Campeón Gaming Partners (CGP) understands that Covid-19 has brought about a difficult time filled with so much uncertainty.
An important goal set by its management, therefore, was to reset strategies for all departments and focus on long-term plans, while reassuring employees of job-safety, facilitating working from home and protecting mental well-being.
We spoke to Marinos Shiapanis, Co-Founder and CEO, and Avraam Tosounidis, Co-Founder and CFO, to learn more about managing the company through the crisis.
“We believe that how businesses respond to crisis and uncertainty will have a lasting impact on employee behaviour, engagement and productivity,” said Shiapanis. “Health and well-being, financial stability and job security are top concerns for employees, so we tried our best to address those fears in meaningful ways.”
To help put workers at ease, the company also tried to provide as much information as possible, as explained by Tosounidis. “We used all channels to keep all of the staff updated,” he added. “In times like this, I think good communication is absolutely necessary.”
Both Shiapanis and Tosounidis (pictured) understand the huge importance of providing day-to-day direction and ongoing emotional support. Now more so than before, company leaders must talk to employees about how they are doing more broadly, in addition to what challenges are arising in the work-from-home environment.
With this in mind, CGP offered personalised and online advice to managers to better learn how to work with a distributive team and foster open communication.
“It’s important to encourage employees to care for themselves,” said Shiapanis. “These are great times to show empathy, but also encouragement and flexibility, because everyone isn’t going to respond in the same way to this pandemic.”
In a matter of days prior to the first lockdown, CGP tried to safeguard all employees by providing home-working opportunities with flexible working hours, and ensuring that home-office spaces were set up with all necessary equipment and software. New laptops were provided and extra screens to make working from home as comfortable as it could be.
To emphasise this level of job security, the first wave of the virus from March through to July was the highest hiring period at CGP. During the last six months, staff numbers have almost doubled. Interviews have been held online, while onboarding and training has been carried out via various software tools that facilitate home-working.
Yet despite the quick switch to home working, CGP was also proactively looking at life after (or between) Covid times. These included moving to a bigger office space to facilitate social-distancing and decreasing the workforce in the office to 50% of total capacity with home to office shifts, all while maintaining the same goals and operational plans.
Of course, it’s not just the staff that requires CGP support. The company also took the lead in efforts to remedy players’ problematic gambling patterns at its casinos during the crisis.
Recognising the potential for players to develop addictions, an important initiative for CGP casinos was the addition of an extra ‘Time-Out’ option, as well as increased surveillance of player screen time and attentive customer support for players’ needs.
The goal, both Shiapanis and Tosounidis agreed, was to demonstrate better understanding of the pandemic and quarantine-based concerns that could lead to gambling problems such as financial distress, isolation and boredom.
However, putting staff and player concerns to one side, Tosounidis was keen to stress the opportunities available to the company with the right management.
“As the saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining!” he added. “And here at CGP we strongly believe this. Another important goal we set was to diversify our portfolio of brands and think of different approaches to increase our outreach by rekindling with partners and friends, and substituting outdated strategies to more inclusive and encompassing ones.
“CGP has, as a result, built better relationships with providers from different countries, re-designed its internal operational vision to provide novel payment solutions and a fresh outlook for players. And this also resulted in launching two new casinos during the pandemic crisis – Wallacebet and Sons of Slots.”
Sons of Slots, launched in March 2020, and Wallacebet, brought to the industry’s attention in June 2020, are becoming an increasingly important part of CGP’s casino and sportsbook portfolio, slowly earning the trust of their loyal European players.
Both websites are MGA licensed, and backed by a massive portfolio of top-quality games, trust-worthy payment solutions and additional features.
“Although Wallacebet and Sons of Slots are new this year, they have already won the players’ attention,” said Shiapanis. “With 6,000 web casino games and 4,500 mobile casino games, more than 65,000 pre-match events every month, over 40,000 live matches every month, and covering over 120 sports with an offering that exceeds 250 markets, they offer a complete customer experience, the thrill of the game and the safety for payments.
“We are focusing on making both brands even more recognisable and aiming at steadily becoming leaders in the Nordic market and hopefully, across Europe. With a strong marketing strategy and campaigns across all channels (mainstream media, social media, advertising), we are building a strong case for Wallacebet and Sons of Slots soon to become established brands and conquer their rightful place among the industry leaders.”