Steven Valentine, Comtrade Gaming: “The challenge of 2022 was recruiting enough resources to meet demand”

Steven Valentine, CCO at Comtrade Gaming.
Steven Valentine, CCO at Comtrade Gaming.

Steven Valentine, CCO at Comtrade Gaming, spoke with Focus Gaming News about the company’s challenges and achievements in 2022.

After a successful year for Comtrade Gaming, its CCO Steven Valentine, granted an exclusive interview to Focus Gaming News in which he evaluated the company’s performance in 2022 and the next steps in 2023.

What were Comtrade Gaming‘s main challenges in 2022?

The gaming industry shows no sign of slowing down and for us, like many companies, the main challenge was recruiting enough resources to keep up with demand. The work we do is very gaming domain and product-specific so there is a minimum 1-year lag from recruiting developers to them really having an impact on us.

It’s a nice problem to have though and potentially as we see a slowdown in other industries, we will be able to capitalise on that from a staffing perspective.

In 2022, Comtrade Gaming expanded the iCore igaming platform access to smaller operators. What feedback are you receiving from them? 

We launched our new strategic business model in April at ICE and the feedback has been excellent. There is a real demand from smaller and mid-size operators to make the switch to a more enterprise-level platform and have access to a team that can cater to their specific demands.

So many operators start out on one platform that suits all models as it’s an easy entry to the market. However, once they grow, they want to take more control of individual elements such as a front end and payments and do their own game supplier deals. We enable operators to make that step and really drive their growth plans.

You have recently signed a partnership with Stanleybet in Romania, how is the project going and when will they be live?

Stanleybet is our second operator in Romania; they are one of the largest land-based operators and have a real wish to grow their online business. From signing contracts to going live, with complete migration, took a little over 4 months and they actually went live 2 weeks ago.

The transition was absolutely seamless with no negative effect on players. We have a long history of migrating existing operators and this experience is vital in ensuring the existing business suffers no initial downturn in player numbers. Now Stanleybet can immediately focus on growth.

You are also active in the RGS space, can you tell us more?

We have provided our RGS technology to some of the biggest game providers such as Ainsworth and Bally and to large operators who want to build their own games. We have an extremely well-developed game server. The extensive SDK’s and game features enable operators to build slots very quickly.

We have now started to focus on smaller boutique game vendors where we can provide a cloud version of our game server specifically for them. It means small game vendors no longer have to rely on an aggregator’s tech to build their games. They can control all their own development and their integration roadmap. We have done three such deals this year and within weeks of signing the deals, the game vendors were able to build games and take them to market.

What are the main projects you will focus on in 2023?

On the platform side, we already have two new clients signed, migration projects have recently started, and these will keep us very busy for Q1 and into Q2. We will potentially look to add a couple more platform clients for 2022 but we also remain very focused on our existing clients. Individual client focus has been the key to our success, and we will only take on new clients where our capacity allows it.

We have also been growing other areas of our business, we recently won government tenders for central monitoring in both Uganda and Mauritius. We have been responsible for this in Austria for many years and it’s an area of our business we will continue to grow where the market demands it. 2023 is already set to be another great year for us!

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