Gibraltar has – for well over 10 years now – been a haven for most Online Gaming companies to ply their trade. Why? Well, for several reasons such as lower tax rates and a quality of life many on the Rock take for granted. The industry currently employs around 3000 people. Let’s put that into perspective. The entire population of Gibraltar is a mere 30,000 – you do the maths. It’s a thriving industry and one of the main pillars of the local economy which attracts people from all over the world to come and work, many from the UK. But for some, the step into the unknown can be overwhelming. A new job, a new home, a new way of life. So, to help you get an idea of what this leap of faith can entail I spoke to David Wilson: Head of Account Management at 32Red…
Me: So, David… tell me a bit about your role and what you do
David: I am the Head of Account Management, and lead a fantastic team, trying to look after our customers and give them the service they deserve.
Me: Is this your first job here in Gibraltar?
David: No, I’ve been here for three years and worked for a couple of other firms within the industry since I arrived.
Me: When you first moved over here did you see it as a long-term plan?
David: It was never going to be a permanent switch but I went with an open mind and thought “we’ll go there and see how it works out” and we’ve been here since July 2013.
Me: How much did you already know about Gibraltar?
David: Plenty! I’ve worked in Gaming since 2003 so I know the industry inside-out, I know a lot of people as I used to come here on holiday, so I’m very familiar with the place.
Me: Would you say the move is for anyone or would it only suit a particular kind of character?
David: I don’t think it’s for ‘anyone’. It’s like anything really, but I definitely think you need to open your mind to it and broaden your horizons. For about 4 or 5 years I had the opportunity to move here but just never gave it serious thought and then my partner and I wanted a change of scenery, so we decided to go for it.
Me: What about your living situation?
David: We live in Gibraltar and but we often pop out to Spain at the weekends. You really get the best of both worlds – the weekends can literally feel like you are on holiday!
Me: For anyone on the fence about moving over from the UK, what would you say is the best thing about living and working in the area?
David: The Sun and the sea of course, although that’s the cliché… But for the people that really need it you’ve got almost everything you would have in the UK anyway, like Morrison’s and several high-street shops. But away from the hustle and bustle of urban Gib, the southernmost point offers some amazing countryside scenery and possibly the most bizarre cricket pitch in the world!
Me: How does the cost of living compare between Spain and Gibraltar?
David: It’s definitely cheaper in Spain, but the cost of living in Gib is still a lot less in comparison to the UK, partly because, it’s all in the one place, so you save on things like transport, for example.
Me: Is there anything that you miss about the UK?
David: Obviously you do miss your family and friends, but they come out quite frequently and it’s an easy flight back, so initially it can be difficult, but you soon get around it. It also makes you look forward to events such as Christmas, so much more, if you are going home, as you seem to make more of those moments.
Me: So, do you work weekends?
David: The nature of my job means I must be available 24/7. My normal working hours are Monday to Friday 9-6, but the firm I work for are quite flexible about it, so I would do what it takes to get the job done!
Me: What would a typical weekend entail?
David: We enjoy travelling up the coast to places like Seville, Malaga and Cordoba. There’s loads to do all year round. In the winter ‘Sierra Nevada’ is amazing for skiing and relatively cheap. It may not be the Alps but for a weekend it’s all you need. If we’re staying local there’s plenty of tapas bars in the area to enjoy too.
Me: As a hiring manager, what is it you look for in terms of skills and personality?
David: I’m looking for someone who is motivated, someone who has initiative, and intelligence always helps! Personally I think it’s easy to find someone who ticks all the boxes on a CV, but I’m really looking for someone with personality who’s passionate about the industry.
Me: What would your advice be to someone taking their first step into the industry?
David: I’d say it’s a massive help if you have a genuine interest in gaming and gambling, and if you’re uncertain about anything, talk to other, more experienced people around the office as you can learn a lot from them. We’ve got some great people in this industry.
Me: When you first moved over in 2013 did you have any concerns about the change of life?
David: Initially I had my reservations due to the fear of the unknown, but I have no regrets. I think it’s all about the individual, it’s what you make of it. These days with technology having come so far it doesn’t matter where you are in the world, you’re never too far away from home comforts.
Me: So, does Gibraltar now feel like home?
A massive thanks to David Wilson for his perspective of life in the Gaming industry here in Gibraltar. We’ll be doing a series of articles with other professionals in the industry. Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you would like to participate in this project, contact us on email@example.com