PROFILE: Blanka Homor
This month: Playson Ltd’s Sales Director
When did you first get involved with the gaming industry?
I first started out in the gaming industry when I moved to Malta 14 years ago. I flew to Malta for a two-week holiday and was offered a job at a German horse racing betting company during my vacation. What was meant to be two weeks, turned into 14 years! My life has never been the same.
What attracted you to this sector?
The gaming industry just started booming in Malta back in those days and it was rapidly growing, with more and more companies opening offices. I knew I wanted to be part of this fast-paced industry and leave a mark. Turns out it wasn’t such a bad move.
What were you doing prior to the gaming industry?
I worked for British Airways in South Africa as a Customer Service Agent – quite a career move. The gaming industry could not have been more different.
What are you responsible for in your current position?
I head up the sales team and all sales-related activities and I’m predominantly responsible for bringing in new business opportunities for the company.
What have been the biggest industry changes you’ve seen in your time?
The industry is constantly changing with market regulations, a shift in more data driven approaches, and the big role technology now plays. With the advent of smartphones, the gambling industry has been quick to adapt to the digital revolution. I think the biggest change or trend I’m seeing, is how Artificial Intelligence (AI) has started to find its way into the industry and is replacing automated systems to examine player behaviours, patterns and preferences. This helps to provide consumers with a personalized experience by suggesting games, bonuses, and promotions based on players’ characteristics. I look forward to seeing how else the industry will use AI and what impact it will continue to have in this field.
What are the biggest positive factors for your sector right now?
The global casino and gambling industry is constantly growing and expanding. The online gambling market alone is huge and growing year on year. The main reason for the rising number is its increasing level of innovation. Gambling is one of the oldest trades in history and is something that will always be around. We find gamblers from all walks of life, irrespective of their age, race or sex. Rapid changes and fast market developments is what makes this industry unique, interesting, and is a sector one will never get bored of.
And what are the negatives ones – the obstacles to growth?
Regulations are becoming tighter, and with the change in laws preventing and limiting operators from advertising and promoting online gambling, the revenues in certain markets are declining. It is making companies harder to operate in multiple regions and I predict that smaller companies will only focus on one or two main markets, rather than expanding into multiple regulated regions and territories.
Looking at your entire career, what do you think was your smartest move?
I started off in a lower-level position and climbed my way up the corporate ladder. This required time, patience and a lot of hard work. I think this was the smartest move I could have made, as it helped me to gain a full spectrum and insight into the various sectors of the industry. I’ve developed my skills and experience working in different departments, but always in a selling role. I was also fortunate enough to have landed jobs at high profile gaming companies who invested time and effort to train and teach me. I am extremely grateful for the experiences and all the amazing people I have crossed paths with.
And dumbest one?
Not becoming a full-time gambler! 😊
What do you think the igaming space will look like in ten years’ time?
Hard to say, but I think we can expect to see some groundbreaking innovations that can perhaps predict winnings, and new apps with voice and face recognition which could be the next thing.
If you’d never embarked on this career, what other line of work would you have liked to pursue?
I have a hidden creative talent and would love to have pursued a role in fashion design. There is nothing more satisfying than being able to express yourself through your work and I think designers have a lot of fun.
Movie: Bohemian Rhapsody
TV Show: Game of Thrones
Band: Depeche Mode
Book: A Thousand Splendid Suns
Past time: Travelling
Food: All Veggie Food
Location: Bali by far