On setting up our dedicated betting and gaming practice in January 2011 our aim was to fulfil a number of objectives; to fill a gap in the market for employers wishing to hire senior executives, to better represent senior betting and gaming individuals in their next career move either inside or outside the sector and finally, to identify and attract the best possible senior talent from outside the industry for roles within.

Two years ago, the number of individuals from other industries who told us they would not consider a career in the sector outweighed the ones who did. However, the growth of the industry in the last two years and the prevalence of betting and gaming brands in mainstream media has firmly put the sector on the map for senior candidates from other sectors.

The comfort of hiring individuals who can make immediate impact because of their product knowledge and their understanding of the nuances of the sector provides an easy option for betting and gaming employers and we can appreciate that some roles in functions such as trading and certain product areas may require an industry specialist.

However, from our experience in the last two years and having seen other appointments of ‘outsiders’ for key senior roles in the industry, the trend for hiring talent from other industries is growing, although there are a number of organisations that have not yet embraced this approach.

With increased marketing and awareness of betting and gaming brands, perceptions have changed on the industry. Many individuals now cite the sector as an international, fast-paced, technology-led, highly competitive and attractive industry, employing some amazingly talented executives. Overall, the barriers are disappearing and senior talent now moves freely between the betting and gaming and other industries, particularly technology. We see this as a trend that will only continue as the industry moves even more mainstream. In addition, the crossover between real-money and social gaming and the obvious importance of mobile gaming has also opened up opportunities for and interest from non-gaming talent.

We are starting to see real interest in the industry from Silicon-Valley talent too, despite the ongoing negative perceptions associated with online gaming in their home US market, perpetuated by relatively recent high profile indictments made by the Department of Justice. We believe that as the US regulatory landscape for gaming continues to become clearer, the talent pool in the US is likely to become much more interested in roles in the sector.

For all the new found positivity towards the gaming sector some entrenched opinions do however remain and we have highlighted some of these views constructively in this paper.

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Shuffling the deck

Andrew Bulloss

Andrew specialises in executive search for organisations recruiting directors, senior executive, C-level and non-executive directors in the international gaming and gambling industries. He is the p...

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