Play’n GO CEO: Now is the time to invest in the future of online casino
Play’n GO CEO Johan Törnqvist outlines his vision for a different type of online gaming industry, and how the company is making it a reality.
2023 will be a defining year for the online casino industry
At this stage, I think we’re all aware of the headlines. More markets will regulate, we’ll face greater scrutiny in those markets that have already regulated, and this will happen against a backdrop of global economic uncertainty.
All of this is often framed as a series of challenges we need to ‘overcome’ if we’re to succeed. But we see evolving market realities as an opportunity to create a better industry.
I wanted to take a moment to outline our vision in the hope that we can find common ground with others. Play’n GO has always tried to lead by example, but we know we can’t do this alone. For us, the guiding principle informing not just the next 12 months, but the next decade, is all about delivering the absolute best entertainment in the most sustainable way possible.
We’ve always said that the only way forward for the online casino sector is to become truly competitive as a form of entertainment.
“We can’t bury our heads in the sand and assume the deep pockets of a handful of VIPs can sustain the entire industry.”
There are a couple of angles to this thinking. Firstly, we’re competing against an unprecedented selection of options for a share of people’s entertainment budget. If we can’t offer something that matches up in terms of pure fun and excitement against mobile games, console games, streaming services and much more, there’s simply no real future for our industry.
Secondly, we need to compete on these terms because, as we are already seeing, any other approach simply isn’t sustainable. We need to take seriously our duty of care to players. We can’t bury our heads in the sand and assume the deep pockets of a handful of VIPs can sustain an entire industry.
This needs to be a genuinely mass-market proposition, and that kind of thinking should inform everything, including what kinds of mechanics and stories should be included in games to ensure we are appealing to players regularly and not just once.
How do we get to where we need to be?
As ever, our people will be at the heart of everything. At a time when many companies are cutting staff amid difficult global economic conditions, we’re investing in the future. We need more storytellers, amazing designers, artists and developers to create the truly engaging games the players will expect.
We also need to think about sustainability on multiple levels. As I’ve touched upon, the first of these is the games themselves. We’re increasingly working closely with our operator partners on issues around responsible gaming because we believe operators can’t provide a safe environment for customers without the full support of their suppliers.
There’s also sustainability on a companywide level. This is all about providing our people with the attention and care they need to thrive, whether that be via diverse representation at every level or day-to-day flexibility and freedom to choose if you want to work remotely or not.
“We believe operators can’t provide a safe environment for customers without the full support of their suppliers.”
Finally, there’s the global picture, where we can make our small contribution on the key challenges of our day, including our pledge to be carbon neutral by 2025.
Ultimately, this is about maximum entertainment with minimal negative impact.
When we started out more than 15 years ago, online gaming was something quite different to what it has grown into today.
Over this time, large parts of Europe and now the Americas have introduced sensible legislation that provides a framework to deliver this unique form of entertainment to millions of people in a far safer way than most could have imagined.
We’ve lived this story and are now active in more than 25 of these jurisdictions, but we’re not naive enough to believe that everything has been perfect.
By drawing upon this experience, learning from what hasn’t worked, and bringing this knowledge into both new and established markets that are on this same journey, we know we can play our part in building a better industry for everyone.