Betting Jobs Director Fiona Hickey said that effective recruitment has been one of the biggest challenges in the post-PASPA US market, where a lack of local talent combined with difficulties in obtaining work permits and visas for overseas candidates has caused headaches for gambling companies.
Hickey spoke to SBC News shortly after publishing the firm’s free-to-access Salary Survey, which found that salaries are on the rise in key gambling jurisdictions such as Malta, Gibraltar and the UK – despite a reduction in the number of new positions in Gibraltar, while compliance has become one of the industry’s most in-demand talents.
In total, the survey covered eight geographical regions: UK, Gibraltar, Malta, Eastern Europe, Western & Northern Europe, USA, Africa and Asia. It provided data across the following verticals for each of these regions: executive, technical, commercial, marketing, trading, finance, analytics, operations, product, legal, compliance and game studios.
SBC: What are the key takeaways from the survey?
FH: The Salary Survey has shown that the global online gambling industry is in rude health and that top talent continues to be attracted to the sector.
Malta, in particular, is enjoying significant growth with more start-ups basing themselves on the island and established operators relocating to the jurisdiction. This has seen competition for top talent rise, which in turn has driven salaries upwards.
Salaries are also on the rise in other key gambling jurisdictions such as Gibraltar and the UK. That said, the number of new positions has declined in Gibraltar.
The survey also shows the rapid progress that has been made in the USA since PASPA was repealed back in May, permitting states to offer legal sports betting for the first time.
That said, recruitment has been one of the biggest challenges; a lack of local talent combined with difficulties in obtaining work permits and visas for overseas candidates is causing headaches.
More broadly, the survey shows that compliance is now a key vertical in its own right, with most organisations staffing a dedicated compliance team. This has seen compliance become one of the most in-demand talents, and salaries have risen in line with this demand.
SBC: What does this say about the state of the global iGaming industry?
FH: The Salary Survey shows that the global iGaming industry is thriving and that there are tremendous opportunities on the table in markets all around the world.
These opportunities are attractive to candidates, particularly given the global nature of the sector and the chance to work in different countries around the world.
Salaries and pay packages are strong and reflect the wider success and buoyancy the industry continues to enjoy. Of course, benchmarking salaries in new markets is tough – this is partly why we have created the Salary Survey so that organisations have an accurate point of reference to work from.
SBC: What’s the sample size?
FH: The Salary Survey is the result of months spent collating, segmenting and analysing thousands of salaries from around the world. The data comes from the candidates that we have placed as well as those that we have spoken to, plus the organisations that rely on our recruitment services.
SBC: Do you think the averages are ‘true’ averages?
FH: When we refer to the average salary, we refer to the average for that position in that location – it is not the average of the highest and lowest salaries. Of course, there are always exceptions to this.
Take start-ups, for example. They tend to offer a lower base salary but will incentivise the candidate in other ways – bonuses, stocks and shares etc. This is why we also offer a Bespoke Salary Survey service; this can be tailored to an organisation’s individual requirements and deliver more accurate and relevant data and insight.