiration and opportunities.

LeoVegas has been involved in some of the biggest ever mobile jackpot wins last year; can you tell us a bit more about them?

2015 started off in the best possible way with LeoVegas handing out the biggest mobile win in history, which was a Mega Fortune Jackpot of 5,6 million Euro. While that record stills stands some amazing jackpot wins has fallen out including 4,6 million Euro on Mega Fortune Dreams in July.

Few things can compare to hearing the stories of the lucky winners, what they where thinking when they won and how they will spend the money. The long awaited trip abroad is popular but also a lot of winners want to share money with friends and family. One of our absolutely biggest winners wanted to thank us for changing his life and decided to buy all of Leovegas, at that time around 120 people, a dinner at a nice restaurant. I just found that gesture absolutely heart warming. All in all we are extremely pleased with these wins and we can proudly say that there is nowhere better to play jackpot games than LeoVegas.

Sigma2015-011You were recently granted your UK licence and are investing heavily there, can you tell us why you chose the UK market over others?

I think its fair to say that the UK license regime is probably the most successful we have seen in Europe so far. That plus the cheer size of the market made it a very attractive place to invest in. What scared a lot of other companies of is naturally the significant competition. We did however feel that we had something unique to offer and a positioning that was not claimed in the market. Looking back at the success we have had I’m more than pleased with that decision.

You also partnered with primetime UK TV show Celebrity Juice. Can you tell us a bit more about how that came about and what you have planned there?

The reasoning is simply that its a primetime channel and show which is very much followed by the UK nation. Its also shares the same demographic which makes it a perfect fit. The sponsorship begins when the hit show returns to screens in September and covers all episodes, including the Christmas Special. The deal will also see LeoVegas branding appear online and on mobile, including the show’s website and catch-up content on ITV Player and ITV.com. The creative, entitled ‘Dress Like a Lion’, has been produced by NOW Advertising and focuses on LeoVegas’ lion mascot, Leo, as he tries on an array of flamboyant outfits, like those worn by the show’s host, Keith Lemon.

With such a crowded market in the UK, do you have any aces up your sleeve to make you stand out from your competitors?

Its all about the product and that’s where we differ from all other brands. As usual we have an array of activities going on in the UK as we continue to grow stronger in presence. The next quarter will see LeoVegas expand rapidly with both above and below the line activities to keep us top of mind.

Sigma2015-460You’re based in sunny Malta, can you tell us a bit about office life behind the scenes?

Malta has been a great environment for us to grow, we really wanted to go the extra mile when it comes to office environment to create the Google kind of atmosphere. In the end we found anamazing office in Sliema that has it all, terraces with amazing view, space for table tennis, videogames and you name it. The combination of Mediterranean weather and a fast pace working environment has created a great environment for us to attract talent.

What do you think the future holds for LeoVegas?

Our ambition is to keep on growing and even accelerate what we do. It’s a huge challenge and we need to constantly reinvent ourselves to keep ahead of the competition. I think its fair to say that wehave gone from start-up to the respected leader in mobile casino in a very short time and this is just the beginning.

We look forward to meet LeoVegas and their wonderful management in various conferences worldwide including, of course, SiGMA16! Until then, enjoy this short flashback from SiGMA15.

 

Lennart Gillberg

Lennart Gillberg is a serial entrepreneur and has been working with advertising and marketing since 1983. He started his first advertising agency in 1985. At the end of 1998 he was one of the founders of Netgiro AB, a global payment service provider, and was the CEO between 1998 and 2006.

In the beginning 80% of the Netgiro’s customers came from the betting and gaming industry. Netgiro was sold to Digital River in 2008. Since then he has been involved in several start ups. In 2010 Gillberg was one of the founders of Spiffx, an alternative betting exchange, and today he is still on the executive board.

Relive the highlights from our last show and stay tuned for this year’s SiGMA. Watch out for what we’re branding as the ‘iGaming Village’ this year.

Are you an operator looking for top affiliates? Are you a top affiliate looking for a nice treat with like-minded affiliates playing at the same level?

Bit8 workforce expanding rapidly

Following Intralot’s acquisition of 35% stake in sportsbook and casino platform Bit8, the latter is growing at a fast pace to become one of the industry’s leading casino, sports book and lottery platforms.

Bit8 is based in Ta’Xbiex, Malta and currently has over 20 new career opportunities for  software developers, account managers, business analysts and content writers.

 

In the words of CEO Angelo Dalli, “Bit8 has always been at the forefront of innovation and excellence in Research & Development. We have sponsored the University of Malta’s Research Innovation & Development Trust fund, providing further resources that go towards research and development in selected areas of software quality assurance at the University of Malta. We work closely with the Faculty of ICT at the University of Malta and are Gold Sponsors of the ICT Faculty, helping promote ICT education in our home base country of Malta.”

Bit8 will be exhibiting at SiGMA15 this November and will be able to address any queries there. Further details are available online.

Itai Zak

Itai Zak is a visionary iGaming executive with vast experience in providing commercial, operational and technical leadership for innovative B2C and B2B gaming organizations. He’s the CEO of a fast growing Bucharest-based operator GoWild Gaming.

Prior to his current role at GoWild, Itai served as the CEO of SBTech. He was in charge of driving the company’s strategy and vision through the operational and commercial management of over 300 employees in the SBTech group.

Itai Zak is experienced in a broad array of leadership and management issues needed to turnaround or rapidly grow a business, including strategy, new product development, technology, international expansion, personnel acquisition and development, sales and business development and M&A.

Relive the highlights from our last show and stay tuned for this year’s SiGMA. Watch out for what we’re branding as the ‘iGaming Village’ this year.

Are you an operator looking for top affiliates? Are you a top affiliate looking for a nice treat with like-minded affiliates playing at the same level?

Catena Media acquires competitor Stay Media

Catena Media has signed an agreement to acquire 100 percent of the shares in the Swedish company Stay Media. The acquisitions will generate immediate synergies and strengthen Catena Media’s leading position in the lead generation market of online casinos. The total purchase price amounts to EUR 3 million.

Stay Media operates in the same industry as Catena Media and owns strategic assets such as www.freespins.se,www.mobilcasino.com and www.bonusjakt.com. The acquisition of Stay Media is in line with Catena Media’s growth strategy, which is to grow both organically and through acquisitions. The purchase price consists of both shares in Catena Media and cash.

“With the strategic acquisition of Stay Media we will strengthen our leading position in lead generation market for online casino and we achieve immediate synergies within our business to generate traffic to our partners” says Robert Andersson, CEO of Catena Media.

The acquisition of Stay Media and the earlier acquisition of Dutch online media company LJFK are important milestones for Catena Media in preparation for the possible IPO that will create new opportunities for further expansion and the ability to invest in one of the largest and fastest growing companies in the online casino industry.

Catena Media was founded in 2008 by Swedish entrepreneurs Erik Bergman and Emil Tidell . In 2013 came the venture capital company Optimizer as major shareholders , but the founders are still at large shareholdings .

“Catena Media is one of the gaming industry’s biggest players in its field, and the purchase of another well managed and successful company that provides similar services and owns valuable domain names, creates a large value for Catena”, says Henrik Persson, partner Optimizer Invest, one of the largest shareholders in Catena Media.

Nadia Pace

With a Bachelor of Commerce in Public Sector Management (hons) from the University of Malta and a Master of Arts degree in Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations from the University of Sheffield city college campus in Thessaloniki in her pocket, Nadia managed language schools in Malta and Cyprus, and units of the manufacturing industry in Thessaloniki Greece.

Between 2008 and 2013, she has been Business Development Manager of World Aviation Group. After a year as CCO of a leading insurance company in Malta, Nadia returned to take up her new role as CEO of World Aviation Group in October 2014