The departure of its technology chief has led to a management shakeup in online casino operator NetEnt.

Aditya Bhushan, the director of game platform and managing director of NetEnt India, has been tapped to take over the role of NetEnt’s chief technology officer (CTO) on the heels of Tobias Palmborg’s departure on September 4 to reportedly “pursue new opportunities,” according to iGaming Business.

Bhushan has been with NetEnt since 2009, starting his career as a system architect for the Stockholm-listed company known for providing online casino games to live casinos in India and other platforms around the world. Bhushan also worked ad domain architect and head of India development for more than four years, helping to “define, design and deliver the technical vision for a highly scalable gaming system handling close to 5 billion transactions a month, generating hundreds of terabytes of data and handling tens of thousands of concurrent users,” his LinkedIn profile noted.

Bhushan was promoted to the position of platform director and NetEnt India’s managing director in January 2020. Part of his responsibilities was to set up “an innovation and development center for NetEnt in Hyderabad.”
Future looks bright for NetEnt

The departure of Palmborg, who joined NetEnt in 2018 as head of casino operations, took place amid the casino game developer’s imminent merger with live casino specialist Evolution Gaming.

Evolution has made a bid to acquire the slots giant for SEK19.6 billion in June 2020, as part of a greater plan to become “the world leader in the online gaming industry.” The proposed merger will potentially see a marriage between NetEnt’s online slots with Evolution’s Live Casino—creating a combined product portfolio that can “drive the digitalization of the global gaming industry,” Finsmes reported.

The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is currently probing whether Evolution’s offer would decrease the competition in the region’s iGaming market.
Strong front amid COVID-19 pandemic

NetEnt recently released its interim report for the first nine months of 2020, reporting a 17% rise in year-on-year revenue.

Revenues for the January to September period reached SEK1.61 billion, while EBITDA amounted to SEK838 million—corresponding to a margin of 52%--and earnings after tax totaled SEK338 million, according to the company. NetEnt wasn’t immune to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, but CEO Therese Hillman said, “The return of sports betting and the general easing of lockdowns in key markets resulted in a normalization of revenue growth to pre Covid-19 levels.”

Despite the pandemic, NetEnt continues to supply casino titles to platforms around the world including live casino India, where employees from the formal sector are gearing up to potentially resume working from their office premises. A recent TimesJob survey noted that “organizations are all set to re-open their offices with an array of policy changes and a bunch of safety checks in place.”

It’s also business as usual over at NetEnt, as the Stockholm company gears up for a hectic fourth quarter of 2020, which include entry to West Virginia as the first third-party supplier; an expected early entry in Michigan once the market opens; the launch of Red Tiger’s games under NetEnt’s license, expanding Red Tiger’s reach into regulated markets and Tier 1 customers; and the expansion of its Live Studio in Malta.

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