The Gaming Intelligence HOT50 of 2018 - Recognising the most innovative and inspiring individuals in the iGaming industry.
Director eGaming & digital experience
British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC)
Canadian provincial lottery operator BCLC was the first in North America to launch a regulated online casino product in 2010 with PlayNow.com, and Cameron Adams has been there every step of the way. He is responsible for all digital products and business operations for BCLC's iGaming business, and has helped lead efforts in live-dealer, mobile, lottery initiatives and innovation.
Adams has been described as a leader who pulls creativity and confidence from his team,and is driving the operational excellence and player experience for the government-owned site.
Chief executive officer
Gaming Intelligence has an unwritten rule that nobody wins entry into the Hot50 for two years in a row. The idea is to highlight those who are hot, rather than just those who are influential or important. However, GVC's continuing rise towards world domination rips up this unwritten rule. Kenneth Alexander has been the spark that has driven industry consolidation into overdrive.
His audacious and innovative approach to M&A is becoming legendary, but equally astounding is his continuing ability to hit synergy and revenue targets, while plotting his next swoop. Alexander's name will be remembered long after he has retired.
Regional sales manager
NetEnt's continued success reflects not only the quality of its games, but the people it employs and its strong culture of teamwork. There are several leaders at the company and Nadiya Attard is one of them. Together with her sales team, she has led the supplier's recent expansion, with 45 new customers signed up in the past year alone, in markets as varied as Norway, the Czech Republic, Mexico, Canada, Spain and the UK.
Attard started working for NetEnt in 2013 and has a reputation for getting results. No one can argue that she hasn't delivered.
Head of innovation strategy
At Microgaming, Barbara has single-handedly developed an initiative to foster a culture of innovation.
She devised the company's in-house incubator scheme, the Ideas Factory, allowing staff to present new ideas and concepts to improve company culture, development processes and technology. The scheme has already led to the launch of one of Microgaming's best-performing games of the year, EmotiCoins. The potential of the Ideas Factory is huge.
Chief business development officer
Since its foundation in 2015, Barzely has quickly established the supplier as one of online casino's most recognisable names. He has overseen deals with a host of major operators, including William Hill, GVC and Betsson, to significantly grow Pragmatic in regulated markets, while also building a reputation for delivering some of the industry's fastest integrations.
Chief executive officer
2017 was the year Lottoland finally felt the full brunt of regulators' wrath, but that just shows what an impact the company has had in disrupting the established lottery industry.
Birrell has often fought a lonely battle, but the Lottoland juggernaut continues unabashed, and the company has transformed its risk management into its own fully authorised and licensed insurance company. Birrell is an experienced iGaming veteran and the figurehead for Lottoland's insurgence into the lottery sector. Lottoland is here to stay.
Integrity analytics manager
Bonello has helped change the way the gambling industry looks to tackle problem gambling. That's quite an achievement.
By putting responsible gambling at the centre of the operator's business, rather than a necessary evil, she helped pioneer
new ways to detect and treat problem gambling. Thanks to her, Kindred has long been viewed as a socially responsible
Michaela Bonamini was one of the key figures behind GVC's stunningly successful integration of bwin.party. As HR director, she had a massive job on her hands to create a new culture at GVC, which was neither old GVC or old bwin.party.
She now turns her attention to a new challenge as a founding member of the senior management team at the as-yet-unnamed new company set to take charge of the Tote when Fred Done's contract expires. The issue of transferring staff to the new company will be the first thing in her in-tray as she sets about building a workforce to take the Tote into a new era.
Chief technology officer
The Stars Group
Others will grab the headlines as The Stars Group powers its way into a multi-product future, but few will be as important in making sure it works as Jerry Bowskill.
He could not have a more suitable CV for Stars as it looks to retain its entrepreneurial soul, while powering on into its future, as a grown-up, regulated, multi-product operator. It will be a challenge but you will not find a single soul who does not believe Bowskill will rise to the occasion.
Chief product officer
SBTech's constant roll-out of new products and enhancements to its core sportsbook product was a key reason behind it securing the sports betting supplier of the year award. Bradley is the man who oversees the development of these features.
With the sheer quality of the SBTech solution having secured significant client wins in the past year, he is a worthy addition to this list.
Gaming Intelligence HOT50 - Part 1