Trainer Profiles

iGaming Expertise You Can Rely On

Our courses are created in collaboration with leading experts from the iGaming industry and beyond.

Christina Thakor-Rankin

Principal Consultant at 1710 Gaming Ltd

Course: MLRO 3-Day Masterclass

Christina has over 25 years’ experience in the betting and gambling industry. Starting out in the pre-dotcom era, she has a career spanning land, internet and mobile, covering all aspects of gaming operations, holding senior roles with some of the world’s best known brands (including William Hill and Virgin) responsible for managing multiple business disciplines, functions and teams across a range of channels, products and customers, including regulatory compliance and money laundering.

She is currently Principal Consultant at 1710 Gaming Ltd working with start-ups, investors, established operators, regulators, law enforcement and industry groups across the world, advising on all aspects of the gaming and gambling cycle – from market research and analysis, to licensing and compliance, products and marketing, project management and business strategy, to full operational set-up and customer engagement.

She remains an active Compliance Officer and MLRO, non-Executive Director and Board member, and regularly contributes to industry publications and events. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Law and Politics and a Master’s degree in Classics.

Malcolm Falzon

Gaming Law & Regulatory Specialist, Camilleri Preziosi

Malcolm Falzon is the partner within Camilleri Preziosi’s Corporate & Finance practice group responsible for its gaming practice. His areas of specialisation also comprise corporate and M&A, capital markets, securitisation, insurance and pensions. He regularly advises local and international operators on legal, regulatory, operational and licensing matters as well as related corporate, commercial and dispute resolution issues. Malcolm also leads Camilleri Preziosi’s Blockchain Taskforce, which was set up in order to study the technology and its potential application to the industry sectors serviced by the firm. He regularly acts as an examiner at the University of Malta and lecturer at the Malta Stock Exchange Institute, and is a speaker at seminars and conferences relating to his areas of expertise. Following his traineeship at the firm and return from postgraduate studies at University College, London, Malcolm returned to the firm as an associate in 2005, and was admitted to partnership in 2013.

Maris Bonello

Head of Player Sustainability Research and Integrity

Course: Responsible Gaming

Maris Bonello currently occupies the role of Head of Player Sustainability Research and Integrity Team at Kindred.  She started as a Risk and Fraud Analyst with Unibet and after receiving her MSc in Occupational Psychology from the University of Leicester, took on the role of Responsible Gaming Manager.  She has a Diploma in Gambling Addiction Counselling and Psychology and is now reading for her PhD under the supervision of Prof. Mark Griffiths, focusing primarily on the analysis of the early signs of online problem gambling, responsible gaming tools and responsible gaming promotion.

Whilst recapitulating research for her role, she has started an innovative detection tool with Unibet, known as PS-EDS (Player Safety – Early Detection System).  This has shown an impressive advantage in the company both from a commercial perspective and also internally addressing Corporate Social Responsibility. This same PS-EDS has won the EGr Innovation of the Year award in 2014. Unibet has also won RG awards including the IGA Socially Responsible Operator award and the EGR Nordics Socially Responsible Operator award.

Monroe Schmidt

Cyber-Crime & Money Laundering Expert

Course: Anti-Fraud & Payments Handling

Monroe has worked with the very top online gaming companies: GVC Group, Microgaming Group, Stars Group, Scientific Games Group and most recently The Jackpotjoy Group. He has been working in the industry since early 2007 and the experiences and training he’s gained have equipped him with all the necessary tools and insights to battle cyber-crime and prevention of Money Laundering.

Monroe has over a decade of experience in Compliance, Payments, Risk, and Anti Money Laundering where he currently practices such as the Jackpotjoy Group. Through iGaming Academy’s Anti- Fraud & Payments Handling training course, Monroe passes on his knowledge and experiences to those looking to learn more about this interesting and important sector of online commerce

Chris Naudi

Sportsbook & iGaming Product Specialist

Courses: Introduction to iGaming, Online Sportsbook Trading

Chris learnt his trade with one of the first Sportsbooks to come to Malta in 2004 – Heathorns International. After a brief stint in London with Premierbet, he came back and spent 5 years as Head of Trading at GVC. Today, Chris runs his own affiliate network at PostYourBet Ltd. Chris is highly passionate about anything iGaming related and in his free time loves nothing more than a game of poker and researching betting opportunities.

Chris has been involved with the iGaming Academy both locally and abroad since 2007 and has delivered over 100 training sessions in the past 10 years. He currently delivers the flagship ‘Introduction to iGaming Course’, as well as the ‘Sportsbook Management’ session and has helped numerous iGaming companies in Malta with training needs.

Pierre Mifsud

Course: Online Casino Management

Pierre Mifsud is Head of Account Management at Booming Games, an online slot games provider. He has been in the Online Gaming Industry since 2006 and held various positions with various gaming companies such as Betsson Group & Interwetten both in Malta & in Austria. He graduated with a Masters in Business Administration from Edinburgh Business School. He has passion for the gaming industry especially online Casinos and helping operators to grow their revenues.


Stefan Farrugia

Head of Analytics – Hero Gaming

Course: Business Analytics

Stefan has been working in the iGaming industry for more than 10 years across different companies and functions. This broad experience has given him a solid understanding of the industry dynamics and its trends.

Having a Mathematical and Statistical background he transitioned into Analytics and gained a comprehensive knowledge of Data Analysis, Customer Analytics and industry metrics.

Currently, Stefan is the Head of Analytics at Hero Gaming. He is also a trainer with iGaming Academy were he delivers the Business Analytics course.

Sarah Psaila

Senior Marketing, Affiliate & iGaming Specialist

Course: Affiliate Management

Sarah has over 10 years’ experience in iGaming and has enjoyed senior marketing and affiliate management roles with some of the leading operators in the field including Betsafe, Tipico and Garbo at Mr Green. Currently, Sarah is working as a Marketing and Affiliate Consultant for a number of leading iGaming operators in Malta.

Her academic studies combined with the wealth of experience she has gained in the field over the past 10 years now allows her to deliver successful training programs specifically related to Affiliate Marketing Management, which she shares during the iGaming Academy Affiliate Management training course.

Joshua O’Cock

MD of Digital Agency Growth Gurus

Course: Digital Marketing

Josh has worked in social media and digital marketing since its inception. A University of Manchester graduate (BSc) in Management and IT and (MSc) in Information Systems, Josh has developed his own unique, inspiring approach to digital marketing. He has extensive experience in providing digital marketing strategies – through consulting, managing and executing these strategies with a wide and truly international range of clients ranging from casinos to bitcoin exchange companies.

Josh is currently the Managing Director and co-founder of Malta-based digital marketing and business growth agency, Growth Gurus. Trained in Manchester and New York, Josh is fully up-to-date with the latest and greatest tips in digital marketing which he discusses during iGaming Academy’s Digital Marketing training course.

Heidi Lind Jensen

Course: Customer Relationship Management

Heidi has an extensive background in marketing management with a strong emphasis on the creative and analytical aspects. She is the co-founder of a consultancy company which focus is to optimise marketing, strategy-building and positioning for different iGaming companies.

She has a flair for customer analysis, as well as basic psychological drivers, to build meaningful communication strategies that will lead to increased revenue. Heidi is a trainer at the iGaming Academy where she delivers the Customer Relationship Management training course.

Stephanie Grech

Course: Practical KYC

Stephanie has been working in the Online Gaming Industry since 2009 gaining a vast understanding of the industry requirements and workings. She currently occupies the role of Payouts and Risk Department Manager with AspireGlobal – a top platform provider for online gaming operators.

Her main interest and focus have been on fraud prevention and risk assessment. She is of the belief that fully grasping who your customer is through the various measures available will not only aid you in having top quality customers but will also give you the ability to manage not omit fraud.

She is looking forward to passing on all the knowledge gained throughout the years which in turn will be passed on to others, pushing this industry to higher levels of knowledge and understanding.

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