Gaming Intelligence Hot 50

19th January 2020 1:17 pm GMT

The Gaming Intelligence Hot 50 is a celebration of the most innovative and inspiring people working in the betting and gaming industry.

It is an annual event acclaiming the people who have made a difference to their company or to the industry during the past year, or those who are in a key position to influence events in the coming year.

Every year the selection is refreshed to avoid churning out the same old names in a predictable list of ‘the most influential’ people in the industry. The Hot 50 is about celebrating both unsung heroes working behind the scenes and chief executives calling the shots.

That said, there are some high-flyers who continue to soar year after year – often in very different roles or in companies that have evolved beyond recognition.

FOX Bet chief executive officer Robin Chhabra is the most celebrated name in this year’s Hot 50. His M&A feats landed him a spot in 2018, while business development chief for Stars Group, and in 2016, while assuming the same role at William Hill.

He had a massive influence on both, guiding them through transformative mergers, joint ventures and new markets before one of those JVs landed him his current role Stateside as CEO of one of the most exciting brands in the nascent sports betting market.

Gamesys Group chief commercial officer Irina Cornides is the only other name to feature more than once. Her career has continued to thrive, while her company has undergone a transformation from Mandalay to Intertain to Jackpotjoy to JPJ and finally to Gamesys. It is a career that reflects the changing face of the industry. Few have been as sustainable.

The past year was one of upheaval, the mergers that engulfed The Stars Group and Jackpotjoy are just two factors – the other great theme was regulation. As the industry comes under closer scrutiny in more and more jurisdictions, the Hot 50 stars of regulation and responsible gambling will become more influential.

These are the two forces shaping the industry. We also feature more stars from the lottery industry than ever before. With the betting and gaming industry under such scrutiny, the trusted brands of former monopolies and existing monopolies become more and more influential. It is no coincidence that suppliers are clamouring to become members of the World Lottery Association.

Thank you to our judges for your assistance – many former Hot 50 winners among them. You have helped to compile a Hot 50 for 2020, which takes in more roles than ever before. From technologists, marketers, lawyers and accountants, to lobbyists, RG professionals, regulators and salespeople. They are all stars. And our judges are too. Congratulations to all.

The Gaming Intelligence HOT 50 2020 (read more)

The Gaming Intelligence HOT 50 2020 - Acquisition Specialists (read more)

The Gaming Intelligence HOT 50 2020 - Responsible Gambling (read more)


Johnny Aitken, Pointsbet USA

Robert Andersson, Enlabs

Amir Askarov, BlueRibbon Software


Neil Banbury, Kindred Group

Elena Barber, Kindred Group

Bryan Blake, Hexopay

Beth Breshnahan, DC Lottery

Tim Bucher, Scientific Games

Jo Button, Camelot


Robin Chhabra, FOXBET

Robert Chvátal, Sazka Group

Andrew Clucas, Microgaming

Irina Cornides, Gamesys Group

James Coxon, SBTech


Stanton Dodge, DraftKings

Simo Dragicevic, BetBuddy (Playtech)

Michael Dugher, Betting & Gaming Council


Alberto Eljarrat, Sportium


Trude Felde, The Norwegian Gaming and Foundation Authority

Lee Fenton, Gamesys Group

Eric Foote, Pointsbet


Christian Genetski, FanDuel


Ravi Haldahalli, Atlantic Lottery

Todd Haushalter, Evolution Gaming

Phil Horne, SG Gaming


Ian Ince, Playtech


Peter Jackson, Flutter Entertainment


Jon Kaplowitz, Penn National Gaming

Carsten Koerl, Sportradar


Michael Leadbeater, GVC Group

Conor Leavey, The Stars Group

Jason Lisiecki, IWG

Chris Looney, Red Tiger

Mikel López de Torre, JDigital


Laura Nash, The Stars Group


John O’Reilly, Rank Group


Stéphane Pallez, FDJ

Jason Park, DraftKings


Kevin Reid, 1X2 Network

Israel Rosenthal, MuchBetter


Oren Cohen Schwartz, Skywind Group

Alex Sefton, bet365

Liz Siver, NeoPollard Interactive

Bjorn Sjoberg, Evolution Gaming

Darren Small, Sportradar

Jesper Søgaard, Better Collective

Drew Svitko, Pennsylvania Lottery


Keith Whyte, National Council on Problem Gambling


Damian Xuereb, Kambi


Bret Yunker, Eldorado Resorts

Judging panel

Andrew Bulloss, Head of global gaming practice - Odgers Berndtson

Gavin Hamilton, CEO - Red Tiger

Eric Hollreiser, Founder - A.C.E. Hollreiser

Jeff Ifrah, Founding partner - Ifrah Law

Ivor Jones, Equity analyst - Peel Hunt

Jim Kennedy, Vice-Chairman - Scientific Games

Leigh Nissim, CEO - Future Anthem

Paul Peinado, Senior operations manager - World Lottery Association

Karolina Pelc, Founder - Basic Strategy

Christina Thakor Rankin, Co-founder - All-In Diversity Project

Nik Robinson, CEO - Big Time Gaming