Over the course of 2016, I have personally conducted over 140 stand-alone interviews and this number does not include the interviews conducted by my Asia-based counterpart, Stephanie Raquel. Assuming our number combined is over 200, that’s a lot of interviews to dish out in one year and before we hit 2017, I’d like to highlight the top ten most viewed interviews out of our 2016 200.
In this interview released right at the start of 2016, I spoke with Jonas Odman, the godfather of the recreational poker model. Odman described his journey from debuting the recreational model in 2009, touching on its developments from then until the present. He went on to explain what markets are still ripe for online poker growth and emphasized his desire to hire new talent into his online poker universe.
Loyal CalvinAyre.com readers surely have noticed our interviews with Per Eriksson at major gaming conferences he’s always got NetEnt reveals to announce and good news to share. In this interview with Eriksson, he visited our London studios for a change and we discussed NetEnts exceptional Q1 2016 results. Eriksson touched on his plans for UK market growth, the launch of NetEnt’s live casino product, the success of “NetEnt Rocks”, NetEnt’s innovation week and his plans for the regulated US market.
In this interview with Olly Joshi, we explore innovation in sportsbetting and how his start-up company, WantMyBet, is disrupting the sportsbetting space. Joshi shared stories of how his company was founded, where the idea came from and explained how WantMyBet simplifies sportsbetting and makes it more social. Joshi also went into details behind the expertly-produced WantMyBet commercial, an investment that has done wonders for the start-up company. Before signing off, Joshi also shared some of his biggest tips on how to secure investment as a start-up in the sportsbetting space.
This interview with famous former English footballer Michael Owen was filmed at the Colossus Bets ICE Totally Gaming booth after a media “shoot-out” competition. Owen was happy to share his predictions for the Euro 2016 with CalvinAyre.com and also described his relationship with Colossus Bets CEO Bernard Marantelli, revealing how pleased he was to become the brand ambassador of the pool betting site.
The headline from this interview with Rahul Sood of UNIKRN was his statement that eSports is poised to become as big as the NFL in terms of its popularity. Sood predicts 2017 will be the year eSports hits a fan-base the size of the NFL and talked on the massive opportunity for monetization in this space. The issues with underage gambling on eSports were addressed and Sood emphasized UNIKRN’s commitment to responsible betting. He also provided advice for online gambling operators who wish to add an eSports offering and explained why being authentic is so incredibly important.
Eric Bergman is one of the most successful iGaming affiliates in the business and has grandiose plans for domination of the market in the future. In this interview with Bergman, we discuss the consolidation of the affiliate market, especially in Scandinavia and how Bergman’s company, Catena Media, is one of the driving forces behind this trend. Bergman covers how the same trend is occurring in other industries such as sportswear, fast food and car companies but confirmed there is still room in the market for smaller affiliates.
In this interview, Stephanie Raquel spoke with DFNN’s Chris Tio on what the Philippine Gaming sector can expect to happen under the new president, Rodrigo Duterte. Tio explained why he believes Duterte’s leadership will not bring massive change to the local gaming economy. Andrea Domingo’s appointment as the new head of PAGCOR by Duterte was complimented by Tio and he also commented on the calls for PAGCOR to focus more on being a regulator than an operator.
Roberto Coppola is one of the world’s experts on millennial gaming behavior and in this interview he warned operators not to fixate too much on millennials and to keep older customers in mind as well. He explained how one solution is for operators to create exclusive areas for different types of customers, micro-environments of sorts. Coppola also touched on regulatory limitations facing casinos today and how they can stifle innovation in our space.
In this interview, Eric Hollreiser of Amaya talked on PokerStars’ entry into the regulated New Jersey Market and how Baazov’s insider trading acquisitions may impact the process. Hollreiser explained how our industry is “no stranger to controversies” and therefore knows how to deal with them and move forward. He confirmed Amaya’s business had not been impacted by the controversies and there were no issues with the company itself. Hollreiser also confirmed his company’s delight to be entering New Jersey and praised the DGE for their due diligence.
Karolina Pelc, also a dear friend of mine, revealed in this interview details of her company’s recent live casino launch. She elaborated on LeoVegas’s “Celebrity Blackjack” game and how LeoVegas is keen on introducing innovations that bring more fun to the tables. In addition to introducing an extra element of fun, Pelc emphasized the superior performance of her live casino platform, keeping in line with LeoVegas’s mantra to deliver a quick, fast loading mobile site while providing a seamless experience for players.