Who’s Who: Boris Chaikin
This month: Soft2Bet’s CEO
How did you first get involved with the igaming industry?
I landed in gaming completely by accident in January 2001. Things in my professional life took a sudden twist, swirling me around, leaving me like Robinson upon this gambling island. Naturally, I screamed for help for a few days, and then got to work, building my own estate.
What attracted you to this sector?
What attracted me after the initial twist was a) good money of course! And b) the endless opportunities – compared to my previous jobs, things in the gambling sector were moving at the speed of light!
What were you doing prior to the gaming industry?
I had a short and not very successful flirt with the pharma industry. It turned out to be way too slow and boring for me at the time.
What are you responsible for in your current position?
Everything and nothing. I have a platform, some 15 or so brands and team of 200+ under me but can’t really say whether I’m responsible for them or they’re responsible for me.
What have been the biggest industry changes you’ve seen in your time?
This industry never stops surprising me and that’s what keeps me fascinated. Every year, every month, there is another exciting development – we’ve now reached the point where there are so many, I can’t really enumerate them over the last 20 years. I started when the industry was taking its baby steps, and I feel we’ve grown up together like childhood friends.
What are the biggest positive factors for your sector right now?
The dynamics of the sector are unmatched! It gives us the chance to work with some of the best young brains out there and this is an opportunity of a lifetime!
And what are the negatives ones – the obstacles to growth?
Governmental stubbornness! Don’t get me wrong, I am pro-regulation but sometimes it goes beyond common sense – maybe because governments and regulators don’t seek enough advice from industry professionals. In any case, I am sure things will become more stable and predictable if we all began working more coherently.
Looking at your entire career, what do you think was your smartest move?
Getting into the sector and staying here.
And dumbest one?
I’d like to think I haven’t made any dumb moves… though that’s maybe a question for my team.
What do you think the igaming space will look like in ten years’ time?
I believe the trend of getting super-digital and seamless will continue. The trend has been set in Nordic countries and it will evolve in the rest of the developing markets. With seamless registration, self-service gaming, and the like. From our side, we have some radical developments we are planning to introduce… but we’re holding our cards close to our chest at the moment!
If you’d never embarked on this career, what other line of work would you have liked to pursue?
That’s a tough one; I once dreamed about being a doctor but never pursued the education – maybe that’s what I regret.