Robert Antokol is the chief executive of Israel’s largest game company, Playtika. A division of Caesars Interactive, the Tel Aviv company has 1,200 employees, and it’s one of the pioneering companies behind Israel’s $1 billion gaming industry.
Playtika wasn’t the first company in the $3.4 billion social casino gaming market (as measured by market researcher Eilers Research). Antokol cofounded Playtika with Uri Shahak in 2010, well after Zynga launched Zynga Poker in 2008. But his company’s Slotomania app took off on Facebook and later on mobile. Caesars bought the company at a valuation of $150 million in 2011, and Playtika used its advantages to shoot to the top of the industry.
“Playtika came in the right way and the right time,” Antokol said. “We built an amazing company in this amazing country.”
Playtika now has more than 20 million monthly active users and offices in a dozen countries. But Antokol isn’t done growing, and he wants the rest of Israel’s 200 game companies to see his own company as a role model for both industry leadership and good citizenship.
I interviewed Antokol at the recent Casual Connect Tel Aviv event, which drew more than 1,800 attendees. Antokol was instrumental in making the Casual Connect team stage its first-ever event in Israel. And so he was the lead fireside chat at the event. Check out the full conversation below.