New technology central to igaming professionals’ ambitions for 2019

31 May 2019

Pentasia’s Will Sawney says opportunities related to artificial intelligence and blockchain will continue to be important to those in the industry, with job satisfaction and mobility other key trends to watch.

Individual ambition is critical to collective success. Every innovation, every improvement and every commercial success can – in some form – be tracked back to an inspired individual who made it happen.

‘Ambition’, though, isn’t an easy metric to measure. It’s a quality that can thrive in the right environment, or be squashed by the wrong one.

Last year, our Ambitions 2018 survey sought to take a reading of the professional igaming community. We learned about professionals’ interests, job satisfaction, career goals and more, understanding more than ever before about individual ambition.

Last year’s results were published here on iGaming Business as part of our Salary Survey. This year, our Ambitions 2019 survey once again asks igaming professionals to share their thoughts on the industry and their career plans for the coming months.

It’s certainly an exciting time to be working in online betting and gaming – few industries can compete when it comes to career potential.

With the US sports betting market opening up following last year’s PASPA ruling, esports gaming growing rapidly and technologies such as artificial intelligence, augmented reality and blockchain gaining traction, it feels as if the industry is on an upward trajectory.

This year’s survey is now accepting entries, with full results to be published after the closing date of 30 June. The team at Pentasia has taken a look back at last year’s results and come up with a number of predictions about how this year’s survey results will differ from last year’s.

Tech top inspiration for 2018
Artificial intelligence, followed by blockchain, was the ‘tech trend’ that most inspired igaming professionals in 2018. Many expressed a strong desire to learn, or start working in, these high-growth areas.

Interestingly, this was often more important than salary. Almost one-third (29%) of last year’s respondents listed “cutting edge tech” as a top job search priority. Technology is such a high priority that even lofty salaries were no longer enough to convince many tech professionals to accept a job that involved archaic systems.

Tech skills were also high on the list of priorities for respondents when it came to self-improvement. In total, 68% of respondents said they were committed to “learning and developing new job skills”, with hard skills in cloud computing, statistical analysis and new programming languages top of the list .  

Training key to job satisfaction
Training generally was a key element in respondents’ job satisfaction last year. Disappointingly, job satisfaction averaged just 3.5 out of 5, with marketers recording the lowest job satisfaction, citing “low promotional prospects and a lack of investment in training”.

Developers and designers, on the other hand, were the happiest at work in last year’s survey. It seems the industry has some way to go in terms of supporting ambition. Last year those in the industry reported that learning new skills and operating within a supportive leadership structure (i.e., with managers who “get it”) were important ways to do so.

Tech, job satisfaction to remain key in 2019
On the tech front, we expect artificial intelligence to take an even greater share of the interest from professionals, as this multi-faceted technology hits ever-wider spheres of the industry

We therefore think that learning and development will centre around AI and payments, as well as blockchain technologies – all of which have shown significant career potential for those willing to embrace them.

This year we expect project completion to emerge as a key ‘job satisfaction’ factor, but with work increasingly siloed in specialist departments, opportunities for through-line oversight will be limited.

Mobility to increase
Another key trend we are predicting for this year is that professional mobility will increase. Igaming professionals are showing an ever-greater awareness of their value, and are increasingly intolerant of barriers to their ambition.

We think this will extend not only to new roles but also new territories; emerging market job opportunities will be considered by a greater number of professionals and employers will have to adapt to accommodate remote or part-remote working options.

Ambitions 2019 is now open for entries, with a €500 Amazon prize on offer: pentasia.com/ambitions