Steven Valentine: “2021 has been our most successful year ever”

Steven Valentine, Chief Commercial Officer at Comtrade Gaming.
Steven Valentine, Chief Commercial Officer at Comtrade Gaming.

Comtrade Gaming has had one of its best years in 2021 and hopes to repeat the feat in 2022.

Exclusive interview.- Without a doubt 2021 will be a year to remember for Comtrade Gaming. The company continued to expand into new markets, had signed different partnerships and had maintained its high standards despite the difficulties the Covid-19 pandemic brought to the industry. 

Steven Valentine, Chief Commercial Officer at Comtrade Gaming spoke with Focus Gaming News about the company achievements and what are the plans for the upcoming new year. 

We are approaching the end of a very particular year. What lessons and challenges did 2021 leave you? 

2021 has been our most successful year ever; we continue to grow and expand into new markets, and we have had many exciting new product developments. 

The challenge has been maintaining the high standards we set for ourselves whilst everyone is working on a remote basis and ensuring both clients and employees are well looked after. 

It is something I am pleased to say we have achieved, and the business has never been in a better position. 

The biggest lesson I have learnt is that sometimes there are outside factors that you just cannot control, and if you cannot control them there is little use in worrying about them. 

With more than 20 years of experience, do you feel that these last two years were the most challenging of your long career?

Our business typically has a lot of face-to-face contact, whether that is employees working together, working with our clients, or establishing new relationships. 

For the last two years, it has been extremely difficult to operate that way. Having said that we are a very established business and known for what we do, which helps a lot and allowed us to adapt easier to the events of past two years. 

“Although challenging, it has not been as difficult as it was 12 years ago to start to build the business and establish our brand.”

Steven Valentine, Chief Commercial Officer at Comtrade Gaming.

How do you see the future of the industry with the appearance of new strains of Covid-19?

I think everybody would like to see an end of the “new normal”! We saw glimpses of this in the latter part of this year with many people returning to the office and gaming conferences going ahead. 

There are some difficulties with the uncertainty; one example is the London ICE show, the main event of the year for us where a lot of planning is involved, but we now do not know when this will go ahead. 

The industry is very resilient though, online gaming has not really been affected especially now as all sporting events have returned and the demand for land-based gambling has been huge when restrictions were lifted. 

So I do not believe Covid-19 will really play a part in the future and will hopefully be just something we look back on in a couple of years.

This year Comtrade Gaming announced a partnership with G3 Esports. What does G3 Esports represent for Comtrade Gaming and what benefits will this agreement bring in the future? 

The G3 Esports deal represents our entry into the USA market. It is also one of our most exciting projects. There are not many people who can grasp how big esports betting will be but the G3 guys do. 

They have a completely fresh mindset and are coming from a completely different angle. They are not trying to wrap esports in a traditional sports betting manner and they understand player engagement better than most. 

Our expertise is providing the system to take their proprietary content to market.

Comtrade Gaming has extended its agreement with Superbet and continues to expand its operations around the world. Which other markets do you consider important or relevant for your operations? 

No different than many companies, the USA will be getting a lot of attention from us, especially as igaming is legalised in addition to sports betting. However, though, it certainly will not be the only focus. 

With all the M&A that has happened in the last 2 years, many European operators are struggling to get the attention they need and deserve for their software vendors. 

We have always been focused on large existing operators and providing an alternative for them when the pain of their exiting supplier becomes too great.

What are the main goals the company set for 2022?

We are privately owned so we benefit from the luxury of a longer-term strategy. The goal is always the same: to grow our business whilst maintaining the same high standards for all existing clients. 

Our business is built on long term partnerships; having happy clients means we do not have to be pulled in many directions constantly trying to put new ones live. 

“Customer satisfaction is always our major priority.”

Steven Valentine, Chief Commercial Officer at Comtrade Gaming.
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