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…HELLO 2019!


Jens Bader Co-founder, MuchBetter


Daniel Eskola CEO, Relax Gaming


What was good about 2018? The US PASPA ruling – a start to open the market finally for sports betting. Clearly now a major agenda item and focus for many of the European operators and also great new turf for the supplier industry, such as payment providers. Also, Malta’s commitment to advocate


crypto-technology and providing a haven for companies active in the crypto-space.


What was bad about 2018? Continuous issues around player protection and associated fines from Gaming Commission. The strong M&A activity in the gaming space slowed overall momentum and innovation of operators in 2018 considerably. Personally, the continuing nonsense in the German market regarding gaming regulation. As the largest European market, I really wish a consistent and workable licensing framework could be implemented to get clarity for operators, suppliers and customers alike. On the other hand, I appreciate Sweden opening and regulating the market.


What are you excited about for 2019? Again, I need to highlight the new US opportunity. 2019 will build up strong momentum in the US market and might be also the year of entry for us. After a slump of all crypto assets over 2018, I am curious and excited to see what development it will take in 2019. Personally, I am convinced that crypto technology and crypto assets will play a large role later in 2019.


Any personal New Year resolutions you’re happy to share? I will be trying to spend more quality time with my team and colleagues; throughout a hectic start-up phase I was reminded once again that the biggest assets an organisation has are the people. They make everything happen. On the personal side, I’m going to be cutting


down a little bit on the things that I am told are unhealthy…


What was good about 2018? From a Relax perspective, 2018 is the year that has placed us firmly on the map. At a time when many providers are seeking to close off the relationship between operators and their partners, we launched our Silver Bullet and Powered By partner programs with a vision for redefining B2B content delivery on a foundation of collaboration. Silver Bullet encourages open and ongoing dialogue between all commercial parties, facilitated through flat and clear fee structures. It provides clarity over a global distribution network for game development studios and seamless access to more than 280 games for operators. The commercial success of the


programs has been immediate, and we have struck agreements with providers including the Ganapati Group and Leander Games, while our platform was one of only three selected to distribute much sought-after content from Big Time Gaming, a major achievement for a growing provider.


What have been the major challenges of 2018? With the launch of both Silver Bullet, Powered By and our proprietary video slots portfolio in the last 12 months, we needed to continue expanding our team to match our growing ambitions. Getting the right people in place is a challenge for any technology provider and attracting (and retaining) talented individuals that buy into a business’ central ethos has long been central to the achievements of companies in this sector. We have met this challenge, increasing our staff numbers by more than 50% over the last


12 months, with over 130 employees now spread across our hubs in Sweden, Malta, Estonia, Serbia and Finland.


What are you excited about for 2019? I’m looking forward to building on the momentum that we have enjoyed in 2018. We have a number of significant agreements in the pipeline to continue growing our network of provider partners. There is a growing appetite in the iGaming industry for openness and collaboration, and our achievements so far give me great confidence that we can grow Relax into one of the sector’s foremost technology providers. The regulatory environment in a number of


markets across Europe is also taking shape, with one of our more familiar markets, Sweden, launching a new licensing regime in January 2019, and we welcome a sensible and measured approach to regulation continuing globally.





We seem to be moving into a new era of ultra-entertaining and interactive Live Casino products


AMY RICHES ” JANUARY 2019 109


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