G3 Magazine/Q&A

Lahcene Merzoug

Chief Executive Officer/PressEnter Group

Could you tell us more about PressEnter Group and its brand portfolio?

PressEnter Group operates a growing portfolio of online casino brands. Following our recent rebrand from Betpoint Group, we are now driving forwards with our ultimate aim of becoming a tier-one operator and true market leader. Based out of modern offices in Malta, we have quickly assembled a team of some of the brightest minds and creative talents in the industry. These people have been a huge contributing factor to the success of the business, which has gone from a single brand operator to a company with a portfolio of six online casino assets. This includes, JustSpin, NeonVegas, NitroCasino, UltraCasino and RapidCasino.

You joined PressEnter in 2021 after spending more than two years as CEO of ComeOn. Part of your remit was to assemble a management team. How is this progressing?

It is going well, and we have recently named a number of big hires for the business as well as promoting from within the organisation. With each person that joins the management team, you need to find the right fit between entrepreneurial spirit and corporate professionalism. When assembling the C-suite it is crucial to find the absolute best candidate for the role and that is why we go to great lengths to identify and secure the talent we believe is the perfect fit both professionally and culturally. And we have done just that with the likes of Qurban Hussain, who recently joined as Chief Financial Officer and Hampus Eriksson as our Chief Product Officer.

The company has gone from a single brand operator to operating six online casino assets with a workforce that has quadrupled over the past year. What challenges have you faced as an emerging operator in trying to gain a foothold within the industry?

Often when growing an organisation quickly frictions happen within various factions of the business but that has not happened with PressEnter. I put this down to the incredible company culture that we have created, and that has allowed us to scale at pace without anything slowing us down. Of course, the biggest challenge is recruitment and onboarding the right people to allow the business to shift up a gear and grow even faster. Building a strong team takes a lot of time but we have dedicated a lot of resources to this part of expanding the business. This has seen us earn a reputation for being one of the best employers to work for and that is reflected in the talent we have attracted.

Rapid growth also presents challenges when it comes to processes and procedures. We are now at the point where we have struck the perfect balance between being a cool start-up and being a structured organisation that has strong foundations for continued growth. We have kept the family feeling but at the same time transitioned into a more structured, process-oriented company.

How does the recent rebrand from Betpoint Group reflect this?

The rebrand to PressEnter Group was all about positioning the business for the push to become a tier-one operator of online casino and sports betting brands. We wanted a name and identity that was modern and reflected our position at the crossroads of technology, entertainment and gaming. It had to capture the dynamic nature of the business and that we are action-driven. But most importantly, it had to reinforce our belief in taking care of our family and I believe that PressEnter covers all of that perfectly.

Each online casino within the brand portfolio –, NitroCasino, JustSpin, NeonVegas, UltraCasino, and RapidCasino – has its own unique style. What market research and analysis is undertaken to decide on a theme? What factors are taken into account?

Before launching a new brand, we undertake thorough research to understand the perceptions and connotations that brand and theme will have among players. We need to be on top of the latest trends in terms of technology but also the look and feel of the site – I believe that all of our brands do this extremely well. Within our portfolio, there is at least one brand that will appeal to a player regardless of their individual preferences. We also try to be as localised as possible so that one brand will have greater appeal in one market, while another will better meet the needs of players in a different market.

Specifically, talk us through PressEnter’s most recent addition, Rapid Casino, which has a Western theme.

The Western theme is incredibly popular at the moment across a range of entertainment and media platforms from books to movies to video games. With RapidCasino, we wanted to take player engagement to the next level and to do that we created a comprehensive back story for the brand with a hero character that players can connect with and follow throughout the site. This makes for a highly interactive casino experience with entertainment value to match other media platforms like streaming and mobile gaming.

In an increasingly crowded market, what thread runs throughout PressEnter’s brands that differentiate them from the competition?

Simple – the user experience offered across all of our casinos is among the best. While it is nice to have things like gamification and fun features, ultimately the long-term success of a casino lies in getting the basics right. This includes a seamless user journey from the moment the player arrives at the casino through sign up, depositing, finding the best games, having access to local customer support agents and fast withdrawals. If these core factors are not absolutely spot on, then players will leave the casino and try a rival brand.

Following the rebrand, PressEnter also secured a new office in Malta. Does this feel like a new chapter for the company?

Most definitely. Securing a new state-of-the-art office, which is currently being designed and finalised, was another way for us to show that we are serious about our ambition to become a tier-one operator and a major player in the industry. Although we offer remote and hybrid working, we want our employees to have a hub where they can come to and enjoy the creative and collaborative atmosphere that we have established.

PressEnter has made clear its plans for geographical expansion. Can we expect more licence announcements in the coming months?

In terms of new markets, 2022 is going to be a very interesting year for PressEnter Group. Not only are we in the process of securing licenses in some key regulated markets, but we are also looking to expand our geographical footprint through a number of strategic acquisitions. We are currently developing partnerships that can open doors to jurisdictions that we have identified as vital for the coming year.

What are your expectations for the next twelve months? Do you have any specific goals?

We have a very busy roadmap for the coming year that includes making our first move into the sports betting vertical. We have secured a powerful domain that will enable us to quickly emerge as a major player in the sector by combining this with the superior user experience that we provide our players. On a personal level, I am really looking forward to enjoying my first coffee in our new office alongside some of my colleagues.

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