Work in the igaming industry – A guide to the online casino business

With the great impact of the internet in the late 1990s and early 2000s, more and more things have been digitized in our society. You could say that we have digitized everything that is possible with today’s technology. You can order everything from clothes to actual houses online and get it delivered to your doorstep. Services such as food or taxi for that matter are delivered within minutes, just from a touch of a button on your smartphone. And experience services that do not even deliver a physical product have taken the internet by storm. Today, so much movies and TV stream account for a significant part of internet traffic internationally! But this article is not about clothes or movies but about online games – more specifically online casinos and how you can become part of a young and fast growing industry!

Online Casino History

When you think about the internet in the late 1990s online casinos is probably not the first thing that crosses your mind. But the fact is that online games, and online casino in particular, was something that came early.

In 1994 Barbuda and Antigua decided to create the first remote gambling license so companies who wished to offer gambling services online could do so. The first casino to launch was InterCasino, but not the last.

In 1996 there were about 15 online casinos but it wouldn’t take long before there were hundreds. In 1997 it was over 200 operators and in May 1999 the number had reached 700. And the ball was rolling on the roulette wheel.

An industry with unique opportunities

No matter what you think about the gaming industry and casinos, it’s de facto an extremely exciting industry with a young mind and all about performance more than anything else. Whoever has heard about the dot-com bubble’s rise and fall, or even experienced it, can probably understand what we mean. The biggest difference is perhaps that the igaming industry so far has shown no tendency to be any kind of bubble.

Making a career without any previous experience is definitely not impossible, on the contrary! Relative basic knowledge in eg IT, marketing or HR can take you to an intermediary position in just a few years and after that maybe you will become head of the department. In fact, this is an industry where you can come right after high school without previous experience and still do the same career, provided you have the right attitude and are prepared to work hard.

In this article we will scratch on the surface of the industry and focus on online casinos, the operators, ie those who run the actual casinos. But in the wake of this there are several other types of companies, which you can read more about here.

Move Abroad

You can find casino and gaming companies in many places, and more will it be with more local regulations with their own licenses. But many big gaming companies have already been rooted around the world.

If you are looking forward to moving abroad, this is a great opportunity to take a shot! A lot of the european gaming companies left their home back in the 1990s and chose Malta as their base, and it became the natural choice for the casino companies to come. Today, Malta is the country with the highest density of igaming in Europe, well, probably in the world. But there are clearly many other countries such as Gibraltar, England and other where you will find igaming companies.

Working in Malta has many advantages. With 300 days of sunshine per year, proximity to crystal blue sea and with English as one of the official languages, it is no wonder that many people choose Malta as their new home.

Gibraltar, a small British enclave clad in southern Spain, has long been a centre for igaming. But Brexit has made several companies to take their staff and move elsewhere.

UK with it’s long and strong tradition of gambling, especially in sports and betting, is the home of several big industry leaders. In London you will defenitively be able to find jobs within the igaming industry, but also in other UK cities. However, Brexit has affected the market here as well, and some gaming companies have opened up or moved their business to Malta.

Does it sound interesting? Here you can read more about moving and working in Malta and if you continue reading we will go through some of the most common roles!

Skills & Career

As said, you can come a long way without any previous experiences of the gaming or the casino business, or any other industry for that matter. Being fluent in a sought after language and being service-oriented may be enough. It’s no secret though that the online casino industry is an industry that is heavy on the IT and tech side of it. Below we have listed some different roles and, in some cases, potential career moves and opportunities.

Customer Support

Previous experience: None
Merit: Customer Support and other service professions

Customer Support, or CRM (Customer Relation Manager) as it’s often reffered too, rarely requires any previous experience or any higher education. But basic computer skills and English is often a requirement, as most workplaces are of an international charter.

All though English is usually a requirement, far from all Customer Support roles are for English speakers. Most European languages are sought after and especially languages such as Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Danish and German.

Obviously you need to be fluent in the language whose customers you will help. Because this is the easiest service, it is also the one who gets the most applications.
 
Career Development:Personnel turnover in foreign jobs is generally quite high. Within customer service, it is even higher. If you are persistent, performing well and gaining understanding of your role in the company, it does not take long, not even a year before you can get promoted to Team Leader, VIP Manager, Affiliate Manager or maybe Content Writer.

Team Leader

Previous Experience: Customer Support and/or Human Resources
Merit: Casino industry

Working as a Team Leader it usually involves the responsibility of a group within the customer service. Most often, the same tasks are included in the customer service job, but you will also support your team members and have an overall responsibility to deliver good customer service. In the larger companies, each language usually has a team leader and sometimes even several team leaders for each language.

It is almost impossible to get this job without previous experience from the casino industry, but team leader often happens through internal recruitment, or directly recruited from another company in the industry.

Career Development: In the larger companies there is the potential to become middle management or head of the entire customer service department. With good knowledge of the industry and if you are good at working with other people, HR is also a possible career development for a skilled team leader.

VIP Manager

Previous experience: Customer service and/or other service industry
Merit: Casino industry

Working as a VIP Manager means that you have contact with the regulars, or those players that spend the most if you want to put it that way. Your role is partly customer service where you make sure that those who achieve VIP status get help faster, but also tailoring offers and make sure they are happy and pleased with you as a company.

This role is also usually filled through internal recruitment, or direct recruitment.

Career Development: Are you good at keeping and people happy, Affiliate Manager is a possible step in your career. If you have good understanding of creating attractive promotions, the marketing department may be your next step.

Affiliate Manager

Previous experience: Customer service and/or other service industry
Merit: Casino industry

Working as an affiliate manager means that you have contact with so-called affiliates. They are helping to bring in customers to your employer and usually works on a commission basis. Your responsibility is to find new and maintain existing business relationships, as well as making sure they are happy with you as a partner.

Career Development: Chief or middle management. Even the marketing department can be the next step, since affiliates are often one of the most important marketing strategies for a casino.

Content Writer

Previous experience: None
Merit: Marketing Background and/or Casino Industry

Content Writer has the task of writing texts. The profession itself is relatively new and should not be confused with a copywriter or a journalist, even if some tasks do overlap.

As a Content Writer, you write texts for the website, such as game descriptions or blog posts. Over time, you often get more responsibility and get started writing texts that are more related to marketing, such as newsletters.

Career Development: There is several possible ways for development. One is copywriter which is more responsible for selling and converting texts. With one foot in the marketing department there is a lot of possibilities. Even SEO Manager is a likely next step.

SEO Manager

Previous Experience: Content, Marketing and/or Web Development
Merit: Casino industry

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization as it is called, is a semi-technical role within marketing. It’s about getting websites to appear on search engines like Google. For an online casino this is of course very important. However, traditional education is unusual within this area as well as clear answers.

This role can be gained with relatively little experience, but good understanding of IT and/or marketing as technology, tools and processes often differ between companies.

Career Development: Chief or Middle Management Roles. Even a more general senior role within the marketing department can be a next step, since SEO and digital marketing are such important parts of a casino’s marketing.

Developer

Previous experience: Programming
Merit: Casino or game industry

As mentioned earlier, the online casino industry is dependent on tech. Partly so-called back-end development but also a lot of front-end development. For this role, you need to know one or more programming languages or some kind of web development.

Examples of languages that are commonly requested are PHP, Java and .NET as well as knowledge in databases such as MySQL and SQL. In web development, or front-end, it is usually about HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

Career Development: Chief or Middle Management Role. With years of experience and with a good understanding of the entire technical bit, CTO is a possible role in the long run.

Graphic Designer

Previous experience: Design
Merit: Casino or game industry

Online casino is a form of entertainment where feel, experience and above all, excitement, is the product. The graphics is one of the most important pillars when it comes to conveying feel and build the brand of the casino.

To apply for this job you should probably be familiar with the Adobe softwares such Photoshop and Illustrator, as well as having a good eye for design.

Career Development: Chief or Intermediary. Even Art Director or UI/UX designer is a possible career development.

HR Manager

Previous experience: People Skills
Merit: Casino or game industry

In a rapidly expanding industry with relatively high staff turnover, a strong stream of new candidates is required to fill the roles of a fast-growing company. But even the current employees need to be taken care of since the competition between the companies is high.

You can apply for this role if you have an education in the area, but the right person can also fill the spot through internal recruitment.

Career Development: Chief or Middle Managment Role.

CEO

This role is rarely found on job pages where a person with skills in x, y and z is requested. Most often, this person has previous experience of running companies or worked in industry for many years and accumulated a broad understanding of all elements such as staffing needs, organization, marketing, technology and economics.

Starting in the customer service and working your way up to the CEO’s post is unlikely, but the fact is that it has happened several times before in the gambling industry. That hard work pays off is definitely a truth in the casino industry.

Tip! Building a fast career in the gaming industry is relatively simple, doing a good job and by changing employers regularly. Staying for less than a year in the same place can raise warning flags, but people in the industry that change employers after 1-2 years are not considered unusual and usually help you climb faster than staying too long in the same place.

Keep in mind, however, that that chance can disappear quickly. It is a relatively small industry, and although most people are tolerant with minor incidents, bridges can burn quickly.