How To Hire Gaming Executives

Interior of a casino

The term “gaming industry” refers to the economic sector comprising companies that either directly operate casinos or offer support services to those that do. This encompasses activities such as casinos, bookmakers, the lottery, and other legal forms of gambling.

Some consider gaming to be the video games industry however it’s the term ‘gaming’ has been heavily co-opted by the gambling industry, and what I will be referring to in this guide. If you would like to learn about how to hire in video gaming. check out that guide!

From Boyden's Experience Souring Leaders For Companies Such As:

The gaming industry is led by innovators and people who are focused on doing everything in their power to improve the overall experience of their customers, encourage customer retention, and encourage customers to spend more money within their establishments. All effort to improve the business needs to be in accordance with the various laws that vary from country to country or state to state.

To succeed, leaders need to be creative and attentive to detail. The most entertaining games offered in the most well-designed casinos are the ones that end up winning the market because they encourage repeat business. In physical casinos, those in leadership positions must have a strong interest in user experience, conversion rate optimization, game design, casino design, branding, and hospitality. Customers can quickly jump ship to the next newest and shiny casino offering, so loyalty and retention are of utmost importance.

Recognize the different business models in the gaming industry

When searching for candidates to fill executive positions in the gaming industry, it is essential to keep in mind that the offline and online gaming industries operate in very different kinds of markets. The first model is a traditional land-based casino with hotels and resorts. The second model is played entirely online.

For hotel resorts, the largest popular companies include:

For online/digital the three largest companies include: 

It’s important to recognize the talent and experience your COO, CTO, CHRO or CSO will need to make a hospitality focused company like Las Vegas Sands or MGM Resorts succeed are significantly different to the digital companies like Flutter or Evolution gaming.

Are there common leadership roles in a gaming business?

Let’s investigate the four most prominent companies in gaming right now, to understand the corporate structure in these businesses, how they differ in their business practices and how this may impact your decision making as you hire a gaming executive:

  1. Las Vegas Sands (US) Known for physical casinos, such as: Venetian Macao, Londoner Macao, Marina Bay Sands,…Executive leadership positions: Chairman & CEO, Executive VP & COO, Executive VP & CFO, Executive VP & Global general counsel
  1. Flutter Gaming (IE) Known for: Fandeul, Sky Betting & Gaming, Paddy Power, Sportsbet Pokerstars, … Executive leadership positions: CEO, CFO, CLO (Legal), CIO, CEO FanDeul, CEO Sportsbet, CEO Flutter international, CEO UK & Ireland, Executive chairman
  1. Evolution Gaming (SE) Known for: Draft Kings, Betfair, 888casino, William Hill,…Executive leadership positions: CEO, CTO, CPO (Product & Games), CSO (Strategy), CFO, CHRO, COO
  1. MGM Resorts (US) Known for Luxury Casino & hotel resorts around the worldExecutive leadership positions: CEO, COO, CFO, Chief Strategy, Innovation & Technology Officer, Executive VP & Global general counsel, Chief People, Inclusion & Sustainability officer, Chief commercial officer.

Considering these four companies were established in three different countries, we can see the corporate structure differs between the companies with a physical casino & luxury hotel/resort-based model (Las Vegas Sands and MGM Resorts) as opposed to the digitally-focused companies such as Evolution Gaming and Flutter Gaming.

It is easy to see that there are many executive roles that are standard for large corporations (CEO, COO, etc.), but the particular needs of your gaming business model will determine which roles need to be staffed with urgency if they are vacant or staffed but under-performing.

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Work with an Executive Search Firms

It can be one of the most difficult challenges for a gaming company if they are unable to find enough qualified candidates to consider or do not know how to hire gaming executives. The gaming industry is one that spans the globe and often requires talent to be located in different parts of the world. Finding them, therefore, can be a very difficult and time-consuming task.

Very few exceptional C-level executives will be actively seeking employment. Therefore, if you want one of the top performers to lead your company, you must reach out to them proactively. Executive recruiters have extensive experience identifying candidates with very specific skill sets. Given their extensive global network, they can assist you in locating executives in regions where you may not have access.

If you are interested in learning more about executive search or working with a firm that specializes in executive search, please  contact me!  I am a Managing Partner at Boyden, a global executive search firm with offices in more than 45 countries and specialists that are experienced in the gaming industry.  I can connect you with the appropriate individual(s) in our network who can address your business needs.

How to Hire Specific Executive Roles in Gaming

I have a range of Executive hiring guides which will help you learn how to hire a CEO, How to hire a COO, How to hire a CTO, how to hire a CFO and more! Please check them out!

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