Connect with us
Prague Gaming & TECH Summit 2024

Latest News

Women at Reflex | Surj Stott Interview

Published

on

Women at Reflex | Surj Stott Interview
Women at Reflex | Surj Stott InterviewReading Time: 5 minutes

 

Each year, the 8th March marks International Women’s day (IWD). In 2021, let’s pay attention to this year’s bold theme which is, ‘Choose to challenge’.  The time is now to challenge inequality, call out bias, question stereotypes with the aim to forge an inclusive world.
It will come as no surprise that the gambling sector is both very white and very male. The lack of women working in senior positions is astounding.  Of the women who do work in the sector, they are more likely to work in retail, HR or administrative functions. The Gambling Commission’s recent annual report has confirmed that women are gambling in similar numbers to men. If we want games to be representative of the players, it’s important that teams creating them offer a diverse and varied perspective. In which case, encouraging more women to work in the sector can only be positive.
We chat to Surj Stott – Head of Sales at Reflex Gaming to discuss her incredible journey from a run-away, wayward teenager to helping build one of the UK’s leading machine producers.  We get her views on what she would choose to challenge on IWD.


1. Hi Surj, tell us about your role at Reflex Gaming

I head up the sales and marketing function, so customer account management is a big part of the job.   Along with Steve Clark, I help manage our customer relationships.  At Reflex, we pride ourselves on great partnerships with pub retailers, operators and our AGC customer base.

Day-to-day, I also manage our production schedule and liaise closely with our production and logistics teams to ensure that our games are delivered to customers on time.

I’m also responsible for planning our events, including major expos, such as ICE, EAG and ACOS. I really enjoy this side of things, due to my love of people and socialising. The cancellations of both EAG and ICE this year have been a blow for Reflex, as both events are important marketing platforms for us to showcase our new product lines.  They also provide a great opportunity to speak to our customers and learn their requirements and find out what is performing well on their estates.

2. How has the global pandemic impacted on Reflex Gaming?
At the start of 2020, the outlook was positive for Reflex, we were acquired by the Dransfield Group in 2019 and we had established ourselves as one of the country’s leading machine suppliers to the pub and club sectors.

The first lockdown resulted in our entire customer base being closed which wiped out our forward-looking orders.  We consequently made strategic decisions to fast track our drive to the online space. We have formed strategic alliances with two major distributors, Yggdrasil and Stakelogic. These give us the opportunity to penetrate the online slot market quickly and get our games in front of more players via their vast distribution networks. This is typical of the Reflex psyche in that, being faced with the biggest negative impact imaginable to our existing business, we have leveraged opportunities that have been unaffected by the pandemic.

However, it is very disappointing that the Government have given very little support to manufacturers and suppliers to the leisure and hospitality industry. Supply chain companies like Reflex have simply slipped through the Government’s support net. Other than the furlough scheme, we’ve had no additional support and it has been a real struggle to operate for 14 months with, effectively, no income.  We have tried to lobby for a business support grant and a rates relief, but with no success to date.

I am a strong character and I’ve managed to remain positive throughout the pandemic.  We need to focus on the future and there is now some light at the end of this long tunnel, through the impressive vaccine rollout which has resulted in the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown.  Right now, it seems that the leisure and hospitality industry will reopen in April/May as planned, and if people opt for “staycations”, these will be positive steps to ease the recovery of the sector.

3. How did you get into this sector?
I grew up in Leicester in a first-generation Indian family.  At the age of 15, my parents had arranged for my marriage to a goat farmer, based in India.   My instincts told me that it did not feel right, and it certainly wasn’t a life I wanted. I took the drastic step to do a runner, and I haven’t looked back since!

As you can imagine, leaving home at 15 was tough, but I was fortunate to have a good network of friends who helped me through the situation.  I’m thankful that I didn’t end up in the wrong crowd.

I was running a successful Nottingham city centre pub in my early twenties, following which I established my own bar in Newark. This meant working very long and unsociable hours, and with a young child, often proved to be difficult. I decided that more of a 9-5 job would better suit my home / work life balance and I mentioned this in conversation with one of the customers in my bar, who happened to work at a local gaming machine business called BWB.  An opportunity came up there, so I applied. I was interviewed, got the job, and began my career in gaming at BWB. After a while, I moved into a sales role and it was whilst I was working here that I met my husband, Quentin, (these days the MD of Reflex Gaming).

4. What would you tell your younger self?
It would be to trust your instincts.  At 15, my decision to leave home was very much a “Sliding doors” moment.  Although it was the risky choice, I went with my instincts. Fortunately, I have no regrets.
Also understand that sometimes you may have to work harder and apply more attention to detail than some male colleagues.  Enjoy the journey and don’t be afraid to be yourself!

5. What barriers have you faced, as a woman, in becoming successful in your field? How did you overcome them?
When I first started my career in this sector, sadly, I did experience both racial and sexual discrimination.   I don’t get easily intimidated and the discrimination ultimately made me a stronger person. I have proved myself with great determination irrespective of other people’s prejudices.

However, I have witnessed much progression in the industry since I started. I am seeing an increasing number of women in senior positions who have progressed from junior roles and long may this continue.

6. The International Women’s day theme is, “Choose to Challenge”, what would you choose to challenge?
I passionately believe that there is no place in the world for bullies. Whether this happens in school, at work or your community. We need to take a collective stand against it. I cannot bare people who belittle others to make themselves look superior! Call them out for what they are. I’ve met a few bullies during my career and behaviour like that should be confined to the Skip of history.

7. What message do you want to send out to young women who are considering a career in this industry?
The i-Gaming sector has opened a huge host of career possibilities.  There are jobs ranging from game design, graphic design, software development, marketing, etc. You will be able to unleash your creativity and let’s face it, the end-product is fun. There is never a dull moment in gaming.

It’s changed a lot since I started in 1996.  It’s more politically correct without being woke.  This is an exciting vibrant industry with a lot of great people in it.  Although the gambling sector might not be everyone’s first choice of industry as a career, for me, it’s been a blast and I’ve made a lot of friends from it. I met my husband, and I’ve had opportunities to meet some very interesting and successful people along the way.

George Miller (Gyorgy Molnar) started his career in content marketing and has started working as an Editor/Content Manager for our company in 2016. George has acquired many experiences when it comes to interviews and newsworthy content becoming Head of Content in 2017. He is responsible for the news being shared on multiple websites that are part of the European Gaming Media Network.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Latest News

Ancient mysteries await in 3 Oaks Gaming’s 3 Egypt Chests: Hold and Win

Published

on

Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

Distributor’s newest release exhibits powerful Progress symbols

3 Oaks Gaming, an established distributor of iGaming content, has gone live with 3 Egypt Chests: Hold and Win, an action-packed adventure showcasing a trio of colourful Progress symbols alongside unique Boosters, paving the way to dig for hidden treasures.

Across 10 paylines, the slot’s biggest prizes lay within the fabled 3 Pots mechanic, with the Progress symbols the key to unlocking the riches on offer in this title.

Once the Hold and Win bonus round is activated, a red, blue or green Progress symbol uncovers one of the three modifiers – Multi Feature, Extra Feature and Double Feature.

Filling the Treasure Chest Meter with red Progress symbols begins the Multi Feature, where random multipliers boost the Bonus symbols, turbocharging the way for enhanced wins, while Blue Progress symbols grant access to the Extra Feature, increasing respins and prolonging the gametime.

The Double Bonus game transports users to an additional board, doubling the prize amount including two Grand Jackpots, worth 10,000x a player’s bet.

Additionally, when a Progress symbol appears alongside a Boost symbol, it collects all visible monetary values, bolstering a player’s winning prize pool.

Yuriy Muratov, Chief Commercial Officer at 3 Oaks Gaming, said: “3 Egypt Chests: Hold and Win is a pulsating journey into ancient Egypt where pharaohs roam and guard the ancient treasure.

“The return of our 3 Pots Mechanic will undoubtedly prove popular once again with users as the trio of captivating Boosters elevates the gameplay and the overall player experience.”

Continue Reading

Latest News

Stakelogic Live Signs Partnership with betFIRST in Belgium

Published

on

Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Popular Betsson Group brand becomes the latest Belgium operator to host Stakelogic Live’s full suite of games

betFIRST, a leading online casino and sport betting brand in Belgium owned by the Betsson Group, has put pen to paper on a deal with in-demand live casino content provider Stakelogic Live.

Stakelogic Live already has a strong presence in the Belgium market, working with several leading operators. It will now add the hugely popular betfirstcasino.be website to its roster of partners, with the site gaining complete access to its live casino content.

As a result of this deal, players at betFIRST will now have a huge selection of exciting live casino games at their fingertips. Stakelogic Live has established itself as a must-have live casino provider, serving up a unique brand of thrilling live casino action broadcast live from state-of-the-art studios in The Netherlands and Malta.

Stakelogic Live’s catalogue of games includes immersive takes on popular classics such as American Blackjack, Speed Baccarat, and Auto Roulette, as well as a plethora of game-show-style titles, all of which can now be enjoyed in betFIRST s live casino lobby.

There is also the opportunity for players at betfirst.be to experience the exciting Super Wheel prize feature. This innovative prize, when triggered, gives players the chance to spin a giant money wheel, with instant-win prizes and a selection of action-packed up for grabs. 

Neil Tanti, Senior Sales Manager at Stakelogic, said:” betFIRST is an operator with a tremendous reputation and is an excellent partner to work alongside as we continue to cement our position as the leading live-casino content provider in the Belgium market.

As a studio, we go to great lengths to ensure our products are head and shoulders above the competition, priding ourselves on the highly engaging and immersive experiences we are able to offer players. Partnering with us enables betFIRST to stand out in what is a very competitive market. “

Julien Roux, CPO at betFIRST, said: At betFIRST, “We pride ourselves on knowing exactly what our customers want and providing them with it. This is why we have chosen to work with a leading provider like Stakelogic Live.

Live casino is an extremely important vertical for us, and by partnering with Stakelogic Live, we can now add one of the best providers in the business to our lobby, ensuring the best possible experience for our fans. “

Continue Reading

Latest News

Playson goes on an Arabian adventure with 3 Magic Lamps: Hold and Win

Published

on

Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Hold and Win round enhanced by special lamp modifiers in mystical game

Playson, the fast-growing digital entertainment supplier, is uncovering spellbinding prizes with 3 Magic Lamps: Hold and Win, a slot stacked with unique features including a trio of powerful Bonus rounds.

Set within a world of Arabian luxury and grandeur, this title is elevated by the appearance of three distinctive features that are unlocked by the presence of green, red and blue coins within either the main game or Free Spins round.

The green coin awards the Double Feature, with a prize of up to x50, thanks to a selection of multipliers, whilst the Mystery Feature is granted when red coins are visible, rewarding players with a win of up to x150. If a blue version lands, this uncovers the Collect Feature, gathering the values of all the symbols on show and adding them to the total win.

During the Hold and Win feature, the appearance of Major, Mini or Minor coins the corresponding jackpots of x15, x50 or x150. The Grand Jackpot worth x5,000 is awarded should all 15 cells be filled with symbols.

3 Magic Lamps: Hold and Win’s Free Spins mode is triggered when three Scatter icons grant eight turns, with that number doubled if a trio of Scatters reappear during the round. A Wild symbol can double a win if it appears on a specific payline.

This latest release, with highly-detailed graphics, an upbeat soundtrack and alluring characters follows the success of Playson’s two 3 Pots Riches releases, which have proven the studio’s power to take a well-loved mechanic and add exciting new twists.

Tamas Kusztos, CCO at Playson, said:3 Magic Lamps: Hold and Win is a captivating addition to our portfolio, giving players the chance to meet the Genie and hope he propels them to extravagant riches.

“The creative enhancements to the Bonus round truly boost the overall player experience and we believe that this slot will be a huge success for us, offering differentiation to the market.”

Continue Reading

Trending

We are constantly showing banners about important news regarding events and product launches. Please turn AdBlock off in order to see these areas.