The iGaming NEXT podcast is fast gaining a brilliant rep as one of the leading podcasts for the iGaming professional community.
Hosted by iGaming veteran and iGaming NEXT Co-founder Pierre Lindh, who has 15-years experience in the industry, the podcast regularly features business leaders discussing the iGaming zeitgeist and offering in-depth insight into the dynamics of the iGaming ecosystem.
Last month, for example, Pierre hosted a wonderful session with Disa Stigh, CCO of Net Value Media and Founder of the Casino by Her platform.
Disa spoke about her unconventional entry into the iGaming industry, which began with her starting as a live dealer for Evolution Gaming, before becoming an Affiliate Manager and then, within only five-and-a-half-years, Chief Commercial Officer for Net Value Media. Hers is an inspirational story that proves “everything is possible” for those willing to apply themselves and step out of their comfort zone.
The key issue of diversity and inclusion within the iGaming industry was one of the biggest discussion markers of the session.
In an industry that is often criticised for being too male dominated, it was truly refreshing to hear the perspective of a young female professional who has made it to the top in our industry. In an industry as cutting-edge and innovative as ours, diversity should be a given. But reality falls far short.
Despite this, Disa still believes that much progress has been made — especially within the last few years. This, she says, is evident from the increased representation of women speaking at conferences and the growing number of women in high-level industry positions.
Having experienced–and overcome–much sexism within our industry, it was also interesting to hear Disa’s view that sometimes women can be their own worst enemy.
“Imposter Syndrome”, a lack of self-belief and fear that they are not quite up to the job, is something that many senior level professionals suffer from, regardless of gender, believes Disa. The issue of low self-confidence amongst many women workers was one of the major hurdles preventing progress and greater gender balance in the iGaming super zone, she believes.
After listening to Pierre’s podcast, it seems, also, that mandatory 50-50 male-female employment quotas are not the solution.
Employing people on gender rather than merit could be interpreted as patronising and can even have an adverse impact on progress, Disa and Pierre agreed.
They believe that diversity can only be achieved through education — and by creating a business culture where gender becomes invisible and employees are judged on knowledge, skill and performance.
The greatest challenge is to change people’s fundamental mindset. This is the only true way to achieve real gender equality.
Another key topic covered during the podcast was the unavoidable issue of player protection and responsible gaming.
Disa herself has had first-hand experience in observing the damage caused by problem gambling.
At first, when working as a Live Dealer, she struggled with her negative feelings over betting risks, she revealed. She even admitted that she felt “like a hypocrite”.
But now she has taken and turned these concerns into positive energy to drive better protections and solutions for at-risk gamblers.
Both podcasters concurred that there is still much to do to improve safe betting protocols in the gaming community.
Disa called for greater transparency in the industry and underlined that she is determined to prioritise the issue of safe gambling in her own Casino For Her podcast.
Building trust and understanding through continued and insistent media messaging are key aims, said Disa. We all need to embrace and try to help solve the issue of problem gambling. And in the process we can also build the good reputation of the industry.
Pierre and Disa are clearly part of a new generation in iGaming that is focused, more than ever, on responsible betting.
The two leaders understand that this is the best way to ensure growth and sustainability in the gaming market. Operators must take more responsibility and perhaps follow the lead of progressive companies such as Kindred, who are committed to completely eliminating revenue generated from problem gambling by 2024.
These are just a few examples, highlighted by the iGaming Next podcast, of the great and exciting progress being made in our industry.