CB100 pathways through gaming and beyond,with Jesper Kärrbrink

The necessity of building and maintaining a strong network is a familiar construct among numerous industries, and is certainly one that is not lost in the gaming community.

However, among the multitude of strategies and expert tutorials in how best to achieve such a goal, is the question of: how much do you know you network? With this in mind, CasinoBeats is aiming to take a look under the hood, if you will, and has tasked the 100 Club to help out.

Our latest participant is a very familiar face to many across the industry, as Jesper Kärrbrink, chairperson of CEGO, elaborates on an unexpected career path, the necessity of progressing beyond a wild west mentality, and hopes for an industry-wide commitment for a carbon footprint reduction.

CasinoBeats: Could you begin by talking us through any past experiences that have been gained outside of the gambling industry? Could your career have taken any different paths?

Jesper Karrbrink: To start with, my career is probably the most un-planned thing on the planet. By chance I became the CEO of a Swedish local newspaper some 30 years ago, and then in the late 90s I realised that this thing called ‘the internet’ looked fun and would probably rock the world. 

Then, years later on my way to lunch, a headhunter called and asked if I would be interested in heading up Svenska Spel. I said yes. He could have called someone else or I could have said no and my career would have taken a totally different turn. I’m glad he called, and that I said yes, Svenska Spel was great and the igaming industry is so fun.

CB: How would you assess your progress through the industry to date? Are there any interesting anecdotes that would interest our readers, or any stand out experiences that may not have been possible without the current, or a past, role?

JK: After Svenska Spel I returned to media and e-commerce being CEO of Eniro and Euroflorist. The latter taught me a great deal about customer acquisition, retention and conversion that I then used when coming back to the igaming industry with Mr Green.

At that time, we focused so much on brand and games that we missed the basics. The first version of the new site didn’t even have a registration or deposit button on the landing page. We changed that quickly.

Introducing Green Gaming was another project that could have flunked miserably with the risk of affecting our VIP players the most. But with some fantastic internal support it became one of our best received initiatives ever.

My personal highlight was when one of the senior VIP managers came to me and told me that this was the best thing Mr Green had ever done. ‘First, my customers love that we think about them, but most importantly my grandparents are finally proud of what I do at work’.  

CB: What would you say have been the major changes during your time working in the industry? Both for the better and worse.

JK: I started at Svenska Spel 2004 and since then the igaming industry has gone from kind of a ‘wild west’ mentality to being super professional. This is of course very positive and has led to more and more (smart) people wanting to work in this industry. The industry has also changed from barely being regulated to almost being overregulated, but still in a positive way.

This has led to new markets like the US, which in itself will have a huge impact on the industry in the coming years. And if we look at the product we as an industry offer, it is so much better today than in 2004, the games, the entertainment, responsible gaming, on-boarding, withdrawal processes etc etc. Basically every part of the user experience has improved dramatically. 

CB: If you could ask the 100 Club any questions, or task them with tackling any issue, what would that be?

JK: What can we do to take our responsibilities for minimising the Co2 footprint to zero.

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