Who’s who: Anna Sainsbury

How/when did you first get involved with the gaming industry?
My life in iGaming started in the compliance and testing space in 2005. I was Commercial Director at the interactive test lab TST (now part of GLI) managing the portfolio of iGaming clients and opening up their offices in London, Macau, Manila and Sydney.

What attracted you to this sector?
I was fascinated by the potential to work in such a global industry. I still enjoy the international aspects today as well as the challenges of familiarizing myself with the ins and outs of each new regulated market.

What were you doing prior to the gaming industry?
Enjoying life in Vancouver as an insurance broker.

What are you responsible for?
Like most CEO’s of a fast-growth company my main priority is ensuring we maintain our standards and keep our focus as we expand quickly. Launching as the only geolocation company designed by and for the iGaming industry just as the US market opened has been amazing timing but really forced us to grow much faster than we projected.

What have been the biggest changes you’ve seen in your time?
I think the switch from the old (light-touch) dot.com regulatory regimes for iGaming operators to the new dot.country regimes around Europe. The impact on how operators and their vendors had to re-engineer their businesses to accommodate these regulations was astonishing. In some markets such as Italy it has worked very well indeed, but in others, such as France, it pretty much just killed the market stone-dead.

What are the biggest positive factors for the sector right now?
I believe that the opening of the US markets will actually encourage innovation across all sectors in the market. The land-based player-base is aging and the move online is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for gaming companies to prove that they can be relevant to the under 40 demographic.

And what are the negatives ones – the obstacles to growth?
That’s easy: Protectionism! Regulations are too easily used as an obstacle to letting new entrants come to market.

Looking at your entire career, what do you think was your smartest move?
Working for myself.

And the dumbest one?
Trying to start a sock company. I told everybody that my ambition was to start a sock company. It went nowhere but people still make fun of me for having such an off-the-wall plan!

Where do you hope you’ll be, professionally, in ten years’ time?
Retired… Living in Bondi Beach Sydney with a beautiful house overlooking the ocean.

If you’d never embarked on this career, what other line of work would you have liked to pursue?
I would love to have a pie shop!