Entain: We have long history of nurturing the best in our industry
Entain is one of the world’s largest sports betting and gaming groups, with offices across 20 countries, including Bulgaria. Entain is also part of our partner network and an excellent place for Junior talent to develop. Want to learn why? Well, keep reading!
“We have a long history of recruiting, retaining and nurturing the best people in our industry and a commitment to diversity, looking after our people, and creating the best workplace. We have plenty of opportunities for bright individuals to start their professional careers with us here at Entain,“ explained Plamen Popov, Engineering Manager for Entain in Sofia.
Entain is an FTSE100 (Financial Times Stock Exchange) company and is one of the world’s largest sports betting and gaming groups, operating both online and in the retail sector.
Plamen Popov leads a team of nearly 50 Software Engineers, Quality Assurance Engineers and Business Analysts, who deliver projects on Entain’s sportsbook across the globe. He has been with Entain for over 10 years now.
“Entain has had a presence in Bulgaria since 2000 when Gamebookers started operating online sports betting,” he added.
Back then the office was in a small apartment.
But this quickly changed with the growth of the company and series of global mergers and acquisitions.
“Today, the local team is of 550 people across customer service, sports trading and technology,” explained Plamen Popov.
It’s a fascinating growth, and there are no signs of slowing down. Now, we will let Plamen Popov share more about the expansion of the company, its software products, the importance of junior talent, and why they partnered with Telerik Academy to source this talent.
Entain is one of the largest gaming groups in the world. Can you elaborate?
Entain has offices across 20 countries and five continents and employs 26,000 people. The Group owns a comprehensive portfolio of established brands; Sports Brands include bwin, Coral, Crystalbet, Eurobet, Ladbrokes, Neds, Sportingbet and Sports Interaction; Gaming Brands include Foxy Bingo, Gala, GiocoDigitale, Ninja Casino, Optibet, Partypoker and PartyCasino.
The Group owns proprietary technology across all its core product verticals and, in addition to its B2C operations, provides services to many third-party customers on a B2B basis.
The Group also has a 50/50 joint venture, BetMGM, a leader in sports betting and iGaming in the US. Entain provides the technology and capabilities that power BetMGM and exclusive games and products specially developed at its in-house gaming studios. The Group is a tax resident in the UK, operating in over 40 regulated or regulating territories.
What is the focus of the Bulgarian office in the company?
During the years, the office in Bulgaria has been covering all aspects of an online Sports Betting product – technology, trading, product, customer service and others.
Local teams are focused on building Sports Betting products which consist of more than 20 brands and more than 40 labels. We are developing and enhancing hundreds of sports features for our brands - for online and retail businesses.
All our frontends are built on top of a company-developed framework called Vanilla, based on Angular. Our architecture is designed to support our strategy around optimal scalability and efficiency. Our products are multi-channel, multi-brand, multi-regulation and multi-region. We support mobile, tablet, and desktop front ends and our retail terminals with a single codebase. We have multiple themes and a complex configuration system with thousands of configurations to support the different brands and markets.
We designed our backend systems to handle the enormous load and traffic from all over the world from our millions of customers. We have more than 1100 web services written in .NET Core which contain the business logic. We use various messaging technologies like Kafka and Tibco and caching solutions like Redis to support our business needs and high-performance requirements.
Today the local office is on a path of growth as my team is being recognized globally for their talent, passion and highly skilled capabilities to deliver on complex software projects.
Entain operates in a dynamic tech field and we are wondering - is there a trend shaping that field?
We are doing several projects for our hot market in the US. They include frontend optimizations and additional trading options to make the product more suitable for US customers and US-specific sports.
We have focused on improving the speed and performance of our websites by doing continuous optimizations on front-end and back-end layers.
We are also enhancing our core backend services to meet the new trading architecture, which is much more scalable and configurable and provides enhanced betting offers to our customers.
Why is it important to invest in junior IT talent, and why does Entain do it?
Investing in junior talent is investing in the future. Junior people are very motivated to learn and full of energy and fresh ideas.
We provide different learning opportunities, and juniors can grow quickly with mentoring from our senior colleagues. From the very beginning, they are involved in our ongoing projects.
Juniors bring new knowledge to the company about the latest trends and technologies, new ways of thinking and problem-solving.
Why did you choose Telerik Academy as your partner when sourcing master junior talent?
Telerik Academy has a long history and proven success of its IT education programs.
The candidates are sourced carefully - quality instead of quantity is the main driving factor.
In the past, we have hired several talents immediately after they graduated from the Academy. They have demonstrated solid knowledge and fast progression, and now they play key roles in our teams.
What is next for the Entain office in Bulgaria?
As home to gaming and sports betting’s biggest brands, millions of people enjoy our products at their fingertips every day. This massive reach is made possible by cutting-edge technology. But it’s the people behind the tech, the talent within our teams, which enable us to lead digital entertainment in these bold new directions.
It’s an exciting time for Entain in Bulgaria. We are expanding our presence here. The headcount in our office is growing, and we even recently signed a deal to increase our office space. We have a hybrid work approach, and we are keen to provide the best employee experience to everyone who decides to join our team.
We have exceptional talent across sports trading, gaming, customer service and technology departments. We look to attract people from diverse backgrounds, but one common trait we look for is to share our passion for sports, technology and entertainment. We have a long history of recruiting, retaining and nurturing the best people in our industry, as well as a commitment to diversity, looking after our people, and creating the best workplace.
We have plenty of opportunities for bright individuals to start their careers with us here at Entain. We have great team spirit in the company, an open-door policy, and all junior professionals have a vast pool of experienced, senior colleagues to mentor and coach them on their career start with Entain.
Nikol and Nikolay are yet another proof that if you are motivated and eager to learn, you can achieve all your goals. They had a different background before joining the Alpha Python program but one dream – joining the IT sector. And we help them turn it into reality.