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Exclusive Interview with Bojoko.com CEO Joonas Karhu

Joonas Karhu

Joonas Karhu, the former poker tournament grinder turned CEO of Bojoko.com, brings a wealth of experience and a deep understanding of player dynamics to the table. Today, we have the privilege of unraveling the fascinating journey of Joonas – from his days as a poker maven to his pivotal role in shaping the landscape of online gaming.

In this interview, we will delve into his story, exploring the synergies between his background as a player and his vision for Bojoko.com.

Could you tell us a bit about your background as a poker player and how it led you to become the CEO of Bojoko.com?

My journey into the world of iGaming started with poker. I began playing poker close to two decades ago, and what started as a hobby quickly turned into a passion. I was fascinated by the strategic depth of the game and the dynamic nature of the industry. Over the years, I honed my skills, competing in both online and live tournaments, and even had some success on the felt.

This interest in iGaming started to expand beyond the poker table and onto the casino table, becoming a croupier for the Finnish gambling monopoly, which at the time was called RAY but is now under the name of Veikkaus.

After I completed my Business degree at the JAMK University of Applied Sciences, it was, therefore, natural for me to continue my journey within iGaming. I got a role as a project manager at a gambling operator and would go on to hold various senior roles within the industry.

In 2017 I co-founded Bojoko and served as Chief Business Officer before attaining my current position.

That sounds like an exciting journey. How did your experiences as a poker player influence your transition into the iGaming industry?

My time as a poker player gave me valuable insights into the iGaming world, particularly in terms of player experience and what players are looking for in online gaming platforms. I understood firsthand the importance of trust, transparency, and variety when it comes to choosing an online gaming site. 

This understanding became the driving force behind Bojoko.com, where we put the players first and give them the power of choice. Whereas most gambling comparison sites simply recommend static lists of operators, we have the tools and filters needed for the players to discover their perfect match based on their tastes and preferences.

Could you tell us more about Bojoko.com and its mission in the iGaming space?

Bojoko.com is an iGaming comparison site that aims to provide players with all the tools they need to make informed choices and discover the gambling sites that are best suited for them.

I am most proud of our filter tools which give players the ability to compare gambling sites based on everything from their wagering requirements to what payment methods they let you make a deposit with. Through our tools, players can quickly eliminate the brands that just aren’t for them and then be able to choose from the casinos, betting sites, and bingo platforms that are best suited to their tastes, preferences, and playstyle.

Of course, we also strive to empower players by giving them access to unbiased reviews, comprehensive listings, and exclusive offers from licensed and reputable online casinos and sportsbooks. We believe in transparency, accountability, and putting the player first in everything we do.

What sets Bojoko.com apart from other iGaming comparison sites?

What sets us apart is that we put the players first and give them the tools needed to make the choices that work best for them rather than pushing anything down their throats. This approach has worked, and we have a passionate community of players who keep using our platform.

Additionally, our team consists of industry experts who meticulously vet and review every operator listed on our platform to ensure they meet our strict criteria for quality, safety, and reliability.

With the iGaming industry constantly evolving, what are some of the challenges and opportunities you see on the horizon for Bojoko.com?

One of the biggest challenges we face is staying ahead of the curve in terms of regulatory changes and technological advancements. The iGaming landscape is constantly evolving, with new regulations being introduced and emerging technologies reshaping the way players engage with online gaming. 

However, with challenge comes opportunity, and we see tremendous potential for growth in emerging markets, as well as in the adoption of innovative technologies such as blockchain and virtual reality.

Finally, should more poker players consider taking a similar journey to yourself? What advice would you give to poker players looking to break into the iGaming industry?

I believe the decision to embark on a similar journey should be carefully considered and tailored to individual circumstances. While my background in poker has certainly provided me with valuable insights and skills that have proven beneficial in my current role, it will not be a fit for everyone.

Poker players contemplating a similar transition should assess their own strengths, interests, and aspirations, as well as the demands and opportunities of the iGaming industry. 

That said, I think transitioning to the iGaming industry is a fairly natural step, as you will already have picked up a lot of insight and knowledge. Furthermore, skills such as strategic thinking, risk management, and adaptability give poker players an edge in the business world as a whole.

The iGaming industry is multifaceted, with opportunities spanning beyond entrepreneurship, such as content creation, marketing, and of course, my old role as a croupier. Poker players considering a transition should explore these avenues and leverage their expertise, education, and interests.

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