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Career Guide: Working in iGaming, Casino & Sportsbook

Career Guide: Working in iGaming, Casino & Sportsbook

Sat 12 May 2018

Do you want a career in the betting and gaming industry? There are numerous exciting opportunities in this fast-moving profession. If you are a digital-first operator, or if you are a fan of sports and gaming, you will find fulfilling and enjoyable roles that suit you perfectly.

In this guide we’ll take a look at the sort of jobs that are available in betting and gaming. We’ll give you advice on how to land a job in several different areas of the industry – including some great interview tips and possible career paths. There’s also a guide to the salaries you can expect to earn in iGaming and gambling.

We’ve also profiled various professionals working in the industry already, in a variety of roles. They give their advice to anybody thinking of moving into the dynamic and exciting world of iGaming jobs.

Ready to apply now? View jobs and apply.


01 Overview

The industry 

For as long as people have wanted to compete at sports or games, the urge has been there to “make this a little more interesting” by wagering on the outcome. However, it was only in 1960 that off-course bookmakers were legalised in the UK and the betting and gaming industry as we know it began to take shape.

In recent years the nature of the sector has changed radically, with the arrival of digital technology making it easier than ever to service mankind’s eternal taste for mild risk – and the associated compulsion to gamble.

Even though gambling has historically been a heavily regulated sector around the world, the industry’s income has rocketed in recent times. It is projected that the total gross gambling yield worldwide in 2019 will be a staggering US$495billion.

Given the rewards on offer to successful outfits, and the industry’s historical resistance to economic downturns, betting and gaming will always be an ultra-competitive sector – and one that will always offer great opportunities for those ambitious to join it.

The opportunity 

This is a great time to be looking to start a career in the betting and gaming industry.

  • This is one of the most mature technological industries. While many big digital firms are not yet even in their teens, the first online bet was struck in 1994.
  • The digital sector of the industry is using tried and tested methodologies but at the same time strives constantly to be ahead of the curve. If you want to be at the cutting edge, this is an industry to be in.
  • Engagement with customers is stronger and more fundamental to success than in almost any other business. This is driven by an extraordinarily detailed approach to analytics in an attempt to stay one step ahead of rivals.
  • Creative? In the gaming industry, you’ll definitely get the chance to develop your skill set.
  • The betting and gaming industry will always thrive, whatever the state of the economy. People’s dedication to enjoying their daily or weekly flutter runs extremely deep in the UK and beyond.
  • New recruits are welcomed from a wide variety of backgrounds and will find an equally broad range of challenging employment possibilities.
  • Betting and gaming rewards those with agile minds who are comfortable with innovation and keen to solve problems.
  • There is an exhilaration to working in a genuinely fast-paced environment where fortunes can be won and lost in seconds on the spin of a wheel or as two horses strain for the finish line in a driving finish.

02 Job Opportunities

Customer Service

What you’ll do

You’ll be the public face and voice of the company as you deal with an incredibly wide variety of queries from the most important people of all – your customers. You might perform this role on the phone in a call centre; or, more commonly these days, you’ll be on one end of a live text chat conversation. Your base could be the company’s offices or, increasingly, you’ll work from home.
 

Example task: A customer gets in touch to say she is unhappy with the way a bet she placed has been handled. She thought she was entitled to a payout of £500, but her account has been credited with only £100. You have to reassure the customer that her query will be taken seriously, then liaise with the trading team to get to the bottom of the situation. You then have to deliver the verdict to the customer coolly and calmly.

Key skill set

  • Patience. You will be dealing with customers who may be upset in the heat of the moment by their experience of your business.

  • Expertise that gives you a thorough knowledge of the business practices of your company, so that you can answer as many queries as possible without having to refer to other departments. 
  • Perseverance so that the customer concludes your conversation content that everything has been done to ensure their satisfaction. This can take plenty of time and persistence.

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Product Management 

What you’ll do

At the heart of the betting and gaming industry are the products that work hard to attract customers to each business. Whether we are talking sports in the sportsbook realm, or particular games in a casino, each has a manager who is accountable for ensuring that product is optimised and working as well as it can.   

Example task: You work for a casino company that wants to launch a new set of online slot games. You will need to liaise with a wide variety of people and departments including account managers, the development team, compliance experts and the marketing colleagues who will make sure the games are presented to customers in the best way possible.

Key skill set

  • Organised, detail-orientated, comfortable dealing with multiple senior stakeholders, like a mini-CEO.

  • Commercially aware of the potential of a product and the wider ecosystem in which it must exist and thrive.

  • Agile, able to switch between tasks and areas of expertise on a regular basis without losing sight of the overall objective.

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Sportsbook professional

What you’ll do

The traditional core offering of a well-established betting company is its sportsbook, and making sure it appeals to customers takes a bit of everything. There’s always a demand for good sportsbook product people who are also adept at project management. As for the traders and odds compilers, these days it’s not enough to be a sports enthusiast who can price up an event – there’s an algorithm to do that for you. You have to be analytical, able to read and react to situations.

Example task: You join a casino company which wants to maximise its cross-selling potential and increase customer retention by launching a sportsbook operation. You will need to build the proposition by importing the right content and ensuring you have the expertise – both in manpower and in cutting-edge technology such as algorithms – to deliver a first-class experience for your new generation of sportsbook punters.

Key skill set

  • Knowledge of a wide range of sports and expertise to create and promote the most popular markets they generate.

  • Coolness under pressure to enable you to react to the twists and turns of live events.

  • Ability to build relationships with, and secure buy-in from, a wide range of senior stakeholders.

 
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Marketing and acquisition

What you’ll do

You’ll be at the sharp end of one of the most vital functions of a betting and gaming operation – delivering a marketing message that secures that all-important flow of new customers. The competition out there is ferocious, and as a result companies spend big on acquisition – especially with more and more new entrants to a growing market.

Example task: Your business is relaunching its website and wants to use the new platform to attract a new generation of players. You’ll be involved in planning and rolling out the campaign and its properties, including microsites, landing pages, best-in-class written content and a host of special introductory offers.

Key skill set

  • Analytical, so that you know what works to attract new business – and, just as importantly, what doesn’t.

  • Innovative, with a host of bright ideas designed to make your company stand out, with a genuinely unique selling point.

  • Expert knowledge of core marketing skills including SEO, PPC and A/B testing

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CRM marketing

What you’ll do

It costs much more to acquire a customer than it does to retain them – about nine times as much, in fact. So once you have a new player on the hook, you need to work hard to keep them. Modern betting and gaming businesses want CRM people who truly understand the customer journey, who are inventive and don’t just churn out the same old “free-bet” campaigns.

Example task: Your company realises that it is losing far too many customers after only a short engagement and tasks you with driving an initiative to improve retention significantly. You need to devise a new way of appealing to customers that understands their journey and the nature of the relationship they want with your business and anticipates how you can make that as rewarding a process as possible.

Key skill set

  • Creativity is key to devising CRM campaigns that differ significantly from the old-school techniques still espoused by many companies.

  • Confidence and drive will be needed to underpin the new initiatives and ensure that they work in the long term.

  • Empathy with the customers, a profound understanding of their motivations and desires, will drive genuine insight as to ways of improving their experience – and increasing their loyalty.

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Compliance

What you’ll do

In an age of ever-increasing regulation around betting and gaming, the role of the compliance department has never been more crucial. You’ll be part of the team effort that ensures all your products, services, campaigns and new initiatives conform to all the relevant legislation and, therefore, maintain the reputation of your business.

Example task: Your business plans to launch a campaign aimed at attracting the next generation of gamblers. Aware of the strict regulations relating to advertising gambling to under-age players, you need to check thoroughly all associated materials to be certain they comply with all existing legislation. You devise watertight guidelines relating to all content including words, imagery and terms & conditions so that they are clearly not aimed at the wrong audiences.  

Key skill set

  • Knowledge of the gambling industry and the restrictions surrounding it is key; few other sectors, apart from possibly alcohol, tobacco and banking, are so strictly regulated.

  • Attention to detail when it comes to checking the finest points of what can be extremely complex guidelines as they relate to content produced by your business. 

  • Legal qualifications and accreditation are often required, though many roles are available to any candidates with the relevant experience and skill set.


03 - 5 reasons to pursue a career in betting and gaming...

1 - Progress is constant, fast-paced and exciting

In the vast majority of roles within this industry, no two days will ever be the same. The nature of sport and games means that there are infinite variations to be played out – and as they do, your business needs to react to them as swiftly as possible. There is an exhilaration, a low hum of excitement, in the air at all times.

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2 - You'll be challenged (In a good way)

This is an industry where your business, the operator, can be well ahead or miles behind on the turn of a card or depending on the close result of a big race. That means there is pressure, but once you acclimatise to that feeling you’ll welcome it rather than dreading it.

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3- It’s inclusive and welcoming

It is not an exaggeration to say that betting and gaming is one of those industries that feels like one big family. Because there has historically been so much movement between firms, the networks are powerful and there is a sense that everybody knows everybody else.

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4 - Employers treat staff well (...often VERY well)

iGaming companies also knows they need to treat staff well to keep them. Salaries can exceed €200,000 for the top performers, but even over €35,000 for graduates. The industry values talent, and has long been a leader in allowing flexible working, promoting diversity of opportunity and providing well-equipped, modern offices to work in.

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5 - You'll have some serious fun 

Working in iGaming, you'll be surrounded by people who have very similar interests to you. If you are a fan of sports or gaming, you will spend your working life focusing on your passion – very often it will feel like a hobby rather than a job. Companies in the industry do try to look after their staff and you are likely to get trips to sporting events, while back at the office there should be a beer fridge and a ping-pong table.

 


04 How to Get Hired

The skill set

  1. You have to be digital. If you want to be in any area of betting or gaming, it is simply no longer an option to focus purely on the retail sector.

  2. A little knowledge goes a long way. You can come into betting and gaming from almost any background, but familiarity with the subject matter will count for a lot.

  3. Be a fast learner. Whatever you know when you walk through the door, there will always be plenty more to take on board. This is a multi-faceted, ever-changing industry and it pays off if you can keep pace.

  4. Confidence is a preference. Betting and gaming, because of its fast-paced, real-time nature, attracts strong characters – and engenders strong emotions and opinions. It’s not ideal to be a shrinking violet in this environment.

Applying for roles

  1. Be strategic. Don’t simply apply for every job that hoves into view. Be honest with yourself and focus on those opportunities that genuinely suit your abilities. It doesn’t send a good message if you apply for nine jobs in three areas at the same place at the same time.

  2. Use your network. Ask around the people you know who are working in the industry. Be positive and bold – ask them if they know of any openings and get an honest opinion of the best places to work. Don’t be afraid to ask for introductions to senior staff – they are the gatekeepers.

  3. Your CV isn’t set in stone. It’s probably the first step in your campaign to get hired, so make your CV work as hard as possible. If you’re applying for a product management role, tailor the way you talk about your experience to focus on your successes in that area. Don’t have just one CV.

  4. Be persistent. Betting and gaming is a popular industry and, as a result, competition for positions can be intense. Don’t be disheartened if your initial approaches are rebuffed; believe in yourself and keep trying. It’s worth it when you get there.

Interviewing

  1. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Do your research on the role, the company, the people there. Know all about the business and the latest developments there and be ready to talk about them pro-actively in your interview.

  2. Practise your answers. Read the job spec thoroughly and look for where the questions are likely to come from. Then work on some well-honed answers that you can have ready to roll out when the time comes. So many interview questions are now scenario-based and start: “Tell me about a time when…” Have some answers ready.

  3. Tell me why... This is the biggest question you will be asked. Every company is looking for someone to come in and make a difference. Work out why you want to work there and how, precisely, you would be a force for good once you walk through the door. A really good answer here could seal the deal.

  4. Follow up. Have some questions ready to ask at the end of the interview. Always inquire about what happens next, how soon you can expect to hear from your interviewer. And, crucially, send an email thanking them for their time and saying how much you enjoyed the meeting. 

The Career Path

  1. Growth potential. The betting and gaming sector, although extremely competitive, continues to grow. Once you are through the door, there will be so many ways to move on up. One thing is for sure, you won’t be sat in the same corner office for 20 years.

  2. Learning curve. The knowledge you acquire once you are through the door can be used to move sideways and diagonally as well as directly upwards. There will always be opportunities to move from, for instance, product to marketing to CRM to product management…

  3. B2C or B2B? While the most visible betting and gaming companies are those who market directly to punters and players, there is an enormous related B2B industry whose products and services keep the wheels oiled. There are opportunities to be explored here too.

  4. What happens next? In recent years, senior operators who have made it to the top in betting and gaming have moved on to some of the biggest corporate names in the digital world – destinations such as Google, Amazon, Asos and Spotify.


05 - Salary & Rewards

What can I expect to earn in iGaming, Casino & Sportsbook? If this is the question on your lips, here’s a snapshot of how much you can expect to earn along your career path from entry-level to the top jobs.

NB: Remember, there are no hard and fast rules. Salaries and bonuses will vary substantially depending on the location, industry and individual company you chose to work in.
 

Entry-Level

Mid-Level

Senior

Gaming
Customer Support; Analyst; Trader

£23,000 - £30,000

£35,000 - £50,000


£70,000 - £150,000


Tech

Developer; Engineer; Architect; Tester; Team Lead

£23,000 - £35,000  £35,000 - £50,000

 

£90,000 - £250,000

Marketing & Operations
CRM; Affiliate; Acquisition & Retention; Content

£18,000 - £25,000

£70,000 - £150,000




£155,000 - £200,000


06 - Insiders' Tips

Been there, done that. We spoke to 3 leading industry-insiders, woking in gaming, casino and sportsbook, about what they do and how they got to the job they’re in today. Plus, they’ve provided key advice for aspiring professionals on how to get a job in the industry. 

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Head of Data - Social Gaming

My Role 

I’m responsible for analysing and communicating actionable insights from various data sets. My team of data specialists analyse casino, bookmaking and marketing insight., We answer questions from around the business like “what’s the best promotion?”, “how should our sales process be managed?”and “where do we get best ROI (return on investment)?”

How I Got Here

My route into sportsbetting started with a job referral from a friend. I found I was able to apply my wider research skills (and my passion in American Football!), which quickly benefited my career. After 4 years, I was promoted to Head of Data.

Best Parts Of The Job

  • Data analysis, touches every area of the business, so you can get your hands dirty with all sorts of projects
  • Fast-progression, if you love gaming and sports it's truly the best place to be
  • It’s a process of testing, and coming up with new ideas

Worst Parts Of The Job

  • Having to work weekends

My Career Advice

Try it yourself…. Self-teach yourself the basics, there’s accessible data available to review online

Ask the right questions… Soak up all the knowledge you can

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Brand Manager - Games Software

My Role

I’m responsible for ensuring brand marketing, communications and strategy are consistent across the business. In my team of 7 are specialists in design, PR, and social content creators - and together we cover event sponsorship, TV advertising and digital channels.

How I Got Here

After qualifying from the chartered Institute of Marketing, I spent time in both ‘acquisition’ (more technical) and ‘brand’ (more creative) roles. This experience earned me great transferable skills that could get me access to a variety of industries. The gaming and sportsbetting sector seemed the perfect fit, and  now I get to do something closer to one of my passions!

Best Parts Of The Job

  • Nice to see your work come to life - especially when you’ve worked on it for awhile
  • Opportunities are enormous, if you like being a part of a team
  • It’s busy, but exciting at the same time - fast-moving environment with new projects round the corner
  •  

Worst Parts Of The Job

  • Biggest challenge I found is working with sponsors who want instant results  
  • Understanding my way isn’t always the right way (but still, learning to collaborate is all part of the job!)

My Career Advice

Trust your team: Delegate tasks so you have time to look at the bigger picture

Bring Personality: Get your personality across, particularly if you’re moving sectors, it’s important to stand out

Tick All The Boxes: Experience-wise, work across variety of roles to give yourself the competitive edge

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Product Manager - Online Casino

My Role

I’m the key link between sales, marketing and vendors, and do everything I can to maximise the customer experience. It’s a wide role covering everything from developing new product setup strategies to planning out all the implications of new legislations and policies affecting areas like intellectual property, consumer protection and advertising laws.

How I Got Here

My 20 year industry experience means I’ve seen a lot of progress in the industry. I started at retail bingo clubs, then progressed into operations. At Gala Bingo I revamped and launched their online platform, and developed high profile marketing campaigns like Sharon Osbourne bingo. I’ve always focussed on building relationships - with sponsors, agencies, partners - and that’s how I’ve opened opportunities to lead a number of marketing initiatives for all business channels.

Best Parts Of The Job

  • There’s so many different aspects involved in product - customers, compliance, business development...
  • Technology is always evolving the products we can provide - it’s a fast-moving environment
  • Passion makes a real difference - product developers and managers need to bring passion for the commercial side to succeed

Worst Parts Of The Job

  • Long hours - which can be hard to adjust to, but you do have to put in the time to succeed

  • Communication problems can cause big misinterpretations  - particularly when new policies are introduced with littletime to react.

My Career Advice

Know your SWOT: Simple but useful framework that impresses the interviewer (Google It!)

Think Differently: Look at challenges from different angles, and ask smart questions to find new solutions

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Stellita L. - Audio Designer - Slots & iGaming

My Role

I create bespoke music and sounds for slot games. When I’m brought in to a project early (I usually work as an external contractor), I get to consult on the creative vision and design the whole audio system. Other times – the ‘last minute’ type – I’m handed a list of sounds and music to make, exactly to the developers’ specification.

How I Got There

After obtaining my BSc(Hons) in Management Sciences from Warwick Business School, I decided to switch gears and follow my passion. I started off composing music for TV, short films and games, then by ‘accident’ ended up creating the audio for a batch of online instant-win games. This whole area of gaming seemed exciting and really under-explored… so here I am, 100 games later (and counting!)

Best Parts of the Job

  • Working with forward-thinking developers to create the highest quality games and (personally speaking) to raise the bar in regards audio
  • Versatility: one day I’m creating a Chinese traditional theme, the next an orchestral score for magic fairy lands
  • Utilising both my artistic and my business-oriented thinking

Worst Parts of the Job

  • Creating dynamic and exciting audio within the MANY limitations of slot game platforms
  • Often need to work hard to push audio up the agenda – math models and stability always take priority in iGaming

My Career Advice

Bring An Open Mind: When working on others’ projects, your role is often to serve their vision, not create your own

Show Business Smarts: iGaming is more business-oriented than other gaming-sectors, so even creatives can benefit from commercial awareness

Stellita is founder of iGaming Audio


Inspired to Apply?

Working in iGaming, Casino and Sportsbook - it could be the best decision you’ll ever make! If this guide has inspired you to take the leap, why not Register with Pentasia Recruitment or start applying for jobs today?

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