G&M News opened the doors of its ‘G&M 1on1’ cycle to Francesco Rodano, Chief Policy Officer at Playtech. He grew up in Rome, Italy, where he lived most of his life in a middle-class family. A son of a librarian (mother) and a Latin and History high-school professor (father), he remembers having a happy childhood, and always being curious about the world. He loved to travel and explore different cultures.
When talking about his work experience, he highlights his job as a Director of the Amministrazione Autonoma dei Monopoli di Stato (AAMS), the Italian gaming regulatory authority, where he stayed for 9 years, helping that country to build its gambling regulatory framework. “It was quite a challenge. We had to regulate this from scratch. My task was to introduce casino, bingo, poker and other popular activities that were illegal up to then. First, it was frustrating, since I’ve learnt regulators don’t decide too much. The final decision is from Governments. So it was a policy making process, and we had to convince Government and the Parliament about the importance of having a strong gambling regulation,” he recalls.
Then, in 2016, he decided to change and see the industry from a business perspective. He moved to London to join top international online gaming provider Playtech. About his responsibilities, he describes: “I’ve been there for five years now. As Chief Policy Officer, I am in charge of relationships with policy-makers, institutional organizations and industry stakeholders on a global level, with the exception of Italy. I advise on Governmental policies at local, state, national and EU levels.”
When asked about his vision on Latin American current iGaming situation, he says it is similar from how Europe was positioned 10 or 12 years ago. After Colombian successful experience, he believes other LatAm countries are taking that example as a reference. He also addressed about the combat against illegal gambling and the advancement of regulation in various jurisdictions of that continent.
Finally, he referred to a research Playtech made with Toluna -a survey company- about LatAm gamblers and consumers, in terms of their attitudes towards betting. Results revealed their main concerns are transparency and responsible gaming.
We anticipate here a few excerpts of this cordial chat:
ABOUT HIS FIRST STUDIES AND INTERESTS
“When I was going to start University, I had a passion for literature. I also liked mathematics and economics. But my uncle convinced me to study Statistics at the Sapienza Università di Roma. It was hard but satisfying. Then, I got into informatics and computer sciences. In fact, my first job was related to computer repairing. That’s how it all started.”
ABOUT HIS EXPERIENCE AT THE ITALIAN GAMBLING REGULATOR
“When I started at the AAMS, some relatives and friends were against it, considering gambling as a negative activity, and public administration as corrupt. But I was intrigued and I tried it anyways. I found amazing people there. My main learning was to find how to convince Italian authorities to advance and approve gaming regulation. At the end, I must admit this experience was really rewarding.”
ABOUT A NEW FOCUS FOR PLAYTECH
“We are promoting a different approach. We insist on focusing on single, individual players instead of the whole community of gamblers. We try to understand what happens with a player when he/she bets. Then, we use our leading technology to educate each and every of them. This is a fantastic opportunity to analyze people’s behavior in the most personalized way possible.”
Executives interested in accessing for free this 25-minute interview in English can click here. Following its ‘G&M Learning’ academic program, G&M News prepares more Webinars and 1on1 Interviews to continue promoting critical thinking and fostering professional learning in the gaming sector.