The Gaming Intelligence HOT50 of 2018 - Recognising the most innovative and inspiring individuals in the iGaming industry.
Chief executive officer
2017 was a breakthrough year for the live dealer specialist, and Jonas Delin is the mastermind behind Authentic's growth. He is a stickler for details and has a strong vision of his product.
Backed by LeoVegas, the company has made inroads in the live casino sector and closed the year with a landmark deal with Connecticut's Foxwoods Resort Casino, which will be the first time that live casino will be streamed from a US casino to European players. Delin has made the industry take notice of Authentic, the next step could be even more exciting.
LAUREN DEVINE MONAGHAN
Head of responsible gaming
While Devine Monaghan has joined an operator with a sympathetic attitude towards responsible gaming, she has ushered it into a leadership position with the Green Gaming tool that offers players a deeper insight into their gambling behaviour than has ever been seen before. She will need to continue on this innovative route to ensure it stays ahead of the pack.
Chief product officer
As NetEnt expands into new jurisdictions such as the Czech Republic, Mexico and Serbia, Fagerlund is the man in charge of maintaining the supplier's product position and growing its technological reach. After a year of successful rollouts, which included the launch of mobile slot game Finn and the Swirly Spin, Fagerlund will lead a push into Virtual Reality in 2018 that is set to take NetEnt to the next level of growth.
Chief investment officer
As chief investment officer of Sazka Group, Dlouhý is the man tasked with identifying key acquisition opportunities, then pushing the deal through. So far this has seen him lead the acquisitions of majority stakes in Casinos Austria and Austrian Lotteries, as well as helping Sazka secure an Italian gaming licence. If rumours are to be believed, he will turn his focus westward in 2018, with a huge national lottery in his sights.
If he pulls off this deal, he will have more than earned his place in the Hot 50.
Founder and CEO
Instant Win Games (IWG)
Having originally focused on partnerships with lottery companies, IWG has recently branched out to work with some of the leading iGaming operators.
Founder and CEO Rhydian Fisher has been key to the company's expansion, and deals with the likes of GVC, 888bingo and William Hill in the past year have helped IWG become a notable casino supplier. Lotteries and operators across the world are recognising instant-win games as an integral part of their portfolio, and IWG is positioned to reap the benefits of this.
Head of content
Gilboa is the creative mastermind behind the provider's blockbuster Age of the Gods series. Gilboa has led the entire process, from concept to production, development and deployment, overseeing games which immediately entered the company's list of best-performing slots, and establishing a reputation for seamlessly delivering large-scale, multi-channel projects.
ANDY HORNBY & SHAY SEGEV
Joint chief operating officers
Andy Hornby and Shay Segev will be jointly responsible for ensuring the GVC juggernaut rolls on. When GVC completes its acquisition of Ladbrokes Coral, Hornby will be responsible for retail business in the UK and Europe and all digital marketing, while Segev will assume responsibility for technology, product, customer service, and leadership of operational and technology integration. Their partnership will be a crucial factor in making a success of the GVC-Ladbrokes combination.
While integrating Coral and bwin in their current roles, Hornby and Segev showed they are capable of making consolidation run smoothly. Delivering £100m in synergies while building a new culture and continuing to hit revenue targets will dwarf their past achievements. The company's future rests on their shoulders.
Chief executive officer
Karaui's company is Africa's biggest iGaming success story since Microgaming. He has grown SportPesa from a small Kenyan business to an international operator that is hard to ignore. It is building a new European headquarters in the UK, and moving into Italy through the acquisition of RCS Gaming. It is on course to become a major player in the coming years.
Chief executive officer
Jesper Kärrbrink is a refreshingly different sort of CEO. As such he is probably the perfect CEO for Mr Green. The company was launched with the idea of hardwiring social responsibility into its soul but had perhaps lost track of just what that means. He has ensured that Mr Green has regained its unique selling point and he has only just begun.
Mr Green was once the future of gaming, Kärrbrink has made it so again.
Gaming Intelligence HOT50 - Part 3