Current Commercial Director at Paddy Power Betfair
Stefano has over 12 years experience in the gaming industry and is the Current Commercial Director at Paddy Power Betfair. He runs the gaming P&L across various European countries including Italy, Spain, Romania, and the Nordics. Stefano has deep experience working with supplier such as Evolution Gaming, Netent and Playtech for both live casino and slots. Read more
Disclaimer: This interview is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as a basis for investment decisions. In Practise is an independent publisher and all opinions expressed by guests are solely their own opinions and do not reflect the opinion of In Practise.
Stefano, could you please give us a brief introduction to your background?
I got into the gambling industry 12 years ago. After completing university, I worked for Politecnico di Milano, the engineering university in Milan, where I undertook research into the Italian online gaming market which was booming at that time. After three years of research, I had the opportunity to join Paddy Power, who were looking into launching the startup in Italy. I am proud to have been the third hire on that startup, which went from zero to 70 people in a few years, and was a leader in the market for several months, at that time. It was a great startup experience and I remember buying an IKEA kitchen for our office on a Saturday morning.
From there, I took on different roles, almost immediately taking a commercial direction as I wanted to own the P&L. Initially we launched poker and bingo products after which my portfolio included other gaming products. When we merged with Betfair, I managed their gaming products. Four years ago, I moved to London to further expand into other regulated jurisdictions where we do business. This has been my trajectory in the industry.
Today you are effectively responsible for managing the gaming P&L?
That is correct and gaming includes all non-traditional sportsbook or exchange.
But you're managing the European countries outside of the UK?
I am primarily focused on Italy, Spain, Romania, Brazil, Denmark and Sweden. We also operate in many countries using the English language, but with a smaller focus.
What is the rough revenue split between live casino, slots and bingo?
Approximately 40% of my P&L is slots, 30% live casino, 20% traditional table games such as blackjack and roulette and the remaining 10% is poker, bingo and other products. This split differs between our competitors because that depends on which product you lead with. Poker Stars is much bigger on poker than all the other products, but that is specifically our split.
What is the structure of your tech stack?
We have our own proprietary gamer accounts where all customer data is stored. We also have our own platform covering the sportsbook and exchange. Those two products drive the Betfair brand proposition but we also integrate several suppliers on the gaming side. We have long-lasting relationships with Playtech, Evolution, Red Tiger and several others. The top operators in the market integrate with over 50 different suppliers.
So you are supplier agnostic and simply want the best games on your platform?
In the end, we want to offer the best possible experience to our customers. Historically, it was possible to have exclusive agreements withspecific suppliers but all operators want is to have a broader portfolio so they can appeal to more customers. We ensure all their favorite games are available on our website or mobile app.
Do you have your own proprietary player account manager platform similar to Playtech's IMS platform?
We use that for some of our products like sportsbook and exchange but also use a proprietary platform for a subset of our products. Playtech provides the very powerful IMS platform which offers bonusing and management of the customer journey.
So you use the IMS platform for gaming but not for sports and exchange?
We share the game account and the management of the customer's data but when it comes to gaming activities, the two worlds are somewhat divided.
When I am on Betfair's sportsbook, I get bonuses from the proprietary system which then integrates with IMS which is mainly used for gaming player management?
The sportsbook operates exactly like that. Other suppliers offer specific bonuses or free bets which we also use. There is integration between our platform accounts and those products. Part of it is proprietary but others are third parties which we leverage to incentivize our customers.