It’s all change at the top for bwin Poker, with a new chief executive and a new business strategy. Over the last few years, bwin has gone from a popular betting service to one of online poker’s powerhouses. This is thanks, in no small part, to their purchase of the Ongame network in 2006. Countless players make their home on this service, formerly fronted by the historic Poker Room. Bwin has also reaped the rewards from branching out into the restricted Italian online poker market and applying its solid software expertise to a range of Ongame skins.
The new poker supremo at bwin is Peter Bertilsson, former head of Boss Media, who operates the highly successful International Poker Network. Peter was the Boss Media president and chief executive from 2001 to 2006, where he spearheaded their change into a more Business to Business focused company. For those without an economics qualification, Business to Business (or B2B), simply refers to one company selling something to another company, in contrast to selling to the consumer. In terms of online poker, that means providing software for another brand to use as a white label.
It is Bertilsson’s skill at B2B that encouraged bwin to go after him. “We have convinced a true veteran of online gaming B2B to take the challenge leading this business unit,” said bwin co-chief executive Norbert Teufelberger. “As the market environment changes in that fast moving industry, B2B capabilities will be key for the USA and Asia but also for riding the regulation wave in Europe.” Bwin and its competitors are keen to shift focus onto B2B operations as they see them as a more stable option in an industry beset with legal uncertainty. Companies like PartyPoker and 888 have made big moves into B2B services, with the latter’s Dragonfish subsidiary recently contracted to produce the official World Series of Poker Online client. iPoker owners Playtech are also well practiced in the B2B field and have most recently completed work on gambling clients for video game company SEGA.
Bertilsson replaces outgoing poker head Carl Klingberg. “I am very happy to take this opportunity, there have never been greater opportunities within the gambling sector than right now and bwin has a very strong position to make them happen.” His boss, Norbert Teufelberger has charged him to, “carve out a distinct and strategic B2B unit.” With Bertilsson’s 15 years of industry experience on tap, bwin stands a very good chance of achieving that goal. “It is time to evaluate, complete and enhance the product portfolio to be prepared for the future,” concluded Teufelberger. With U.S. market inching ever closer to reopening, the future looks bright for bwin Poker.