One of the causes Jesper Kärrbrink – the CEO of gaming company Mr Green – is most passionate about is cleaning up Malta’s beaches and the sea that surrounds it. It all started one day when he was out paddling with his family and they came across a beautiful sandy beach – at least, it looked beautiful from a distance. As they drew closer, they were horrified to realise it was choked with plastic waste. All four of his family members collected a bag full of rubbish each, during those two hours paddling alone. This inspired him to launch the Clean The Sea initiative, in conjunction with the University of Malta, under the direction of noted environmentalist Prof. Alan Deidun, Director of the International Ocean Institute – Malta Centre. Through this initiative, two students – one from the University of Malta and one from the University of York – who are studying Marine Environmental management, went around Malta in a rib boat, taking samples of the water, collecting data on the health level of the ocean to use in their studies and clearing up the rubbish they came across. In two months, they collected more than 100kg worth of rubbish.
Jesper Kärrbrink, CEO, Mr Green
“The Mediterranean is one of the most beautiful things imaginable, and it’s treated so carelessly. We love this island and we want to be here, but beaches are part of what makes Malta so appealing, and if they get too clogged with rubbish, people may not want to come here anymore. And the solution is so easy – just don’t litter. We’re hoping to drive awareness by sharing the knowledge we obtain from the studies, and we hope this project has a real educational effect. As I said, it’s in Mr Green’s DNA to take responsibility. We can’t save the sea all by ourselves, but we can start somewhere.”
“I believe that all companies should give back as much as they can to society, not just through taxes and employing people, but also by engaging in sustainable practices – things that aren't sustainable just don't live long,” Mr Kärrbrink stated. “In the future, it will be difficult not to be sustainable because customers will expect it of you. Indeed, I believe that the fastest-growing companies in the future will be the ones that are creating sustainable solutions.”
Mr Green, which was founded in 2007 as an online casino, now holds gaming licences in Malta, Italy, the UK, a casino licence in Denmark and sportsbook licence in Ireland. It offers around 700 premium casino games, of which about 450 are available on smart phones and tablets. It has been in Malta since 2010 and now operates in 12 different markets. Mr Kärrbrink, who has been the company’s CEO for a year and a half, but has been a key player within Sweden’s gaming industry since 2004, said that many of the gaming companies in Malta look and feel the same, which challenges him to make the brand stand out. “Although some people say Malta is overcrowded with gaming companies, I like that we’re all in the same place together. When you cluster companies together, the industry grows faster – you can see it in places such as Silicon Valley. It makes the industry more competitive, even if it’s tougher for us as operators, but I like the challenge.”
At the heart of the brand are the values of responsibility and sustainability. “Responsibility is part of our DNA,” Mr Kärrbrink said. “Gaming is a fascinating industry: it’s one of the largest entertainment industries in the world, with people all over the globe using our products around the clock. An important part of what we do is taking care of our customers – we don’t want them to play more than they can afford, lose all their money and burn out. We realise we have this problem, and try to address it in different ways, while making sure we continue to grow and improve the business.”
Consequently, all of Mr Green’s 200-strong employees are trained in responsible gaming; the company also has responsible gaming specialists and a dedicated responsible gaming manager. The company also created the Green Gaming predictive tool, which helps clients control the level of risk they take when gambling. “As a tool, it’s very intuitive and straight-forward, and has been getting a lot of industry attention. If you’re a high-risk player, we’ll recommend that you stop and even talk to a counsellor if necessary. If we have a player at risk, we stop all sales communication with them – we don’t push them to play more. In many modern cars, a coffee cup will flash on the dashboard if the sensors detect that you’re driving erratically and need to take a break – this works on the same principle.”
The values of sustainability and responsibility at Mr Green do not just extend to its clients but also to the company’s employees and method of working – which is evident, as it is consistently rated as one of the best gaming companies to work for. “All Mr Green employees are granted up to two weeks paid leave to work for a cause of their choice. This can be anything from working with schools in India to looking after stray animals. We’re also taking up a new floor in the building which will be designed to make our work practices more environmentally-friendly, including reducing our packaging and recycling,” Mr Kärrbrink concludes.
This article originally appeared in The Business Observer