Niklas MravljeCommercial Product Manager – Content & Aggregator
Niklas Mravlje joined Oryx straight out of college. His passion for Igaming industry and thirst for knowledge has enabled him to gain a broad range of iGaming experience in different positions.
Whenever my friends or relatives ask me what I and my peers do for a living and I tell them we work in the gambling industry, I can tell by the look on their faces the associations they are having are mostly negative ones. I guess they only know stories about people who in the pursuit of a quick buck managed to ruin their lives. But that’s like reviewing cars based on accidents the drivers are causing. It is simply not what gambling is about.
What is it about then? Allow me to shed some light on the subject from the perspective of an insider.
Gambling is a form of entertainment for people who have money and like to play with it. This means they are psychologically prepared to lose it. They don’t like losing it, nobody does, but it doesn’t ruin their lives if they do. We call them players and players enjoy what we offer. Players are the ones the industry is focused on.
Gambling addiction, on the other hand, is a serious problem. We are well aware of it and we are addressing it with all seriousness. If people who don’t believe this somehow cannot trust us to have basic ethical standards, they can at least appreciate the fact that creating and catering to gambling addicts simply isn’t a good business model. Sure, there is a short rush of income, but what happens after the gambler’s well runs dry simply isn’t worth it. Suddenly you are dealing with a sad, crushed and broken person who is accusing you of being the sole factor of his financial demise. Nobody wants to have that in their lives. That’s why we are working continuously with psychologists and psychiatrists to be able to detect problematic player behavior as quickly as possible and prevent vulnerable people from hurting themselves and their friends and families. It should go without saying that we are trying to create nothing but positive experiences for our customers.
So, let’s step out of the shadows and into …
What drives us? What motivates us?
We want our players to have the best time they can possibly have. The time we are talking about here is free time. The time players can spend ANYWHERE and ANYHOW they want. We are competing with Netflix, Hollywood, YouTube, Twitch, and … I’m really going to say it: even Pornhub! We are competing for people’s free time. And what do people seek in their free time? Fun! Entertainment! Excitement! People like to enjoy themselves. And ways to achieve that are countless, but they all have one thing in common: they cost at least some amount of money.
Here’s how gamblers differ from other thrill seekers: while “others” like to pay money for different experiences, gamblers literally play with their money. In gambling, it’s all about the money, and the business would not be sustainable if players weren’t getting something in return. So, all players play under a silent code many aren’t even fully aware of:
“We will ALL pay to play, but only SOME OF US will win.”
The amount one player wins is proportionate to the amount several players had lost. And here lies the true thrill for a gambler: “Am I the one? Am I the chosen one, the one the Goddess Fortuna will grace with a win? Am I the one to beat all the odds?”
And for the final twist, are you familiar with the saying “the path is more important than the goal”? It’s the same for the majority of gamblers: the thrill of being in this position, the position every player finds himself/herself in, the position in which he or she could be the chosen one, is more important than the win, than actually being the chosen one. Countless interviews with players around the globe have confirmed that the wait is more important than the result!
Which brings us back to what I do.
I have to come up with new and new ways for players to ask Fortuna the same basic question in all its permutations: “Am I the One?” “Is this my game?” “Is this the game in which I am the One?”
Players don’t like the feeling of being stuck in a rut. They want to address Fortuna from every possible position. And these positions are represented by new games, new technologies, new features, new approaches, new formats. The industry needs to constantly reinvent itself in order to stay interesting, and this is what resonates with me the most: the intricate interplay between constant innovation and constant adaptation.
Believe me, the word boring is at the very bottom of my vocabulary.
I found my way to Oryx Gaming at the age of 23. Green and keen, straight out of college. I was studying German language and wanted to become an artist, which I still do. Rather than having a clear vision of the future I took the job out of necessity. At that time, I would have never thought this was going to be my path in life. But I couldn’t be happier that this is exactly what it has become – this job gave me so much more than what I was as a young guy expecting.
I worked my way through the company. I started as a chat operator for one of our clients and gradually climbed to positions of shift manager, retention & VIP manager, head of marketing and all the way to the Commercial Product Manager for Content & Aggregator.
Remember my artistic aspirations? My dream of being an artist hasn’t died, it has just evolved and adapted: I am an artist in what I do! Being able to be creative, innovative and revolutionary on so many different levels is a blessing. I’m currently 26 years old and surrounded by veterans of the industry who care about what I have to say. Just this feeling alone pays off every hour of over-time I have kicked in, and then some.
Throughout my years at Oryx I had many mentors and guides, some of them true business veterans who were willing to share their knowledge and were also willing to listen. Many of them I now consider my personal friends.
The first one I would like to mention is Mateja Škarja who introduced me to the iGaming business. She was running a marketing campaign for one of the biggest brands Oryx had at the time and I was assigned to help her. Her approach towards planning and executing the promotional activities on all relevant websites immediately clicked with me, she had a vision and followed it throughout. She was never afraid to share her thoughts whenever anyone started slipping. She was the one who helped me build the foundations of my career, so a big “thank you, Mateja” is in order right here!
Another person I would like to mention is the brains of our company, the one who is not only keeping it all together but growing us into a serious player in an otherwise saturated market. I’m talking about our CEO Matevž Mazij, a perfectly balanced character who possesses the skill of always finding the right words. In a company the size of Oryx Gaming it is hard to imagine knowing the CEO, never mind him knowing you. Mr. Mazij knows us all. The level at which he understands the company and the individual needs of the employees is simply amazing. I remember an incident in which I created a situation for myself with a client. First thing next morning Mr. Mazij sat me down and in the manner of the coolest cat explained to me what I did wrong and how to fix it. There wasn’t an ounce of anger or disappointment, just pure productive analysis and constructive advice. What is his secret? His mind is hard-focused on the positive. We all know catchphrases like “negativity only slows you down”, we all sing “always look on the bright side of life”, but he is living those pieces of advice and putting them to good work. It is not hard to realize your full potential when you are working for, or should I say with people like Mr. Mazij.
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