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Gaming Intelligence HOT 50 of 2017 - The Next Generation of CEOs. Celebrating the most talented, innovative and inspiring individuals in the online gaming industry.

Chief executive officer
Casino Room

There are some smart people working behind the scenes at Sweden’s latest casino sensation Casino Room – not least former Nordic Gaming Group CEO Henrik Svensson, who knows a thing or three about how to operate a successful online casino. However, the Hot 50 vote goes to Johan Bergenudd. It’s on his watch that the operator has flown from zero to around €30m gross gaming revenues in just one year. That’s some going especially for a CEO in his first year in the hot seat.

Executive director

It was a somewhat surprising move when British tabloid newspaper The Sun chose Tabcorp to power its new iGaming brand Sun Bets. What was less surprising however was Tabcorp hiring the vastly experienced former William Hill executive Jamie Hart to run the operation. There is a lot of pressure on Hart to deliver this year in what is now a massively congested market for sports betting in the UK. But Hart is passionate about gaming and if anyone can make it work, you would want him in your corner. He faces a real challenge to wrestle control from Australia and make this venture work. But if the Aussies are smart, they’ll hand Hart the keys to the kingdom and watch revenues fly.

Interim chief executive officer

Cherry could once be dismissed as the company that was left behind after Betsson and NetEnt were spun off, but it is now emerging as an impressive iGaming business. Co-founder Anders Holgren deserves credit for this, with the company completing a wide array of investments and acquisitions, culminating in its €280m deal for ComeOn. The strategy of investing in companies rather than acquiring them outright has been particularly noteworthy, incentivising the business and its management. Now, Holgren has temporarily stepped into the CEO’s chair. A business which was stuck in the Scandinavian market suddenly finds itself in Germany, Poland and the UK, with plans to expand further afield.

Chief executive officer

Alexander Stevendahl is another young CEO in just his second year as CEO. The former poker affiliate has created quite a site with Videoslots. Shooting up from zero to €3m gross gaming revenue in its first 18 months of operation could be attributed to Stevendahl’s marketing skills and the continued appeal of NetEnt’s games but the operator is also doing things a little differently. In late 2015, Videoslots unveiled its tournament feature: Battle of Slots. Others have tried to copy it, but our judges said Videoslots does it best.

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Gaming Intelligence Awards & Hot 50 of 2017
GIA Casino Operator of the Year: Amaya
GIA Bingo Operator of the Year: Jackpotjoy
GIA Poker Operator of the Year: Amaya
GIA Lottery Operator of the Year: British Columbia Lottery Corporation
GIA Social Casino Operator of the Year: Zynga Casino
GIA Sports Betting Operator of the Year: Sky Bet
GIA Socially Responsible Operator of the Year: Unibet
GIA Game of the Year: Cash Out Roulette, Be The House
GIA Marketing Campaign of the Year: 888Sport
GIA Bingo Supplier of the Year: Dragonfish
GIA Casino Supplier of the Year: NETENT
GIA Lottery Supplier of the Year: Scientific Games
GIA Marketing Services Provider of the Year: Optimove
GIA Poker Supplier of the Year: Relax Gaming
GIA Social Casino Supplier of the Year: Greentube
GIA Sports Betting Supplier of the Year: SBTech
GIA Innovation Award: Digital Sports Tech, Player Prop Bets
GI HOT 50 2017 – Founders & Pioneers
GI HOT 50 2017 – Big-Shot CEOs
GI HOT 50 2017 – The Next Generation of CEOs
GI HOT 50 2017 – Backstage Heroes
GI HOT 50 2017 – Superstar Suppliers