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From Affiliate to Leader: Zoltan Tundik on iGaming and Tech Evolution – Exclusive Interview

Updated: 03.06.2024
Reviewed by Jekaterina Dubnicka
Fact checked by Aleksandra Andrishak
Zoltan Tundik, Co-Founder and Head of Business at HIPTHER Agency is a self-made entrepreneur with over 16 years of experience in the iGaming and tech sectors. Having launched multiple successful iGaming, fintech, artificial intelligence, blockchain, and other tech-related projects, Zoltan shares important insights into the tech industry's current state and its innovation-driven future.

Overview of Questions and Answers

Zoltan Tundik, Co-Founder and Head of Business at HIPTHER Agency

1. Can you start by telling us a bit about your background and how you got involved in the iGaming and tech industries?

It all started in 2008 when my wife Betty and I visited the Budapest Affiliate Conference hosted by iGaming Business. Attending the conference and establishing deals with affiliate programs led to the development of several review websites for poker, casino, and sports betting. Later, we expanded into creating soccer statistics websites.

My background is quite diverse, and I consider myself largely self-taught. I started at four universities but didn’t complete any of them, feeling that something was missing. I eventually found my niche in hosting conferences and managing media websites.

In 2015, after leaving the affiliate industry, we launched our first iGaming B2B news website dedicated to the CEE and Balkans region. Following this, we added a printed magazine and a series of conferences. We then launched europeangaming.eu, which quickly became the top news source, earning recognition as a trusted Google News publisher.

In 2019, we expanded our coverage by launching picante.today to focus on industries beyond iGaming, including artificial intelligence, fintech, virtual reality, blockchain, and other tech sectors. We also introduced a new series of conferences exclusively for these segments.

In 2020, we began covering the North and Latin American iGaming industries through Gaming Americas and created the HIPTHER parent brand to unify all our sub-brands.

On the conference side, in 2023, we merged our events to create the Gaming & TECH conferences. These are held annually in Prague, covering the CEE, Balkans, CIS, and D-A-CH regions, and in the Baltic series, covering the Baltic and Nordic regions.

This merger has been a huge success, tripling the number of participants per event and reaching a larger audience while maintaining the quality of our events.

2. What inspired you to co-found HIPTHER, and what has been your main goal since starting it?

The realization that unifying our various initiatives under one cohesive brand would create a stronger, more recognizable presence in the industry. By consolidating our efforts, we could foster a vibrant community and culture around our work, embodied by the #hipthers hashtag. Our main goal since starting HIPTHER has been to build a connected and engaged community that recognizes and values the quality and diversity of our offerings.

Through HIPTHER, we aim to streamline our identity and enhance our impact across the numerous sectors we cover, from iGaming and tech to artificial intelligence and fintech. This unified approach allows us to reach a broader audience while maintaining the high standards and innovative spirit that have always defined our work.

3. The MARE BALTICUM Gaming & TECH Summit 2024 is coming up soon, where the Slotsjudge team members Aleksandra and Jekaterina will be speaking. Can you give us an overview of what to expect and why it's important for the industry?

We're very excited about the upcoming MARE BALTICUM Gaming & TECH Summit, which will be hosted in Tallinn between 4-5 June, where Slotsjudge team members Aleksandra and Jekaterina will be speaking. This event is a crucial platform for industry professionals to come together, share insights, and explore the latest trends and innovations in the iGaming sector.

Attendees can look forward to engaging discussions and expert presentations covering a wide range of topics, from emerging technologies and regulatory updates to best practices in player engagement and retention.

This event is important for the industry as it fosters collaboration and knowledge sharing among key stakeholders. It's an opportunity to network with peers, learn from leading experts, and stay ahead of the curve in a rapidly evolving market. This is a very unique event in the industry and has a special touch in the Baltics.

By attending, industry professionals can gain actionable insights and strategies to drive innovation and growth in their businesses. Don't miss this chance to be part of a dynamic and influential gathering that shapes the future of iGaming.

4. Are there any particular sessions or speakers at MARE BALTICUM Gaming & TECH Summit 2024 that attendees should be especially excited about?

MARE BALTICUM Gaming & TECH Summit 2024 MARE BALTICUM Gaming & TECH Summit 2024 will unite the worldwide iGaming & tech experts

Absolutely! The MARE BALTICUM Gaming & TECH Summit 2024 has an exciting lineup of sessions and speakers that attendees should be particularly excited about. Here are a few highlights:

  • "Future-Proofing Digital Engagement: Mastering Gamification, Mobile Innovation, and Regulatory Compliance in the AI Era": This panel, featuring industry leaders like Agne Kaarlep, Edgars Hercenbergs, Vyacheslav Kreidikov, Paula Murphy, and Lasha Kupatadze, will delve into the strategic integration of gamification and mobile innovation while navigating regulatory landscapes. This session is crucial for understanding how to enhance player retention and comply with the latest regulations.
  • "Financial Evolution: Merging Traditions with Fintech and Blockchain Innovations": Moderated by Anna Agu, this discussion will explore how traditional financial institutions are integrating fintech and blockchain technologies to revolutionize services, enhance security, and increase efficiency. Panelists include Merit Leib, Astra Tikas, Dr. Dean Rakic, Saulius Racevicius, and Evaldas Krampas. This session is key for anyone interested in the future of finance and technology.
  • Tech Innovations in iGaming: This session will cover the latest technological advancements in the iGaming industry, including artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and blockchain. It’s a must-attend for those looking to stay ahead of the technological curve.
  • Regulatory Updates and Compliance: With the ever-evolving regulatory landscape, this session will offer crucial updates and insights into compliance strategies, helping businesses navigate legal complexities effectively.
  • Networking Opportunities: The summit will also feature numerous networking sessions, providing attendees the chance to connect with industry leaders, share ideas, and forge valuable partnerships.

These sessions and speakers represent just a glimpse of what MARE BALTICUM Gaming & TECH Summit 2024 has to offer. It's a unique opportunity to gain actionable insights, stay informed about the latest industry trends, and network with key players in the field. We highly recommend attending these sessions to maximize your experience at the summit.

5. What do you think are the biggest trends or innovations shaping the future of the iGaming and tech industries?

The iGaming and tech industries are currently experiencing a wave of innovation and transformation. Here are some of the biggest trends and innovations shaping their future:

Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies are revolutionizing the iGaming industry. Blockchain provides transparency, security, and fairness in gaming transactions, while cryptocurrencies offer quick and anonymous payment options. This technology is also enabling new forms of gaming, such as decentralized casinos and provably fair games.

AI and machine learning are being used to enhance user experience, improve customer service, and optimize operations. In iGaming, AI is employed to create personalized gaming experiences, detect fraudulent activities, and develop sophisticated chatbots for customer support. Machine learning algorithms can analyze player behavior to offer tailored game recommendations and promotions.

VR and AR technologies are creating immersive gaming experiences that were previously unimaginable. These technologies allow players to enter virtual casinos, interact with games in 3D environments, and enjoy a more engaging and realistic gaming experience. AR can also enhance mobile gaming by overlaying game elements onto the real world.

6. Looking ahead, what are your goals for the next few years, both personally and professionally?

Our strategic vision for the coming years is centered around enhancing the visibility of our news sites and launching specific virtual events. By increasing the reach and impact of our news platforms, we aim to position ourselves as leading voices in the industry, providing valuable insights and timely updates to our audience. These virtual events will be carefully curated to address the most pressing topics and trends, ensuring that we remain at the forefront of industry conversations.

In addition to expanding our digital presence, we are committed to building and nurturing our community. This involves not only engaging with our current audience but also attracting new members who share our passion for innovation and excellence. By fostering a sense of belonging and encouraging active participation, we aim to create a vibrant and dynamic community that thrives on collaboration and mutual support.

As part of our efforts to bring fresh and exciting experiences to our community, we are planning to introduce some surprises to the boutique events sphere in 2025. These events will be designed to offer unique, high-quality experiences that stand out in the crowded event landscape. Our goal is to deliver memorable and impactful events that leave a lasting impression on attendees, further solidifying our reputation as innovators in the field.

On a personal note, I am thrilled to share that I will be competing in the LONG DISTANCE DUATHLON WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP (Powerman) this September. This event represents a significant personal challenge and a chance to test my limits. My aim is to rank in the middle of my age group, a goal that reflects my dedication to both personal growth and athletic excellence. Training for this competition has been a rigorous yet rewarding journey, and I am excited to see how my efforts will pay off on race day.

Overall, our focus on enhancing visibility, launching virtual events, building community, and creating unique event experiences, combined with personal milestones like the duathlon, reflects our commitment to growth, innovation, and excellence in every aspect of our endeavors. We look forward to achieving these goals and making significant strides in the industry and beyond.

Final Thoughts

Zoltan Tundik is one of the key figures shaping the future of the iGaming sector and the global tech industry. Focused on streamlining the flow of information in both spheres and developing multiple virtual events, Tundik and his team are already halfway to creating a goal-oriented and supportive community of tomorrow.
Jekaterina Dubnicka
Jekaterina Dubnicka
Expert in: News, Blog
With 6 years in the iGaming industry, Jekaterina specialises in slots. At Slotsjudge, she champions collaborations with game providers and presents industry news to the audience, blending business with fun.

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