At the beginning of the year, Swintt announced that it would be strengthening its commercial team with the appointment of Lars Kollind as Head of Business Development. At the time, Swintt highlighted that Kollind joining the company comes at a “pivotal time”, with numerous growth plans in the pipeline for 2023.
Following his appointment, Kollind spoke to CasinoBeats about his plans for the role as he aims to boost Swintt’s profile on the global stage, before touching upon the company’s plans for the next 12 months.
CasinoBeats: Firstly, congratulations on your new role! Can you begin by telling us a bit about yourself and how you came to join Swintt?
Thank you! My long and winding journey in the gaming industry began 15 years ago on the poker side of the business. Since then, I’ve been very fortunate to advance my career and develop my skills by working for established game providers like Playson and iSoftBet, which has led to me accumulating considerable experience within igaming.
When I spoke to Swintt CEO, David Mann, about the opportunity of taking the Head of Business Development position and I learnt more about what the company wanted to achieve, it felt natural for me to pursue the role. Swintt is definitely on an upward trajectory in terms of the operators it’s partnering with and the awards it’s now competing for, so from the moment I accepted the job, it felt like I was joining a winning team.
CasinoBeats: What are your main aims for the role?
In my role as Head of Business Development for Swintt, I plan to do everything I can to build our client base and create opportunities for us to enter new markets globally. Of course, the focus will be on partnering with reputable, licensed clients in regulated markets – and the network of industry contacts I’ve built up over the past 15 years should go some way to helping us achieve that. As we grow and start to scale our operations further, I’ll also be aiming to put together a sales team that’s passionate about the brand and can ensure our products get to where they need to be seen.
CasinoBeats: How will your previous experience within the gaming sector shape your strategy as Biz Dev director of Swintt?
As all of my industry experience comes from working within sales, I’ve developed both the requisite know-how to sell a product and a wide network of contacts that I can potentially sell it too. I think both of these things come naturally when you’ve been working in the industry for as long as I have, but I was still flattered to be recognised as the Sales Idol of the Year at iGaming Idol 2019 and I will use this experience at Swintt to help us improve our commercial relationships going forward.
CasinoBeats: Upon your announcement, you said that Swintt has plans to “establish the brand as a household name in regulated markets worldwide” – can you expand on this a little? Are there any particular markets that will be high on the agenda for 2023?
I felt when I joined Swintt that the company was now ready to take on some of the biggest names in the industry. In order to do that, we’ll need to build on the outstanding growth we’ve shown over the past three years by securing both certification and new partnerships in a number of key markets worldwide. The main markets that will be a particular focus for us in 2023 are Ontario, Romania, US and Italy – and of course, we will also look to accelerate our growth in the UK, where we obtained our UKGC licence last year.
I’m confident my previous experience in igaming can help us capitalise on any commercial opportunities that present themselves in these markets as we continue to raise Swintt’s profile worldwide and I’m very much looking forward to the challenge.
CasinoBeats: What would you say are the biggest challenges associated with entering new markets?
The most obvious one is acquiring the correct licensing and certification in the first place. As all regulators have different approaches to overseeing online gambling, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for developers and operators and you need to be able to quickly and easily adapt your product to comply with local regulations. Once you’ve entered a market, the biggest challenge quickly becomes learning what works there and what doesn’t. You need to pay close attention to customer preferences and work out how you can localise your content to better suit their needs.
CasinoBeats: One major milestone from 2022 was the receipt of a UKGC licence. What can you tell us about Swintt’s plans for this market?
Yes, acquiring a UKGC licence was certainly a significant step for us and one that we plan to build on substantially throughout 2023. The UKGC is a notoriously strict regulator, so to gain their approval in the first place sends out a strong message about our brand and will certainly open up a lot of doors for us within the igaming industry as a whole. Looking at the UK specifically, you can see we’ve already put a lot of effort into raising our profile in the country through blockbuster releases such as The Crown starring Vinnie Jones and our appearances at major shows like ICE.
We plan to build on this success by collaborating with Vinnie for another two games in 2023, which will enable Swintt to continue providing locally-relevant content that’s tailor-made for the UK audience. On top of that, we’ll also be releasing games from SwinttStudios partners like Samurai Studio and Fine Edge Gaming in the market, which will ensure that our offering is even more diverse and that we’re able to cater for as large a cross-section of customers as possible.
CasinoBeats: How will Swintt ensure that your portfolio of titles meets the needs of UK-based players?
By continuing to analyse market trends and the activity of our competitors. We already know from prior analysis of all online casino activity in the UK last year that over 75 per cent of bets came via smartphone and that Brits spent the most money on virtual slots, despite these having lower overall participation rates than sports betting.
As a company that always takes a mobile-first approach to game design and specialises primarily in slots, this already puts us in a good position to appreciate the psyches of UK players and we will continue to develop engaging products that offer something different from the rest of the competition. We will also be mindful of the potential upcoming regulatory changes and ensure our games reduce the risks associated with slot play.
As I touched on above, Vinnie Jones is a household name in the UK and our ongoing collaboration with him will result in Swintt creating another couple of branded games that are likely to be very popular in the country.
As the goal for Swintt has always been to create a rich and varied game offering that satisfies as many players as possible, the fact that we’ll also begin debuting titles from our SwinttStudios partners will be a significant development in the market.
With a couple of exciting brands already on board and more to be added throughout 2023, these releases will give UK players more choice and enable us to offer something completely unique from the competition.