23 January, 2023

Global Gaming Awards London: Who will win Executive of the year 2023?

Gambling Insider takes a look at the nominations list for 2023's Executive of the year at the Global Gaming Awards London.

The Global Gaming Awards London is fast approaching. With the full nominations list now available in print and on the Gambling Insider and Global Gaming Awards websites, we delve into our 2023 Shortlist for the prestigious Executive of the year Award here. This category is one of 16 at the Global Gaming Awards, which also includes the newly added Platform Provider of the year and Online Slot of the year Awards. Once again, the Awards will be held at London’s Hippodrome Casino, which will be livestreamed on Gambling Insider’s website and LinkedIn page.

With a rigorous nomination and voting process, the Global Gaming Awards are the most reputable and prestigious in the industry. With voting undertaken by a panel of 50+ C-level executives, all Awards are decided on merit, with KPMG in the Crown Dependencies independently adjudicating the full voting process to ensure transparency and fairness. This year, the Executive of the year category is sponsored by Gamomat.

Gambling Insider Editor-in-Chief Julian Perry commented on the finalisation of the Shorlist: “It’s great to see the Shortlist now complete, featuring 25 esteemed contributors to our industry making the executive category. A huge congratulations to all executives who made it onto this year’s list. Most of all, however, thank you to all 25 nominees for working tirelessly on creating a better and more responsible gaming industry.”

So, who will take the gong this time around, following bet365 Founder & CEO Denise Coates’ success in 2022? Such nominees looking to win the Award are Gambling Insider’s CEO Special participants; Parimatch Eastern Europe CEO Natalia Hilevych and Flutter Entertainment International CEO Dan Taylor.

Hilevych has faced a unique and difficult set of circumstances leading Parimatch’s operations in war-torn Ukraine. But despite these monumental challenges, she has helped drive new developments to ensure results remain positive for Parimatch’s Eastern European business.

Meanwhile, Taylor, who has been CEO of Flutter Entertainment's International division since it was rebranded from Paddy Power Betfair in 2019, has overseen several acquisitions for both brands. This includes the purchase of Georgian operator Adjarabet, and more recently in 2022, Taylor and Flutter’s International division completed the acquisition of Italian operator Sisal.

Also on our Shortlist is the Executive Chairman of the Hippodrome Casino itself, Simon Thomas. Thomas has overseen numerous renovations at the casino in recent times. Even “a few inches” in table layout can “make all the difference” to a casino floor as far as Thomas is concerned, and it is this attention to detail that secured his nomination.

"It’s great to see the Shortlist now complete, featuring 25 esteemed contributors to our industry making the executive category"

Other names in the Executive of the Year category include Entain CEO Jette Nygaard-Andersen, who headlined the company’s Entain Sustain conference in 2022; CEO of 888 Holdings Itai Pazner, who oversaw the company’s purchase of all William Hill’s non-US assets in the last year; and Allwyn Group CEO Robert Chvátal, who led the company’s effort to be officially awarded the National Lottery licence in the UK for the next 10 years. The full Shortlist for the Global Gaming Awards London is detailed below:

  • Robert Chvátal, Group CEO, Allwyn . Gustaf Hagman, CEO, LeoVegas
  • Natalia Hilevych, CEO, Parimatch Eastern Europe
  • Jette Nygaard-Andersen, CEO, Entain
  • Carsten Koerl, Founder & CEO, Sportradar
  • Simon Thomas, Executive Chairman, The Hippodrome Casino
  • Neil Fairweather, Chief Marketing Operations Officer, bet365
  • Jenna Ekström, Responsible Gaming Manager, Paf
  • Aregnaz Hakobyan, Group Chief Marketing Officer, Digitain
  • Walter Bugno, CEO, Games Global
  • Simon Hammon, CEO, Relax Gaming
  • Tsachi Maimon, CEO, Aspire Global
  • Dan Taylor, International CEO, Flutter Entertainment
  • Itai Pazner, CEO, 888 Holdings
  • Olabimpe Akingba, Executive Secretary, Association of Nigerian Bookmakers
  • Valentina Bagniya, CMO, Softswiss
  • Brigid Simmonds, Chair, Betting & Gaming Council
  • Erwin Van Lambaart, CEO, Casinos Austria
  • Pascal Camia, COO, Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer
  • Michael Silberling, CEO, Metropolitan Gaming
  • Stéphane Pallez, Chairwoman and CEO, FDJ (Française des Jeux)
  • Irina Cornides, COO, Pragmatic Play
  • Lara Falzon, President & COO, Bragg Gaming Group
  • Petra de Ruiter, CEO, Holland Casino
  • Jesper Svensson, CEO, Betsson Group

After the Global Gaming Awards 2023 in February, Gambling Insider will host two further Global Gaming Awards this year– our flagship event in Las Vegas in October and, before that, the second edition of the Global Gaming Awards Asia. More details will be released closer to the dates but, for now, we wish all nominees the very best in London.

You can read more about the Shortlist for the Global Gaming Awards Executive of the year here.

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