From rock band star to CRDO: Igor Popov joins Betinvest

Having spent the last seven years at Playtech, industry veteran Igor Popov has become the new Chief Research and Development Officer (CRDO) at Betinvest.

Popov, who earned his first ever pay as a musician in a rock band, has gone on to forge a successful career in gaming through working on successful Playtech projects for the likes of William Hill, bet365 and Ladbrokes.

Prior to his time at Playtech, he worked for an educational software company and in a web department for two marketing agencies, where he helped develop websites for clients including Activia, Danone, Obolon, Zibert and Winston, as well as all of the GTI cigarette brands.

He cited Betinvest’s company growth and ambition as key factors influencing his decision to join. “An interesting opportunity came up for me to make a contribution, however big or small, to the history of world gambling,” he explained. “I took it and here I am.

“My plan is to lead the company towards new technological heights. I have a clear understanding of the goal we’re all working towards – it’s an ambitious one, but it’ll enable us to cement our place in the market.”

Betinvest, which contributed to a recent SBC News feature on sportsbook personalisation, is pushing the development of products including its fully managed sportsbook service.

Popov discussed the need to stand out from the sportsbook competition, stating: “All providers have a similar range of products. That’s why, the way we see it, our most important job is to develop something brand new that will change the market.

“Our goal is to create a new product that will appeal even to those who aren’t involved in this industry: we want to start attracting a new audience. That’s why we’re focusing in particular on business intelligence, using marketing segmentation strategies to better target content and services to different categories of customers.

“For example, if someone likes betting on hockey, we’ll display the relevant content first, having analysed their preferences. This means that our clients will be able to increase their revenue by removing any unnecessary steps for the end customer: placing a bet will be as simple and as fast as possible.

“When it comes to processes, we’re rethinking the way we work and incorporating agile methodology in our IT department: we’re building cross-functional teams and working in iterations in order to meet the market’s needs as quickly as possible.”

Finally, he addressed his own part to play in Betinvest’s commitment to providing a safe gaming experience for players, by adding: “I’m a stickler for responsible gaming. I am strongly opposed to this form of entertainment being seen as a way to earn money or as a person’s sole source of income.

“I want people to have fun and understand that they are choosing to allocate a certain amount of money to spend on their entertainment. I want them to enjoy the experience of rooting for their favourite team or player, regardless of the outcomes of their bets.”

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