Juan Carlos Alfonso
Deputy director general, National Gaming Commission Spain
Juan Carlos Alfonso, the Spanish gambling regulator, not the Spanish king, has had a huge impact on the progress of re-regulation in Spain. Despite some niggles, the Spanish Gambling Act has been generally applauded by an industry unused to applauding new gambling acts. A lot of the credit can be given to Alfonso, who has listened to industry concerns and acted on them. But don’t get on his wrong side, he’ll be one of the strongest regulators you’ll ever meet.
As CEO of eCOGRA since 2003, Andrew Beveridge has had a considerable influence on responsible gaming. But it is his handling of the process that developed the CEN (European Committee for Standardisation) Agreement for Responsible Remote Gambling that wins him a place in the Hot 50. The process began facing pretty fierce opposition but in his role as chairman, Beveridge assuaged doubts and balanced hundreds of different viewpoints to produce an agreement that has been widely accepted by the industry. It is now being used as a template for good practice to win over sceptical and protectionist governments.
Chief legal and regulatory officer, Betfair
No company could hope for a more powerful and skilful advocate than Betfair’s Martin Cruddace. In a company that has often been too shy to poke its head above the parapet, Cruddace has shone as Betfair’s most eloquent spokesperson. Cruddace will hope one day he can sink into the background when his hardest work is done. But for now, Betfair is fighting legal and regulatory battles all over the world to convince regulators and politicians that betting exchanges should be legitimate. His presence is vital for Betfair’s foreseeable future.
CEO, Remote Gambling Association
To say that the entire industry relies on the efforts of Clive Hawkswood could be something of an overstatement but it comes very close to the truth. Hawkswood is a tireless, articulate and passionate spokesperson for the industry. He is also willing to fight for the industry. Hawkswood has to balance confrontation with relationship-building. It is a balancing act he pulls off skilfully. He has a tough gig but there are none more deserving of a place in the Hot 50.
Founder and partner, Ifrah Law
Jeff Ifrah came to prominence as the lawyer of Full Tilt Poker’s CEO Ray Bitar. The Full Tilt car crash demanded a skilled lawyer but it also needed someone adaptable and resilient. Ifrah is all those things and more. He went beyond the call of duty, becoming Full Tilt’s de facto spokesperson in a passionate attempt to defend his client’s interests. Ifrah was largely responsible for assembling a legal team that got Full Tilt off the hook with the US Department of Justice and sold to Bernard Tapie. As the US begins the long path towards online regulation, Ifrah’s expert opinion will be sought out by many a CEO.
Head of Remote Gaming (AAMS)
As one of the first European nations to re-regulate online gaming, Italy has become a valuable source of first-hand experience for every other nation thinking of following suit. As such, AAMS in general and Francesco Rodano in particular have become hugely influential figures. Italy’s liberalisation has not been an easy ride, with legal challenges and delays threatening to derail the process. But the market opening has been a success and a lot of credit for that can go to the work of Rodano and his team, who have proved accessible, flexible and intelligent.
Director, Danish Gambling Authority
Birgitte Sand has been a real ally for the industry in fashioning an authority that has been a flexible, reasonable and astute in dealing with the awkward process of liberalisation. She has been assisted by a regulatory regime which is being held aloft as the model of modern regulation. Sand has been praised for her tireless devotion to ensuring this is a smooth process. Her inclusive spirit has probably done more to promote the gambling industry in Denmark than a marketing campaign could ever do.
General counsel, PokerStars
Paul Telford is very highly-respected internally and was appointed to the PokerStars board in 2010. Since the indictments were handed down, Telford’s role has only increased in importance and his handling of the most difficult situation imaginable has been excellent. He has weathered the exit from the US and become a key decision maker in the market’s number one online poker company.
Chief executive, Gambling Commission
Jenny Williams’ influence over the financial fortunes of all online gaming companies operating in the UK grew far bigger when the UK government announced its intention to overhaul the country’s licensing regime. Her voice will be one of the first heard when the Department of Culture, Media and Sport looks for advice.
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