The 11th International Gaming Awards Judges
Adele Lawton – Director of Cashcade at GVC Holdings PLC
Adele Lawton gained her well-deserved reputation as a gambling expert during long spells at Gala Coral and Gamesys. With 20 years’ experience she has also held key senior roles at bet365, Sky, Playtech, Betfred, and Betable gaining her unrivaled knowledge of the sector for both online and retail brands across B2C and B2B.
Ben Lee – Managing Partner IGamiX Management & Consulting Ltd
Ben Lee is the managing partner of IGamiX Management & Consulting, based in Macau as well as the CEO of Strategic Gaming Solutions Inc, located in Saipan.
Ben is also an Independent Non-Executive Director of Hong Kong listed Auto Italia Holdings Ltd, an authorised distributor for Maserati automobiles. He is widely acknowledged as the region’s leading expert on the area of Asian gaming, particularly in the VIP market segment. With extensive gaming experience, all over Asia and Australia, Ben has spent the last fourteen years being involved in new gaming projects and is currently involved in several new projects in Vietnam, Cambodia, South Korea and Saipan.Ben has also consulted to many international companies including Caesars,
MGM, Baha Mar, Royal Caribbean Cruises. Bloomberry and Carnival.
Christina Thakor-Rankin – Gaming Consultant
Christina is Principal Consultant at 1710 Gaming Ltd, a specialist betting and gaming consultancy, delivering a range of services including licensing and compliance (incl. regulation, money laundering and social responsibility), business start-up, training and strategic re-engineering, project management, research, business analysis and development, to start-ups and established multi-national operators and providers, gambling regulators, law enforcement and government agencies, media, and specialist interest groups and associations within the sector, in both established and emerging markets across the world.
David Mills – Managing Director at Casa Compliance Ltd
David Mills, Managing Director of Casa Compliance, is a specialist gambling consultant that is highly experienced and respected within the international marketplace, including casinos, live studio casinos, poker, online gambling, retail betting and other gambling businesses. David is an approved regulatory expert, qualified AML practitioner, certified professional and experienced expert witness for casinos, gambling, poker and security.
Casa Compliance provide expert consultants to advise and support investors, operators, regulators and law enforcement agencies with professional corporate governance services including regulatory compliance, anti-money laundering, data protection, performance management, audit, training, security, investigation and expert witness reports, as well as bespoke investment and acquisition services.
Desmond Lam Ph.D – Associate Professor of International Integrated Resort Management
Desmond Lam is an associate professor in international integrated resort management at the University of Macau. He is a life member of Clare Hall (University of Cambridge) and an academic affairs advisor to the Macau Gaming Management Association. Desmond is the recipient of several research and industry awards including the Cambridge Clare Hall Fellowship and the Emerging Leader trophy at the 2016 Asia Gaming Awards. He has written and presented extensively on gaming-related issues and his articles are featured in premier trade as well as academic publications. Desmond is author of the book Chopsticks and Gambling, which examines the little-known world of Chinese gambling from historical, cultural, psychological and social perspectives. He has conducted numerous university courses and executive workshops in gaming, tourism, hospitality and marketing.
Ebba Arnred – CMO Play’n GO
With a passion for new business and opportunities, Ebba Arnred has been working in the iGaming Industry for over 15 years. Holding several leading positions, she is currently the CMO as well as a member of the board at Play’n GO. Her Leadership and work in the iGaming sector have been awarded by the “Women in Gaming Award” where Ebba in 2015 received the” Leader of The Year” award and in 2016 was the winner of the award for “Excellence in Gaming”.
Gavin Isaacs – Vice Chairman of the Board at Scientific Games Corporation
Gavin Isaacs is Vice Chairman of the Board at Scientific Games Corporation, a gaming and lottery entertainment powerhouse that operates under an impressive portfolio of successful brands. He is focused on driving a business that empowers customers by creating the world’s best gaming and lottery experiences.
Prior to joining Scientific Games in 2014, Gavin served three years as the Chief Executive Officer of SHFL entertainment; five years as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Bally Technologies; and eight years with Aristocrat Leisure Limited in various roles, ending his tenure as Americas President.
Helene Wong- Corporate Social Responsibility, Public Relations and Marketing
With over 20 years of senior Business Development, Business Management experience in France, Shanghai, Macau, Hong Kong and Asia, Helene had led the Corporate Social Responsibility / Communications / Human Resources functions for MGM China, The XIII Ltd, Ignite Media Group and Melco Crown Entertainment in the past few years. Now Helene is working as VP of Events and Community Engagement at a media group based in Macau, surrounded by a team with international experience and vision.
Helene has helped companies to build up Sustainable Brand Value through innovative programs including CSR, Culture, Environment, Ethic and Philanthropy combined with efficient targeted communication with different stakeholders including employee, business partners, government, media and community.
Jennifer Bowman – Senior Director Global Field Marketing – Gaming IGT
With nearly two decades in the gaming industry, Jennifer Bowman, epitomizes the versatility of today’s talent, both with the breadth of international experience she brings in product management, compliance, marketing, and sales enablement and in her commitment to mentoring the future leaders of our industry.
As Senior Director of Global Field Marketing, Jennifer leads a multi-national team in creating impactful resources and engaging experiences for operators and players. What truly sets Jennifer apart as an executive is that she leads by example, passing along her passion and positivity to all around.
Kacy Drury – Senior Vice President of AML Compliance and Payments Operations Everi Payments Inc
Kacy Drury is a senior compliance executive with more than thirteen years of experience managing all aspects of AML compliance. Kacy is currently the Senior Vice President of AML Compliance and Payments Operations for Everi Payments Inc in Las Vegas, Nevada. Everi is the largest cash access provider to the gaming industry.
Kacy is a member of the International Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists as well as a member of the local Southern Nevada ACAMS Chapter. Kacy is also CAMS Certified and CAMS-Audit Certified, which, is considered to be the gold standard reflecting a proven knowledge in the detection and prevention of money laundering. Kacy oversees the company’s AML Program including the risk assessment, policies, procedures, TMS and internal controls. Kacy advises executive management, the Corporate Compliance Committee and the Board of Directors on AML concerns and obligations.
Kacy also oversees the company’s compliance products business line. Everi provides AML compliance products to the gaming industry allowing casino operators to easily meet Title 31 regulatory requirements with an arsenal of solutions that hundreds of casinos utilize daily.
Kirsty Thompson – CEO 138.com
Kirsty Thompson is the CEO of 138.com, an online gaming operator licensed in the UK and Isle of Man to serve casino and sports betting to consumers globally. Prior to joining 138.com, Kirsty worked in the gaming industry for more than two decades, including at various leading brands such as Ladbrokes, Virgin Media and PokerStars.
During that time, Kirsty established the United Kingdom & Ireland Poker Tour, played a pivotal role in bringing the European Poker Tour to new markets such as Ukraine, Portugal and Poland, and led negotiations to sign Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar Jr as celebrity brand ambassadors.
Liz Karter – Specialist in Gambling Addiction in Women
Liz Karter is considered a leading UK expert in gambling addiction in women, is founder of Level Ground Therapy, the private treatement service specialising in women and gambling addiction. Liz has worked within all leading UK gambling addiction treatment agencies. and in 2006 she established the first UK Women’s Group for Problem Gambling. Liz now runs these recovery groups as her not for profit work. A Routledge author, Liz has so far published two books on women and gambling addiction, has also published with Karnac and regularly writes for addiction publications worldwide.With an excellent reputation for making sense of gambling addiction in an approachable style Liz is a frequent media commentator worldwide. Her TV and radio interviews include ITV This Morning, Good Morning Britain, BBC Breakfast News, Sky News and Al Jazeera America. Her newsprint interviews including The Independent, The Mail on Sunday., The Times and Vogue magazine
Marek Milewski- Operations Manager Casinos Poland
Marek Milewski is the Operation and Supervision Manager at Casinos Poland Ltd. in Poland with responsibility for operation areas, having graduated from the Warsaw College of Management with the master degree of business administration.
25 years with extensive experience and management skills in the development of casinos in Poland, creating a culture of relationships in business.
Mor Weizer – CEO Playtech
Mor became Playtech’s Chief Executive Officer in May 2007. During his tenure he has overseen the company’s development from an online casino supplier to being a multi-vertical, full Omni-channel software provider with more than 130 licensees in 20 countries.
Prior to this he was chief executive officer of Playtech subsidiary Techplay Marketing Ltd. He previously worked as Development and Product Management for Oracle, while earlier in his career he worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers as an auditor and financial consultant.
He is a qualified accountant with international sales and management experience in a hi-tech environment and has extensive knowledge of the gaming industry.
Paris Smith – CEO Pinnacle Sports
Paris Smith has been CEO of Pinnacle.com for over 10 years. Pinnacle’s core USPs in sports betting are its market leading odds, high limits and the fact that they welcome winners rather than exclude or restrict them. A veteran in the industry, Paris started in 1995 in Antigua and has been part of the evolution of the industry. Her experience and ability to produce world class teams has allowed her to succeed in this very competitive market. Pinnacle, founded in 1998 has always been at the forefront of innovation and product excellence. The reputation for integrity as continued not just for player security and delivering value, but also to the important integrity of the sports themselves. Pinnacle is at the forefront working with key organizations to ensure that the enjoyment of the game is not compromised. Pinnacle was the first bookmaker to take a bet on eSports in 2010. Seven years on (and having recently taken the 5 millionth eSports bet) Pinnacle is undoubtedly the market leader in the field. This was recognized by the industry with the EGR eSports Operator of the Year Award in December 2016. Paris lives and works on the island of Curaçao where Pinnacle is headquartered.
Paul Richardson – Group Director of Strategy & Corporate Development The Rank Group plc
Paul Richardson is the Group Director of Strategy and Corporate Development for The Rank Group plc, the Multi-channel operator of Grosvenor Casinos and Mecca Bingo in the U.K. and Enracha in Spain. Prior to joining Rank, Paul was SVP of International Development for Galaxy Entertainment Limited, the Macau gaming operator where he focused on new market opportunities for Integrated Resorts around the Asia-Pacific region. Paul has been working as an advisor to and latterly an executive within the gaming industry for the last 15 years. Having also worked in investment banking, private equity and law, Paul has broad experience of advising, investing and operating in a broad range of markets and sectors.
Peter John Caveny – Assistant Senior Vice President, Investor Relations Galaxy Entertainment Group
Peter is responsible for and leads all aspects of GEG’s Investor Relations activities on a global basis. He is a highly respected IR practitioner who has been at the Group since 2006 and has more than 20 years’ experience in the IR field having previously worked at a number of Investment Funds and Corporates. He has in-depth knowledge of the Company, industry and capital markets. Peter is instrumental in setting the company’s IR strategy and implementing world-best IR practices. GEG has a diverse shareholder base, with more than 60% of the Group’s free float held outside of its home market of Hong Kong.
Peter Hoetzinger – Co-CEO & President, Vice Chairman Century Casinos
Peter has 30 years of experience in the international casino industry. After holding several managerial positions with Austrian casino companies (incl. Deputy CEO of Casinos Austria International) he co-founded Century Casinos, Inc. in 1993. In his career, Peter has overseen the acquisition, development and operation of 125 casinos in 25 countries and on luxury cruise vessels. Currently, the Century Casinos Group (NASDQ: CNTY) owns and operates 30 casino resorts in the USA, Canada, Caribbean, South America, Eastern Europe and on luxury cruise vessels.
Professor I. Nelson Rose- Speaker & Gaming Law expert
Professor I. Nelson Rose is an internationally known scholar and public speaker, and is recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on gaming law. Harvard Law School educated, he is a Professor at Whittier Law School and a Visiting Professor at the University of Macau.
Prof. Rose’s books include: Internet Gaming Law, Gaming Law: Cases and Materials, and Gaming Law in a Nutshell. He is co-editor-in-chief of the Gaming Law Review and Economics. He is best known for his columns and landmark 1986 book: “Gambling and the Law7.@
Prof. Rose is an expert witness and consultant for governments and industry. His website is www.GamblingAndTheLaw.com.
Richard Noble – Chief Operating Officer of the Aspers Group
Richard started his management career within the industry 28 years ago, joining the team at Aspers in 2006 as a General Manager – where he opened and launched the Swansea site. Within 18 months he became General Manager for the company’s flagship site at Newcastle where he worked tirelessly to develop and drive the business forward.
Richard epitomises the Aspers philosophy and is known within the business as being innovative, dynamic and motivational and he was deservedly appointed to Chief Operating Officer in September 2008 where the fundamentals of his role are to strategise and oversee the commercial operations at all Aspers sites as well as any new developments. In December 2011 Aspers opened the doors to the UK’s largest casino at Westfield Stratford City where Richard played an instrumental part in it’s development from conception through to actual operation. The site has exceeded all industry expectations and almost 3 years on, it welcomes an astounding 140,000 customers through its doors every month.
Hot on the heels of Stratford’s success, again driven by Richard’s endless energy and determination, Aspers successfully acquired a second large licence along with winning the accolade of Responsible Land-based Gaming Operator of the Year 2013. Under Richard’s leadership and clear vision, September 2013 saw the opening of the UK’s second super casino in Milton Keynes, which is the largest regional casino outside of London. The site has continued to go from strength to strength and has set a new benchmark in regional casinos within the leisure industry. The wave of success culminated in February 2014 with Aspers winning the highly sought after European Casino Operator of the year Award at the International Gaming Awards.
Roger Marris – CEO at The Ritz Club
Roger Marris was appointed Chief Executive of The Ritz Club in May 2012, when he was brought in to supervise a new phase of growth and development at this premier London casino.
Roger has been involved in the gaming industry since 1998. His background in gaming started with Harrah’s WSOP and Littlewoods, on the gaming side of the business. His career with The Ritz Club began in 2005 when he was appointed the role as the Managing Director of The Ritz Online Casino when it operated from 2005-2007 (the company was sold in 2007).
Prior to his return to The Ritz Club in 2012, Roger was Global Head of Regional Integration at Premier Farrell, responsible for the development and sharing of best operational and marketing practices across three global regions, which used his strategic, operational and management skills in a multi-channel business.
Roger’s time outside of the industry included an experience of working in China, which gave him valuable insights into how other multinational businesses were managed.
As Chief Executive of The Ritz Club, Roger has spent time looking at processes and management structures as well as developing strategic operational plans and introducing new channels of communication. He advocates stability in regulation and believes that all businesses should have a multi-channel perspective so they have the ability to embrace different channels as opposed to fighting them; to ensure growth in the industry, mindful of the effect that the international operators are having on the UK marketplace.
Roger Raatgever – CEO Microgaming
Roger qualified as a chartered accountant in South Africa following his graduation from university with majors in marketing and economics. He occupied senior positions in franchising and merchant banking before taking the helm at Microgaming and establishing their corporate headquarters on the Isle of Man in 2001.
Now the online gaming industry’s longest-serving CEO, Roger presides over a global talent pool of more than 2,000 people. He also leads a near 200-strong team on the island, where he has steered Microgaming to success after success, masterminding the company’s every milestone and cementing its status as market leader.
An accomplished water polo, squash and rugby player in his youth, and now a keen cyclist and triathlete, Roger won bronze for the Isle of Man at the 2013 Island Games in Bermuda.
Shelly Suter-Hadad – COO at Mansion Group Limited
Bio coming soon
Stella Dalton – Head of Business Development at GamCare
Stella Dalton is Head of Business Development at GamCare, with responsibility for the progression and development of player protection and responsible gambling initiatives. Stella leads GamCare Certification, an accreditation process in high demand from the remote gambling sector throughout the UK and Europe.The nature of this work involves daily contact with licensed operators, regulators and industry associates across multiple jurisdictions.
Stella joined GamCare in 2008 after more than 22 years experience within the casino gaming industry from Dealer through to Casino Manager predominantly at the high end of gaming in London. Stella continued to develop her career with Rank Group and gained invaluable experience in her strategic role as Resourcing and Organisational Development Advisor.
GamCare project work includes development of GamCare ExTra e-learning, a scenario based program designed to assist customer service professionals to better identify the signs of problem gambling and signpost where to find information and support. Stella has also worked as GamCare supervisor on a two year Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Salford University to explore social responsibility, player protection and responsible gambling in the online environment. The GamCare initiative was prompted by feedback from a voluntary group of online operators and includes a study lead by Dr. Jonathan Parke into the feasibility of a global self exclusion tool.
Stephanie Cheung – Chief Legal Officer Melco Resorts & Entertainment
Ms. Stephanie Cheung is Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of Melco Resorts & Entertainment (Melco) (NASDAQ: MLCO). Melco develops and operates hotel casinos and integrated resorts in Asia including the City of Dreams in Macau and Manila. Stephanie manages the legal affairs of Melco including those in Hong Kong, Macau and Philippines. Stephanie has been named in Legal 500’s 2017 GC Power List, China & Hong Kong Most Influential Lawyers in Business. She received the 2015 APAC Insider award for Best Chief Legal Officer (HK) and 2010 Women in Gaming Awards for “Hidden Talent of the Year”.
Vahe Baloulian – CEO BetConstruct
Vahe Baloulian is CEO of BetConstruct and an award-winning industry veteran, named in 2016 as one of the Gaming Intelligence’s ‘Hot 50’ most innovative and inspiring people in online gaming.
During his long career in the gaming industry, Vahe has served as Director of Gaming at 888, COO of LVFH and CEO of Red Planet Gaming. He is a frequent guest speaker and judge at leading industry events.