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Microgaming Celebrates 20 Years in the Isle of Man

Tuesday 18 May in Business

We chatted to Microgaming’s CEO John Coleman about how Microgaming are celebrating 20 years on the island.

How are you celebrating being on Island for 20 years?

There’s plenty for us to celebrate and look back on, so we decided to mark the occasion in a number of ways, saying thanks to the people who make up Microgaming, our partners and the Manx community.

Our people are at the core of our business, and to honour their contributions, we held a celebration in the office where everyone came together to look back and reminisce on their time at Microgaming. We also wanted to extend our gratitude to partners and those we’ve worked with over the years with a token of our appreciation to recognise their contributions to the business. In parallel, we ran a Facebook competition to involve the community, inviting them to share memories and pictures of their favourite ‘Microgaming moment’. It was humbling to see the photos people shared, and to get a sense of the impact Microgaming has had on the island from the public’s perspective.

he Isle of Man has provided a stable base for us to grow over the years, while also being a natural home for work, rest and play. In turn, we wanted to mark our dedication to the community through our CSR programme, Microgaming PlayItForward, making 20 donations to local causes to mark each year we’ve been on the island.

To culminate our first two decades on the island and to leave a lasting legacy as part of our eco investment, we are working with the Manx Wildlife Trust to create a ‘Microforest’ in the south of the island where staff and their families will be invited to plant some 1,500 native trees this coming autumn. Reflecting Microgaming’s sustainability pledge, the Microforest will require little ongoing maintenance, and will benefit both wildlife and biodiversity for years to come, providing a unique space that the general public can also enjoy.

John Coleman - Microgaming CEO

Can you give a bit of background of what you do as a company?

As a leading supplier of software to the online gaming sector, Microgaming supplies markets across the world with on-demand access to an ever-increasing portfolio of exclusive studio content and top-performing partner games through our content aggregation platform.

When Microgaming was initially set up on the island, there were just five members of staff in a small office and now we’ve grown to 180+ strong with staff working in our purpose-built Douglas HQ.

Our focus on people extends beyond our workforce; being present for our community and supporting those in need is close to everyone’s heart, including my own. I am incredibly proud of our staff-led CSR programme which gives back to communities worldwide, powering positive change for people, place and planet. Through Microgaming PlayItForward, we continue to serve communities both at home and abroad, providing financial and practical support for worthy causes like Hospice Isle of Man, the Microgaming Community Games and supporting charities and community bodies with locally-focused COVID-19 relief efforts.

Do you see yourselves being on Island for another 20 years?

The Isle of Man has been our home for the past 20 years, and I think it will continue to be our home for many years to come.

The island attracts skilled talent, but it’s also home to a local talent pool. To this end, in 2016 we decided to launch our apprenticeship scheme, designed to develop and retain homegrown talents and provide the islands young adults with a springboard from which to pursue a career in their chosen field. Microgaming apprentices are exposed to multiple teams throughout the business and get involved in a broad range of projects in order to develop a diverse skill base, equipping them with the tools to find their own way. After completing the programme, they are given the opportunity to apply for a permanent position in the business.

We’re also investing in future talent through our Education Bursary programme, by providing opportunities for exceptional students whose personal circumstances otherwise limit their prospects of attending university. By aiding their study efforts through financial and practical support, we help give them a better stepping off point to further themselves and achieve their potential.

Our people drive our growth, and we’re lucky to have such great individuals working at Microgaming. The island has and continues to provide a strong base for business operations. Our global offices provide coverage in key customer locations, and we’ll continue to invest in all the communities we’re a part of for many more happy years.

What initially drew Microgaming to the Island?

When we were looking to set up a new HQ back in the very early 2000s, the Isle of Man stood out for its quality of life and family focus, while also offering favourable conditions for business expansion and the opportunity to partner with a collaborative and forward-thinking government.

The island is an attractive location to live and work. Our Isle of Man campus is home to 18 nationalities; yet, even with such a diverse workforce, over 60% of our staff are from the Isle of Man, reflecting our commitment to recruit from our local talent pool wherever possible.

Keen to invest in the island we call home, our people are a driving force behind our charitable purpose as well as what we do. I’m proud to see Microgaming PlayItForward go from strength to strength and be recognised for all the hard work that goes into it both locally and further afield. Our CSR programme was borne from a staff-shared interest to help support local causes, and even as it’s grown, it’s still very much staff-led.

How have the past 20 years been for you as a company? What has been achieved?

We’ve achieved a lot in the past 20 years, growing our core business and staff numbers, expanding our global reach, and securing local and international awards.

Through Microgaming PlayItForward, we’ve contributed more than £3.5 million to local community initiatives, including £875,000 towards local health and social care projects, while also hosting and sponsoring a number of charitable and community-focused events over the years. Collectively, staff have given more than 2,000 volunteer hours over the years, and I’m proud of everyone who has given their time to help the greater good.

Our HQ achieved a BREEAM 'Excellent' sustainability rating a few years back, and last year we achieved ISO 14001:2015 certification largely thanks to our Environmental Management System that improves our environmental impact, energy consumption and waste output with a view to achieving net zero emissions by 2050 to align with the Isle of Man Government’s Climate Change action plan.

We’ve come a long way since putting down roots in 2001. What began as a handful of people all those years ago has flourished into a diverse, talented and passionate team, and I’m proud of the success and growth we have achieved, and are yet to achieve, together.

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