Slots supplier Play’n GO has moved to a fully remote operating model and intends to shut down all global office locations by the end of next year.

After the news was exclusively revealed by iGaming NEXT yesterday, we caught up with Play’n GO chief people officer James Trusler to learn more about the company’s decision-making process.


iGaming Next: Play’n GO made headlines this week by moving to a ‘digital first’ way of working. What is the thinking behind that approach?

James Trusler: I’m pretty sure that every company in our post-pandemic world will be grappling with questions around ways of working and what makes the most sense for their business and their people.

For us, we looked closely at how our staff were behaving when they were given total freedom to choose between working from our offices or remotely. We also undertook a robust consultation with our staff to ask about their future preferences, as well as looked at what was most beneficial to our business in the future.

The outcome of those steps was clear. A digital first workplace is the future of Play’n GO.

iGN: What are the plans and timelines for your office closures?

JT: We grew our UK-based headcount significantly during Covid, which ended up vastly higher than our London office could accommodate, and that provided us with a perfect pilot opportunity.

We took the decision to close our physical London office late last year and implemented initiatives like co-working club memberships to continue to support our large UK-based team if they don’t wish to, or are unable to, work from their homes.

It’s been a major success. Of course, removing the need to have staff within a set commutable distance to London has allowed us to recruit from all over the UK, which has given us access to talent we wouldn’t have before. We now have staff based in the UK from all over Scotland, Wales and England too.

Learning from our experience in closing our physical space in London gave us the confidence to roll this programme out to the rest of the business. Our physical Budapest office closed in May this year and our space in Manila will close in October. We are planning to have exited all our physical office space by October 2024.

iGN: How many employees does Play’n GO employ and in how many countries?

JT: We’ve grown considerably over the past few years and I’m proud to say that we now have 750 staff worldwide.

It’s important to note that while we may be closing physical offices, we are actually adding countries from which our staff can be based, with Spain and Poland joining our ranks within the past few months.

Anyone who wishes to work for Play’n GO can do so, being based anywhere within the UK, Spain, Sweden, Malta, Poland, Hungary, the Philippines or certain states within the US, where we have gained employment licences.

We think that’s a pretty compelling offer to the hugely talented individuals within the iGaming industry and beyond.

iGN: Why was the decision taken to move to a 100% remote workforce? What are the benefits and advantages?

JT: The world has changed. Or, I should probably say that our Play’n GO world has certainly changed, post-Covid.

On the face of it, the decision was very easy. Our colleagues weren’t coming into our offices in any significant numbers after they opened up again after the pandemic.

This would have been a problem that needed addressing if we saw that productivity and engagement were down, for example, but for Play’n GO specifically, the vast majority of our employees were absolutely thriving digitally.

They really appreciated the benefits of digital first experiences – saving time and money on commuting, being able to spend more time with their families, or being able to dedicate more time to their personal wellness.

From a business perspective, of course it doesn’t make too much sense to have enormous offices that aren’t being utilised, but any potential financial benefit from physical space closure was the last point of consideration on our list when taking this decision.

“On the recruitment side, opening ourselves up to anyone in an entire country, rather than just the city in which the office is based, has been transformational.”
Play’n GO chief people officer James Trusler

We wanted to offer our staff an environment where they could thrive, and for us that meant digital first. But we still like to see each other physically from time to time too – summer parties across the business just happened and I hear that the most recent one in Malta was quite the event. And that is why the term ‘digital first’ is so key, as it is ‘digital first’, not ‘digital only’. And we continue to look to create in-person experiences, in order for our employees to have those needed interactions.

With this set-up, we do need to double down on our communication to ensure that staff not only feel connected to the business, but to ensure we’re still building a great culture as well.

On the recruitment side, opening ourselves up to anyone in an entire country, rather than just the city in which the office is based, has been transformational.

And being remote obviously means constant personal internet usage by our employees, so we pay a monthly allowance to cover that too. This is quite the financial investment, across a year, but we feel it shows our employees that we are thinking of the things that make that small difference to their lives. And that builds trust and mutual respect.

iGN: How does internal communication work at Play’n GO?

JT: We’re working hard and bringing in new tools and initiatives constantly to keep our staff engaged and connected to the business. ‘All hands’ meetings are coming to the fore now – no mean feat to organise when you have 750 staff spread out all over the world, from Las Vegas to Manila.

I don’t think you can communicate too much in a digital-first environment, especially as it’s really the choice of the employee whether to engage with communications from the business or not. So our internal comms team has been very active indeed, and has made good use of our own video studio, based in Sweden, to make sure the leaders in our business can be seen, as well as heard, as often as possible.

iGN: Will any job roles be lost because of the decision to move to remote working?

JT: No. Quite the opposite, in fact. We’re at our highest ever headcount now and we have at least 30 open roles too.

One of the secrets of our success, as I see it, is that the wider leadership group is very attuned to market realities and the macro-economic picture globally. Play’n GO is in a very healthy place as a business because of that long-term view.

The team have worked very hard to ensure the business is as efficient as possible for many years which allows us to invest in new initiatives and headcount. While others in our space have found it difficult of late and have cut staff, we’ve grown our headcount in the past 12 months and will continue to grow, sustainably, alongside the business.

We have only just entered the US and there are interesting opportunities elsewhere that we’re exploring too, so it’s a very exciting time for Play’n GO.


James Trusler joined Play’n GO in November 2021, with more than 20 years of HR experience. In that time, he has held various senior positions within the gaming and entertainment sectors at companies including NBCUniversal and Sky Television, working in the UK, Europe and Australia.

Play’n GO has committed to closing all physical offices by October 2024 as the Swedish slots supplier switches to a fully remote operating model.

The firm’s London location shut down in late 2022, while the Budapest building shuttered in May of this year. The Manila office will be next and is scheduled to close its doors in October.

The company was able to pilot the initiative after rapidly growing its UK-based headcount during the Covid-19 pandemic, where the workforce effectively outgrew the office.

That trial was described as a “major success” by Play’n GO chief people officer James Trusler, who said the ability to hire staff away from office locations had been “transformational” for the group.

For example, Play’n GO has since recruited employees from all over the UK – including in Scotland and Wales – and is no longer reliant on the narrow pool of potential employees that live within commuter distance of London.

“On the face of it, the decision was very easy,” Trusler told iGaming NEXT. “Our colleagues weren’t coming into our offices in any significant numbers after they opened up again after the pandemic.

“This would have been a problem that needed addressing if we saw that productivity and engagement were down, but for Play’n GO specifically, the vast majority of our employees were absolutely thriving digitally.

“They really appreciated the benefits of digital-first experiences – saving time and money on commuting, being able to spend more time with their families, or being able to dedicate more time to their personal wellness.

“This would have been a problem that needed addressing if we saw that productivity and engagement were down, but for Play’n GO specifically, the vast majority of our employees were absolutely thriving digitally.”
Play’n GO chief people officer James Trusler

“From a business perspective, it doesn’t make too much sense to have enormous offices that aren’t being utilised, but any potential financial benefit from physical space closure was the last point of consideration on our list when taking this decision,” he added.

While job losses traditionally follow office closures, Play’n GO’s pivot has had the opposite effect. The company is at a record headcount of 750, and is hiring for 30 open vacancies.

The supplier has also committed to paying employees a monthly allowance towards the cost of constant internet usage while working from home.

Play’n GO’s strategic decision comes against a backdrop where the future of remote work is under close consideration.

After being born out of necessity during the Covid-19 pandemic, commentators have started to question whether working from home is a sustainable operating model for the future.

Productivity, operating expense and employee wellness are all central factors of that debate, which most would agree has no right answer and at present is down to employer preference.

According to data from LinkedIn, more than a third of UK workers said they would quit their jobs if their employer demanded they return to the office full-time.

Elsewhere, the European Union has this week moved to strengthen the rights of remote workers after 30 EU lawmakers signed a non-binding agreement.

The charter, launched by the Future Workforce Alliance, would ultimately enable access to co-working spaces, prohibit the tracking of staff computers from home, and protect workers from having to send or respond to work emails outside of working hours.