Career profile: Daniel Eskola, Head of Gaming, Unibet

Career profile: Daniel Eskola, Head of Gaming, Unibet

Wednesday, March 11, 2015 Totally Gaming


Name: Daniel Eskola

Residence: London

Date of birth: 26th June 1980

Education: Master of Business and Administration, Uppsala University, Sweden


INSIGHT: How did you come to be in the gaming industry?

Daniel Eskola: “My passion for gambling started at an early age with mainly playing poker and combo bets in sports betting. My original plan was to become a stockbroker while at university, which happened to coincide with the big booming poker market.

“So I made a conscious choice and I elected to write my thesis for Nordicbet on the Swedish Gambling market, with the main question being why the monopoly held such a large market share despite offshore operators offering a superior product.

“Towards the end of my studies at Uppsala, I noticed an advert for a summer job working with poker and applied for it in the spring. It was meant to be a temporary job lasting for five weeks, but since that first day I have now worked close to 10 years in the industry.” What have been the key moments in the progression of your career?

DE: “In the beginning of my career I was mainly focused on poker and the marketing side of the business, working in Malta. During those first years I realised I was actually more interested in working on the product development side, and fortunately I was offered Entraction’s Head of Poker role back in Sweden.

“At that time, the Entraction network had a seven-day average of about 500 players. Within two years, myself and the team managed to grow the poker business to over 1,800. After this success I was appointed Head of Product for all the gaming verticals.

“After working five years at Entraction, I got a call from a headhunter about joining Unibet, a Swedish company I knew well. It felt like a good career move to make a change and take on new challenges on the B2C side. At Unibet I got the opportunity to take on the gaming side of the business, which has had nice growth over the last few years.” How have you handled the increase in responsibilities during your career?

DE: “To be honest, I still remember the feeling of initial dread when taking over as Head of Poker at Entraction with a lot of responsibility and staff. The skill of managing people has come naturally and I believe in a friendly and approachable environment.

“Regarding expectations, being passionate about gambling and winning, it translates over to the work life as well. Always trying to find ways of improving for a chance to win, an example would be the poker business at Unibet which struggled for many years. Here Unibet took a gamble on trying something new and it has been a success so far.” What is the most satisfying part of your job?

DE: “Working with something that you are passionate about becomes very satisfying in itself. Combine that with a young industry as online gambling is, with new ideas and challenges coming constantly, it becomes extremely satisfying for me to work with.” Do you expect to stay in the gaming industry?

DE: “I definitely see myself staying in the industry for many years to come, though of course there are other industries that have their appeal as well. As long as I find it this enjoyable I will stay within the industry.”


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