Set against the stunning backdrop of London’s Natural History Museum and hosted by former Sky Sports favourite Kirsty Gallacher, the awards saw five industry legends recognised for their tremendous contributions to the world of sports betting.
Norbert Teufelberger, Co-founder and former CEO of Bwin, Betsson Founder and CEO Pontus Lindwall, Intralot Co-founder and former CEO Constantinos Antonopoulos, Former ABB Chairman Warwick Bartlett and SNAITECH CEO Fabio Schiavolin were all awarded with this prestigious industry accolade.
The class of 2018 were joined on stage by inductees from years gone by, including BetConstruct Founder & CEO Vigen Badalyan, Pinnacle CEO Paris Smith and Mark Blandford, Chairman of Sportingbet.
Schiavolin, whose company was taken over by Playtech earlier this year, was quick to express his gratitude and honour upon receiving such high-profile recognition for his hard work.
“In Spain, I learnt all I could about successful strategies for betting business in advance. So when, in 1998, the first bet was placed in Italy, I was ready and able to catch the opportunity,” he explained in his acceptance speech.
“All the good we’ve done is because of a great and loyal team. I could say that ideas, exceptional initiative and valuable people are the three keywords of our success.”
Intralot co-founder Antonopoulos said he was honoured to be inducted, especially as he is already in the Lottery Hall of Fame: “This is my second hall of fame which I think is a unique experience, so I am doubly honoured. The Natural History Museum has been a fabulous setting for the ceremony.”
Bwin co-founder Teufelberger added: It’s always nice to be recognised for something you’ve done in the past, especially when you look at the people who have already joined the Hall of Fame and what they have done. To be identified for something you’ve done over twenty years is always a beautiful thing.
“I found this week’s Betting on Sports Conference great as well, to my surprise as I am not a great fan of conferences. But I had a lot of valuable contacts and took some very good meetings and hopefully next year I’ll be able to come back.”
Bartlett, a champion for the small bookmaker in the UK, was also happy to be inducted. “You look at the people that have received this award previously and you realise what a big honour it is to be joining them,” he said.
The event, held in the Natural History Museum’s flagship Hintze Hall, received an unprecedented turnout and was attended by some of the industry’s most recognisable figures. Beneath a magnificent, ceiling-encompassing blue whale skeleton, party goers enjoyed a truly unique networking experience.
The Hall of Fame Awards closed the biggest Betting on Sports event to date, welcoming more than 2,000 visitors to Olympia, which also played host to ESI London, AffiliateFEST, SBC Sponsorship Forum and the very first CasinoBeats Summit.
CasinoBeats Editor Stewart Darkin commented: “For many, last week’s closing party will have been an unforgettable experience. However, for the CasinoBeats team, such a memorable end to Betting on Sports Week has added significance given that it was the first ever staging of the CasinoBeats Summit.”
SBC Founder & CEO Rasmus Sojmark added: “The Hall of Fame Awards was the perfect way to finish off the Betting on Sports Week, as we celebrated five industry legends at the Natural History Museum in an amazing closing party.
“We also introduced the CasinoBeats Summit, which will grow to its own conference and exhibition in 2019. Next up is the SBC Awards in December and Betting on Football at Stamford Bridge in March, before the highly anticipated Betting on Sports America in April 2019.
“It’s been an incredible year so far for Team SBC, and we are thankful for all the support we keep receiving from our business partners.”