9 March, 2022

From the Awards adjudicator

By Micky Swindale, Partner, KPMG Global Gaming Team

My first encounter with the Global Gaming Awards was in 2014, when I travelled to G2E to deliver in person the final element of KPMG’s engagement to act as independent adjudicator to the then newly established Awards – the final ‘on the ground’ check against our own record of category winners and we attendance at the awards ceremony to ensure that the right recipient is announced and presented with each award. 

I remember meeting Julian Perry and Gary Roudette in the lobby of the Venetian, finding some seats, then opening my laptop so that we could doublecheck my list of winners & runners-up against theirs.  I think all of us had our hearts in our mouths given those gorgeous (and heavy!) glass trophies had been hauled over from London to Las Vegas in the luggage of the GGA team, so to find out that I disagreed with any of the names engraved thereon would have been a bit of a disaster with 2 days to go to the Awards Ceremony.  Fortunately our respective teams had done their work well, and there were no last-minute surprises!

When it came to the inaugural Awards Ceremony, I had imagined I would be standing in the wings, observing and monitoring – but no!  The GGA team decided that the best way to fulfil the objective of having an independent adjudicator - to demonstrate that the organisers have no influence over the voting process and that the winners are therefore truly best in class in the opinion of their peers in the land-based and digital sectors – was to have me announce each of those winner’s names live on stage!

So began a beautiful relationship and, I can easily say, my favourite client job, as each year since then, it has been my welcome responsibility to join Julian Perry on-stage at the Sands in Las Vegas and, once the London Awards were launched, in the theatre at the Hippodrome, to announce first the runners-up and then, with increasingly dramatic ‘pre-pauses’ as my confidence has built over the years, the winners in every category. Surely accountants were never meant to have this much fun at work?!

The last set of ‘business as usual’ Awards prior to the pandemic was at ICE in February 2020, when we did all get to gather as normal in the theatre in the Hippodrome – if we had known what was to come, I think we would all have lingered a little longer and celebrated a little harder.  Despite the delay to ICE, we are still aiming for the April 2022 Awards ceremony to be our long-waited face to face reunion, with the winners and runners-up all attending in person – fingers crossed nothing happens to prevent that!

So a lot of change regarding the ceremony, but no change to the voting and adjudication process for the Awards - we review the GGA’s system and tools for collecting votes (and ensuring judges cannot vote in categories where they have a conflict), check that the winner & runner-up in each category has been determined correctly based on votes cast, and select a random sample of judges whom we contact to check that the votes recorded for them in the system are a complete and accurate reflection of their voting. 

KPMG’s commitment to and involvement with this sector is, I believe, unparalleled and that is why we so welcome the opportunity to support the Global Gaming Awards – the combination of a thorough selection process, a highly distinguished panel of judges, and the organisers’ commitment to independent verification of the judges’ decisions, means that any company or individual that makes it to the final shortlist should be extremely proud – andI hope that we can all be together in April to celebrate that achievement.