As Fagerlund Steps Down As CEO, Global Gaming Faces New Challenges

Article by : Helen Sep 30, 2020

Effective immediately, Global Gaming, the operator of Ninja Casino and other online gaming sites, announced the resignation of its chief executive officer Tobias Fagerlund. Global Gaming sought Fagerlund’s resignation because he was based in Stockholm, Sweden. Consequently, Global Gaming’s Chairman of the Board, Niklas Braathen, decided they needed the leadership to be based in Estonia or Malta, the home bases.

Fagerlund became the acting CEO of Global Gaming in April 2019. He replaced Joacim Möller. Under his leadership, Global Gaming became the subject of an investigation by the Swedish Gambling Authority (Spelinspektionen). The investigation was spurred by Swedish gaming regulatory reform, which put stricter rules in place.

According to gambling compliance watchdog to Vixio, Ninja Casino failed to implement anti-money laundering policies. The online gaming site also let gamblers exceed their self-imposed spending limits and committed bonus payout violations. Spelinspektionen took the action because it feared Ninja was exploiting its customers. Other brands owned by Global also lost their licenses for similar offenses. Then, in a first of its kind court case, Swedish Consumer Ombudsman sued Ninja Casino for overzealous advertising.

Needless to say, Global Gaming had to make a move. They needed a plan to leave Sweden. As a result, the company suspended its search for a new CEO. Then in July 2019, Fagerlund was named the permanent CEO. During his seventeen months at the helm of Global Gaming, he unsuccessfully appealed the revocation of Ninja Casino’s Swedish gaming license. Then when they had exhausted all means for remaining in Sweden, Global Gaming made the decision to leave and set up in a friendlier market.

However, Fagerlund will still be available to both the operator and Global Gaming’s board of directors. Christian Rasmussen will be the temporary CEO as the company looks for a permanent replacement. This will help the company to put Swedish reforms in the rearview mirror and look to the future. Fagerlund probably knew his days were numbered as Spelinspektionen turned the reform screws ever tighter.

Chairman Braathen had nothing but praise for Fagerlund who was instrumental in helping the business grow but did not fit into the planned “new phase” for Global Gaming’s business model. This, nonetheless, included leaving its longtime Swedish home. According to Braathen, Fagerlund’s leadership instituted restructuring packages that were “absolutely necessary for the company.” As CEO, Fagerlund set Global Gaming on the path for future growth.

Further complicating Global Gaming’s moves to strengthen its business structure is a formal stock takeover by rival Enlabs. In recent months Enlabs has been purchasing blocks of Global Gaming stock shares. Its latest purchase 9,878,086 shares meant Enlabs could buy the company in a planned takeover. This is because Enlabs gained more than 54 percent of the shares. Since this latest purchase of Global Gaming stock, Enlabs has increased it ownership to over 66 percent and plans to proceed with a full takeover.

Enlabs’ takeover talks are shadowed by a half year of further revenue loss by Global Gaming. Although it had managed to slow down the losses, the first two quarters showed a revenue decline of more than 55 percent year-on-year. Unfortunately, this was due to novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.


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