Matthew Hill - Director of strategy, research and analysis, Gambling Commission

Every CEO and company regulatory expert should have Matthew Hill’s phone number on speed dial. He leads the UK Gambling Commission’s working relationships with the industry and with government. As such, he will have a vital role to play as the UK overhauls its online gambling regime. Nothing more really needs to be said to justify his inclusion but his job title does not do justice to the number of responsibilities on his broad shoulders. Hill is an important member of the commission’s management board and among a host of other things, he is responsible for better regulation and corporate and technical compliance. Hill is absolutely key to the industry’s future.

Reuben Portanier - CEO, Malta Lotteries and Gaming Authority

Reuben Portanier is one of the industry’s good guys. He works relentlessly hard, he treats employees, partners and licensees with respect, and is regarded as a proper gentleman. Malta has often found itself at the centre of controversy and Portanier has fought its corner while also listening to criticism and responding to it with actions. He has placed Malta at the centre of European debate, speaking up for firm and fair regulation at all times. He is an ambassador for his country and for the industry.

David Rebuck - Director, New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement

At the time of writing, the New Jersey Assembly and Senate had voted through the internet gaming bill, and it was thought that Governor Chris Christie’s signature would be a formality. The bill gives the Division of Gaming Enforcement the power to decide whether to grant licenses to those with previous unlicensed internet operations in the US. David Rebuck will have to consider the case of bwin.party, which plead guilty to illegal activities in the PartyGaming settlement, and he will have to consider the case of PokerStars, which did not. Rebuck’s judgement will be essential to the future of online gaming.

Eamonn Toland - President, Paddy Power North America

Given the lack of action in the US, this looks like a forwardlooking nomination, but Paddy Power has already had an impact in the US. Eamonn Toland has helped New Jersey and Nevada with a legislative innovation that all parties can be satisfied with. European suppliers had expressed concerns about jumping into bed with Atlantic City casinos on the verge of bankruptcy. Toland and Paddy Power proposed that supplier and land-based casino form a special-purpose vehicle for the online venture, which would mean if the bricks and mortar casino went bust, the online one did not. European companies are often criticised for not assisting with the transition to a regulated US market. Paddy Power is the exception and is making powerful friends along the way.

Gil White - head of gaming practice, Herzog Fox Neeman
Gil White has been described as “the consummate insider”. He was PokerStars’ external lawyer before they recruited an in-house team and is still considered the company’s go-to lawyer. He is negotiating the return of Stars and 888 to the US, which is no easy task given the former’s reputation and the latter’s lack of settlement with the DoJ. But he’s doing a remarkably good job. He worked tirelessly with Stars’ lawyers, Full Tilt and the DoJ. It was a politically sensitive situation but White handled it with delicacy. Insiders claim the deal, one of the most important in the history of online gaming, might have foundered without him.

The Gaming Intelligence Hot 50 of 2013

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