The Judges 2017

Fraud & Risk

Tania Johannisson

Head of Game Integrity and Risk - Evolution Gaming

Tania has been associated with online gaming industry for almost a decade, last 5 years were solely dedicated to table game protection and security.

She has developed a tailor-made Anti-Fraud department to cater for an online live dealer casino operation and has been managing the respective unit since 2011, which now comprises around 450 risk-related employees and is likely to be one of the biggest risk teams in the world.

Tania has been a driver for and in charge of designing various security tools to detect abnormal betting strategies that may indicate collusion and advantage play; she is also listed as an inventor for a few patents related to real-time game integrity monitoring.

In February, 2016 Tania spoke as an industry expert at the World Game Protection Conference in Las Vegas, where she presented the methods of protecting the integrity of table games by the means of automated surveillance, for an audience of around 500 people.

In September 2016 Tania hosted an Online Game Protection Conference, where herself together with world-known security experts talked about vulnerabilities that Live Dealer Casinos are exposed to, and what measurements are taken in order to deliver the best user experience and yet a safe gaming environment.

Ben Jordan

Director - Aristotle International

Ben Jordan is a risk management professional and compliance expert who has extensive experience in both online gaming and financial sectors, including PokerStars, Sportingbet, Paradise Poker, American Express and Lloyds TSB. He has over fifteen years' experience in the gaming sector, working in Costa Rica, London, the Isle of Man and Malta.

Ben Jordan is on the board of Directors at Aristotle International- a global Age Verification, Identity, Risk and Compliance solution provider. Ben is Aristotle's representative to the the Digital Policy Alliance and on the PAS 1296 steering group for regulation/legislation of age restricted goods and content in the UK. Prior to Aristotle, Ben was Senior Security Manager for PokerStars responsible for the Risk and Fraud mitigation best practice within the online space. Ben Jordan is based in Malta.

Ian Pellicano

Managing Director - Apco Systems Ltd

Ian Pellicano, Managing Director of Apco Systems Ltd, has over 20 years experience in the financial services sector encompassing global omnichannel payment processing, alternative payments, risk and compliance. Ian manages payment gateway services with a focus on specialised card not present as well as card present solutions incorporating a nucleus of over 200 payment methods to serve a diverse industry coverage.

Apco Systems operates a secure and reliable payments processing platform that enables merchants to accept a vast range of payment options, across multiple channels, anywhere in the world. APCOPAY is recognised in the market as one of the most flexible and client responsive payment processing solutions around.

The company is part of Harvest Tech, the technology division of Hili Ventures.

Casino Product

Henric Andersson

COO - Suprnation

Henric is a Director and Co-Founder of SuprNation, a company he co-founded with Joakim Stockman in 2016. SuprNation launched its first casino site VoodooDreams.com in August the same year. VoodooDreams.com is a new generation mobile and gamification focused casino targeting primarily Scandinavia and Northern Europe and has seen great success since launch.

Henric has been in the industry since 2008, in various C-level Marketing and Product focused roles. Prior to founding SuprNation, Henric served as COO of Betit Group between 2013-2015 and before that at Betsson Group between 2008-2013 as Chief Product Officer and Director of Business Operations.

Ori Zilbershtein

Head of Consumer Products - Catena Media

Ori Zilbershtein is one of the leading names in the Israeli online marketing industry with over 10 years of SEO and Online marketing experience. During the years, Ori worked in various key roles within major organizations in the online gaming industry including being the SEO expert for 888 Holdings, one of the oldest and well known operators in the igaming industry. Today Ori is the Head of Consumer Products within Catena Media, one of the biggest lead generation company in the igaming industry.

SEO/SEM

Eugen Platon

SEO Manager - GUTS

Eugen Platon is the SEO Manager for Guts.com, the most important brand of Gaming Innovation Group. A Technical University of Iasi (Romania) graduate in Computer Science and a SEO Master Certified by MarketMotive, Eugen has been involved in SEO and Digital Marketing since 2006.
With deep roots in computer science, Eugen's developed knowledge and acquired competencies into digital marketing areas within the companies he worked for into competitive industries, optimising websites globally and locally, from strategy to execution and reporting. Leadership and machine learning, along with his passion for SEO and Web Analytics, are his focus these days. He is constantly looking for ways to improve strategies and results into evolving and changing field like SEO.

Eitan Gorodetsky

SEO Leader - Catena Media

I was raised in Israel and served in the army as a combat medic, from early BBS days I've always had a passion for online.
I have been working as an inbound marketer for the last 7 years, my passion is in producing the best search experience for a visitor by understanding intent and user metrics then catering for those rigorously.
Started out in the lead generation industry by managing a portfolio of over 8000 sites, then worked for 888 as an SEO brand manager and now in Catena leading the SEO department.
My education includes Information technology and philosophy, both vital in understanding the internet and humans.
Im a big fan of innovation and testing and it's part of my every day life, I aspire to simplify SEO and get people to focus on what matters really.

Aleksandar Sakota

Head of Acquisitions - Agile Wings

A pioneer in the field of Internet Marketing specializing in SEO/Email and overall Acquisition channels. Having over 15 years experience Alex has been recognized as a true professional by a number of International high profile companies in the most competitive sectors, B2C and B2B: Igaming, Dating, Corporate/Financial Business Services, Real Estate, eCommerce, Educational, etc. Credited by world renowned websites and recognized by the Maltese Government when Alex held his own seminars as a main speaker eProfit Malta attended by employers from a Number of Local and Foreign Businesses in all types of fields including Banks, Language Schools, Igaming, Recruitment Companies etc and due to the Success of the First Seminar, he held a second Seminar where he shared his knowledge and secrets of how to have ongoing Successful business by practicing his tactics in SEO and other acquisition channels. Successfully providing consultancy services to number of companies from various industries: iGaming, Forex, Property, Tourism, Non-Government agencies, Language Learning, Entertainment, Software Development Companies. Clients include: RE/MAX LLC, International, Kamay Holdings, GFI, ESE, AC FX, etc.
* Running network of websites that receive over 3 million unique visitors per month where over 90% of traffic comes from search engines

Also a speaker at Sigma, European SUmmit and RE/MAX Europe conference. Consultant to OECD on integration of new Media. Due to his own initiative developed a plan for opening a new multimedia center in Belgrade with the budget of 5M, which was supported and financed by Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. Developing strategic alliances and business partnerships on both a local and global level. Maintaining an extensive network of industry contacts. Creating strong relationships with clients, associates, and external contacts.

Dedicated to Internet marketing with an overwhelming passion in acquisition channels from the core of a company to sustain growth and profitability.

Compliance and Regulated Markets

Reuben Portanier

Founder - Avviza

Reuben is a C-Level professional with executive management experience in the consultancy, technology and gaming sectors.
Reuben is the former CEO of one of the European leading gaming regulatory bodies, the Malta Gaming Authority (previously known as LGA) whilst he also acted as an advisor to the Government of Malta on Gaming Policy and European Regulatory policy.
Mr. Portanier was also one of the European Commission’s Expert Group Members on the European Union Action Plan for Online Gaming and was the author of Malta’s submission to the European Union’s Green Paper on On-line Gaming.
In 2013, Mr. Portanier was awarded as one of the 50 most influential persons in the gaming industry by the Gaming Intelligence Magazine. Mr Portanier also served as board trustee with the International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR) in 2013.
Mr. Portanier also held management consultancy experience with Arthur Andersen, and held C-Level positions in the ICT sector with MITTS Ltd (now MITA) and with the Siemens part owned Datatrak Holdings plc (now Loqus).
In 2014, Mr Portanier founded Avviza, an advisory firm serving the gaming, fintech, media and technology sectors. As from July 2014, Mr Portanier is a Board Member of the Malta Football Association, sitting on the board which adjudicates charges on bribery and illegal betting in football. Mr Portanier is also a member of the International Association of Gaming Advisors (IAGA). In 2017, Reuben, together with GTG Advocates, co-founded Afilexion Alliance, a full services firm also offering legal and corporate services.

Mattias Kelmeling

Director - Hansen Law Malta

The non-harmonised, state protected and often unfair and unpredictable markets within gaming were some of the reasons Mattias started working with gaming clients. With one clear target – to change the legal landscape of the gaming market in its foundation – Mattias’ offering ranges from in-depth regulatory analysis of various gaming markets and compliance to licensing processes and M&A. All aiming on keeping the clients regulatory conform, but also to challenge the existing hurdles and unfair practices within the EU.

Following an increasing interest in their services from companies established abroad, Hansen Law decided to open a subsidiary in Malta in 2016 and respond to their clients’ interest of having a close dialogue and co-operation regarding day-to-day operations of their businesses. Mattias is director of the Malta entity and based in Malta.

Pierre Mangion​

Head the Business Development - PKF

Pierre Mangion, Partner at PKF Malta heads the Business Development of the firm. He holds a Masters Business Administration Degree from Grenoble University specialising in eBusiness and he attended various overseas residential professional courses in subjects such as assurance and assessment of audit risks.

In 2003, Pierre started leading the iGaming business section within the firm. He managed various projects for prestigious international operators including multi-jurisdiction iGaming license procurement, corporate restructuring, and various other consulting projects.

He is active in a number of professional circles and regularly delivers talks at seminars and conferences on ICT and iGaming related subjects.

Consulting online gaming businesses mainly towards setting up corporate structures in Malta but also reviewing licensing options in other jurisdictions.

Pierre serves as director to an exclusive number of licensed operations from Malta assisting them on the daily operations and compliance. He is also holds a Personal management licence from the UK Gambling Commission and as MLRO for a number of clients.

Data & Business Intelligence

Cheryl Morriston

Head of Business Intelligence - Europe Entertainment LTD

For almost four years, Cheryl Morriston has been Head of Business Intelligence for a tremendously successful range of online gaming brands, including StarGames.com and QuasarGaming.com. With over 25 years of analytics experience, Cheryl has seen pivotal changes in how companies gather, view, and value data. She’s passionately devoted to data-driven decisions with an emphasis on providing clear business insights, and is delighted to come back for a second year as a BI Category judge for iGaming Idol!

Markus Nasholm

Operations and Director of Corporate Development - Catena Media

I work as CFO Operations and Director of Corporate Development (M&A) for Catena Media. Prior to Catena I worked as CFO for Bet24.com, part of Modern Times Group and a variety of finance roles within American Express, Millicom and some Private Equity investments.

Valéry Bollier

CEO - Oulala Games LTD

Valery has nine years of experience in the media, Online marketing and 13 years of experience in the iGaming industry. Valery is shareholder and former CMO of ZEturf (more than 11% of the French online horse racing market) and Co founder/CEO of Oulala, the first B2B Fantasy football game based on European football. Oulala was awarded in 2016 best Daily Fantasy Football Game.
Valery is also a private investor and a regular speaker at industry conferences and seminars, as well as a contributor to various BtoB publications. He was awarded in 2016 “”Tech ambassador of Malta”” as well as the “iGaming Idol” (in the category “Data & Business Intelligence”). In 2017 he was elected the “ICE prophet”

Affiliate Manager

Rhiannon Burns

Sales Manager - Catena Media

I've worked in iGaming for 10 years and have been in Malta for 7. I've worked in the payment sector, the affiliate platform sector and currently in affiliate marketing at Catena Media managing our team of dedicated account managers. I believe professional relationships are so important and can really make a difference to how you want to work with a brand.

Mårten Sandström

Business Development Manager - Raketech

Mårten holds a Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering and Management from Luleå University of Technology and has also studied at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.



He started his career in iGaming four years ago as Management Trainee for Mr Green where he during one and a half years worked alongside the C-level executives on a daily basis. Later on, he took on the position as Business Development Manager where he mainly worked with new markets, new verticals and M&A.



After that, he joined Gameday Group (Bethard.com, RakeTech and Together Gaming) as Business Development Manager where he could further develop his operator expertise and at the same time broaden his knowledge to also include white label solutions, SEO and affiliation. For the last six months he has worked solely for RakeTech and focused most of his time on M&A and strategy in general.

Johan Zammit

Director – Strategic Initiatives - NetRefer

Johan has 12 years experience in iGaming and Performance Marketing.

Johan has one passion - leading great teams in discovering opportunities and gaps, ideating software products that bridge these gaps and bringing them to life. This passion keeps him going every day.

Johan is NetRefer's Director of Strategic Initiatives, a company he co-founded back in 2005. NetRefer has been Johan’s focus ever since. Year after year NetRefer grew steadily into a number 1 global brand in the performance marketing industry.

Through various roles spanning over 20 years, as an entrepreneur, director, CTO, web development manager, lecturer, internet business consultant and developer, Johan spent his time helping organisations get the most out of the Internet.

Johan’s strong point is his superb understanding of both the technology world and the business world. He makes these two worlds meet.

Design and User Experience

Russell Ashton

Head of Design - Evoke Gaming

Raised in London, England, Russell has been working in design & marketing for well over a decade. A passionate designer and exceptional brand builder - with iGaming experience spanning over 9 years! - he has worked alongside industry players such as Betsson, Betsafe (and the world-famous Gumball 3000), and is currently working with Scandinavian media giant, Bonnier at Evoke Gaming. With design & user experience being closest to his heart, and an eye for detail that is second to none, Russell brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the judges' table.

Andre Lentini

Art Director/Team Lead - NetEnt

At the age of 15, I took on the role of junior designer. I immediately knew that this was something that I was very passionate about, and that I wanted to keep doing throughout my life. Having the creative freedom to develop a vision that comes to my mind, or to evolve an idea a customer has, is something that has always driven me.

After a few years working and gathering experience, I decided to build my portfolio through freelance work, which was a challenging and rewarding experience in its own right. Working freelance took me to many different places, and gave me the experience of working with various kinds of media. I was pushed out of my comfort zone, and had to find ways of being innovative in an ever-growing industry.

6 years ago I was approached by one of the largest game developers within the gaming industry - NetEnt. Working at NetEnt as an Art Director has helped me to evolve my way of thinking and broaden my capabilities and responsibilities. Today I find myself working with some of the most creative minds within the gaming industry. I still remain very hands on and prefer to lead by example and guidance.

VIP Manager

Kenny Cederqvist

Head of VIP - Videoslots

I moved from Sweden to Malta 5 years ago. I started my iGaming career right away with Betsson, one of the industry’s largest online casinos, and spent some time at CasinoEuro, one of their subsidiaries. With a strong passion to obtain, increase and develop relationships in both B2B and B2C environments, the move for a career in this industry was a natural fit. I understand the importance of every customer within an organisation, so I keep myself pro-active, always craving that feeling of coming up with new ideas on how to improve the customer journey. I do this for both their on-site experience but also to maintain a high level of quality and service for the company and business. These are some of the goals I strive for every day!

Danijela Slisko

Head of VIP - Mr. Green

Danijela's first contact with gamblers started while she was working in a betting shop. Ever since then she has interacted with customers and VIPs as a Marketing Analyst and currently as a Head of VIP.
Her experience in Customer Research and Analysis at a sports betting provider has given her expertise in the "why" the customer plays, what he expects and what he deserves to get from a product. The past 3,5 years she has used her holistic experience and insight into building an industry leading VIP operation, while understanding customer behavior, at two operators, currently at Mr Green.

Andrej Nilsson

Regional Manager Northern Europe - Kindred Group

Andrej represents Kindred Group and his iGaming and VIP experience amounts to 6 years, of which 4,5 years have been with Kindred. He entered the industry as VIP Account Manager Sweden and has progressed to Team Leader Nordics and currently Regional Manager Northern Europe. After 4 years in London he is based in Malta since 2,5 years.
Being part of an industry leading operator and with responsibility for VIP performance, focus is on ensuring the delivery of an outstanding gaming experience for customers combined with great social responsibility. Always with a customer centric approach. He is also responsible for delivering operational efficiency and driving the strategy in order to constantly develop the VIP service to its full potential.

Customer Support

Jessica Portelli Melkersson

Head of Customer Support - Videoslots

Jessica has been in the iGaming business since the year 2000 where she has mastered many different roles, building herself extensive experience. One of her most prestigious possessions is the fact that she has worked her way up all the way from being a support agent herself. Along the way she has held several team leader roles, she has worked in fraud and has also held quality and training positions. This means that she knows the industry inside out and she is an expert within her field. Nowadays she is the Head of Customer Support at Videoslots, and with the rapid growth we have seen in this company, she is evidently doing an excellent job.
Jessica believes that customer support must start from as early as when a player gets to know about a brand and it must follow throughout the full life cycle. Her continuous dedication in training, monitoring and developing her support team has not only brought in big results for Videoslots, but has also earned her recognition when she won the iGaming idol 2016 for excellence in customer support.


Martijn Claassen

Manager Customer Support - NetEnt

In Malta since 2002 and in the iGaming industry for 12 years with different operators and suppliers. In 2011 I joined NetEnt when the support function was moved to Malta.
Since September 2015 I manage the NetEnt Support team, with 20 staff across multiple geographical locations.

Malin Angbo

Head of Customer Service - Mr. Green

Malin moved from a cold and rainy Sweden to a much warmer and sunny Malta 4 years ago and was lucky enough to get a chance to join Mr Greens CS team as a Swedish customer service agent. Malin has during her 4 years with Mr Green progressed from CS agent to CS team leader, CS manager and is today Head of Customer Service for a CS team of 65 employees.

The most important voice is the voice of the customer and with a great passion for customer service and Malin makes sure to keep the customer at heart in everything she does. Malin is very proud of Mr Green and her customer service team and the work being done to make sure the customer is always at the center of the business.

Tech Front-End

Mark Galea

Chief Technical Officer - Suprnation

Mark has 10+ years experience in Software Engineering primarily in the iGaming Industry
and is currently the CTO of SuprNation - a startup which released VoodooDreams.com mid-2016. Following his Master’s degree in Machine Learning from the University of Edinburgh, Mark is also a visiting lecturer at the Faculty of ICT University of Malta where
he lectures Programming Paradigms and Emerging Web Technologies. Mark believes that the iGaming sector provides the best environment to weave his academic passion together with his professional career.

Joseph Micallef

Head of Technical Operations - Quasar Limited

Joseph Micallef has been working in the iGaming Industry for the past 7 years, starting off as a Frontend Developer and has recently transitioned to a Head of Technical Operations, managing and coordinating technical requirements with different teams for the company, Quasar Limited. Quasar Limited operates two leading brands: Quasar Gaming and OVO Casino.

Joseph possesses a Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology and has always been passionate with the world wide web - in fact he had created his first website back when he was 9 years of age! He believes that modern frontend technologies provide means for operators to build cutting-edge user experience for the iGaming player base and strives to apply the latest technologies within the company.

Kenneth Schembri

Director - Maxcreate

Kenneth Schembri has been involved in the web development industry since 1999, first as an independent designer & developer creating numerious popular local web sites using state of the art technology.

In 2007 his passion for the iGaming industry sparked his ambitions to establish MAXCREATE. Over the years, his organization has not only worked with some of the best, but also partnered with the most reputable businesses in the iGaming sector.

Today Kenneth Schembri is behind some of the most rapid growing names such as BetHard, CashMio, LarryCasino and more. He strives to surpass client's expectations and looks forward to bring forth the next generation of online gaming.

Human Resources Manager

Fiona Ewans Brown

Human Resources Director - Catena Media

With over 20 years’ experience working in HR, Fiona has amassed a wealth of HR skills and knowledge in a variety of areas.

Fiona’s HR background has seen her work within global organisations with offices around the world. She has gained HR experience in Australia, the UK, and, most recently, Malta.

Prior to her current role as HR Director at Catena Media, and member of the management team, Fiona worked with such reputable organisations as Morgan Stanley, GFI Software and Ernst & Young.

Her extensive CV has seen her working across all HR-related disciplines, with a more recent emphasis on talent management and development.

Fiona has worked with a diverse range of employees throughout her work experience, and this has also informed her work as a qualified executive coach.

Omar Bitar

Pokerstars

Sara Portelli

Human Resources Manager - Evolution Gaming

As ‘patient 0’ I am responsible for setting up the foundation as well as managing the Human Resource function for Evolution Gaming’s international Operations for the past 4 years. Involved in the dynamics of the enterprise growth year on year led to a broadened responsibility for studios in Bucharest, Spa, Murcia and shortly also in Vancouver.
Initially caught up in catering for the intense hypergrowth requirements, my focus has now shifted towards a quality factor, enquiring what has always been, what we want it to be and more importantly how to achieve just that. Questioning, analyzing, researching and predicting what exactly comprises that unique code that will push Evolution Gaming in becoming Employer of choice, globally, is now my ultimate goal. It is only because of our strategically placed studios and extensive product market that allows our brand to be exposed across a myriad of countries which I believe ,coupled with an understanding of what it takes to become a leading Employer, will see us over the edge, over-reaching our expectations and positioning ourselves as a frontrunner on an operational basis.
Striving to move away from the classical understanding of what most understand HR to represent today,I must admit fuels my motivation. Alongside my passion to understanding adult human behavior in varying organizational contexts I believe clarifying and strengthening that vital link between HR and operations is key - ultimately unraveling what it takes to attract, unlock and retain top potential from our human resource and further utilize it to drive business strategy - the strategy so very unique to Evolution Gaming.
Creativity, energy and motivation coupled with an BSc in Psychology and MSc in HR management # support and fuel my ambition in becoming an avid contributor to this dynamic and vital sector – one that although I recognize to be a relatively young discipline in its true, unlocked form, is one that when positioned and developed well, will be central in the success of companies, now and in the future.

Recruitment

Charlo Galea

Head of Talent - GiG Group

Charlo has been working in HR/Recruitment functions since 2010 and has a degree in HRM which he attained in the UK.

The past few years of his career have been the most exciting. He joined the Betit Group when it was a start-up with 30 employees 
as a People Finder for the and advanced with rocket speed throughout his time and moved up as a People Operations Manager and then also as a Group Head of Talent Acquisition.

He scaled the company to 130+ last year resulting in a very successful acquisition last year by the Gaming Innovation Group. The entire group now employs a total of circa 550 people in 4 different countries. Charlo' is responsible for driving the global recruiting function across all offices and locations - leading and nurturing a talent acquisition team based across GiG's global offices and remotely while improving the capability through data (across sourcing, attraction, assessment, selection, etc.) delivering on talent needs of the business.

This year Charlo’s team already recruited over 175 people and the company now employs a total of circa 500 people. Charlo' has also done some pretty interesting work in connection with leadership development, culture and change management.

Justin Paul Anastasi

Talent Acquisition Manager - Evolution Gaming

Having been with Evolution Gaming now for almost 2 years, Justin has rapidly become a Talent Acquisition powerhouse, being responsible for Malta, Romania, Canada, London, Belgium & Spain he has established himself as not only being a influencer within the sector but also an innovator.

Anna Falzon

HR Partner - Videoslots

Anna is originally from Russia and moved to Malta as a child. Her career started in hospitality where she spent 7 years in various departments including Human Resources.
Her paths progressed with a law firm where her duties focused mostly on employment law and refreshed her desire to work in Human Resources.  She then came across a #jobslot with Videoslots and has been part of the Videoslots Family since last winter. She now serves as a strategic HR partner looking for the overall talent to fit the working culture of the organization. They are now over 100 employees and she has hired most of the new recruits since they doubled up in size this year.
 
Her experience includes recruitment, talent development, succession planning, performance management and employee engagement.

She is passionate about everything she does and it shows in her work life integration when it comes to attracting and retaining talent. It is also obvious that she likes to see people growing, enjoys coaching and building teams as per departmental requirements.

Manager

Kevin Norville

Group Director of Human Resources - Tipico Careers

I am currently the Group Director of Human Resources for Tipico and based in Malta. My focus is on HR strategy, HR marketing, talent acquisition, talent retention and rewards. Essentially my team and I provide the end-to-end HR services for the organisation, emphasising culture and well-being.

Rikard Rinaldo

Head of Brand & Responsible gaming - Mr. Green

From the woods of Småland/Sweden via Stockholm to Malta with wife and 2 children I spend my days governing igamings most attractive gentlemanly brand Mr Green with focus on entertainment, sustainability and responsibility. Driving areas like Brand, PR, Employee branding, Responsible gaming.

13 years marketing experience and brand focused positions including concept manager for Swedens largest commercial TV channels TV3, TV6, TV8, TV10 and creative manager of the TV house MTG Sweden.

Vahe Baloulian

CEO - BetConstruct

Vahe Baloulian is CEO of BetConstruct and an award-winning industry veteran, named in 2016 as one of the Gaming Intelligence’s ‘Hot 50’ most innovative and inspiring people in online gaming.
During his long career in the gaming industry, Vahe has served as Director of Gaming at 888, COO of LVFH and CEO of Red Planet Gaming. He is a frequent guest speaker and judge at leading industry events.

Tech Back-End

Denise De Gaetano

Data Scientist

Denise De Gaetano is a big data scientist, entrepreneur and science communicator by profession. She has also lectured in various scientific fields over the years. Denise has worked on numerous large projects as a big data scientist, physicist and statistician with a number of companies and institutions within different commercial and scientific fields. She has helped transform data investments into actionable business results through the visioning and implementation of big data, web presence, content publishing, and enterprise search solutions. Denise has also worked on business strategies providing a superior engagement experience through a combination of business acumen, intellectual curiosity, collaborative work style and strong partnerships with award-winning vendors.

Mike Broughton

Group CTO - Gaming Innovation Group

After studying for an Astronomical PhD at Plymouth University, I started in the real world by writing algorithms in assembly for scheduling purposes, be it people or hardware. One of the small select university groups to get hold of a 487 math co-processor chip (how long ago???), we used and studied timing diagrams to optimise its usage for simulation.

After academia, I joined a small startup writing commercial algorithms and time and attendance software for the retail market, helping the company grow until we served all the big boys, including Marks and Spencer, Next Clothing, Metro C&C, CostCo, and IKEA. I also designed from inception, and lead the build of, the Resource Planning and Scheduling (RPS) system for the English, Scottish and Welsh (EWS) railways.

After winning the Microsoft RAD award for EMEA with the algorithmic ChangePlanner product, my career changed direction; I then consulted/contracted at various companies such as Maranello (aka Ferrari), VW Bank and Stylus Fashion amongst others.

Moving to Malta (partly to pursue diving and sailing activities), I met the charismatic Robin Reed from Donkr, with whom I helped build the Guts, iGamingCloud and now Gaming Innovation Group entities.

A master at evading timeframes, tackling the impossible and sampling wine, I personally enjoy nearly all tech, classic cars, boats, and things that go ‘ping’.

Gordon Bezzina

CTO - BMIT Ltd

Gordon Bezzina has been responsible for BMIT’s technical infrastructure since its inception. Throughout his career, he has built a wide range of experience in various technical and consultancy positions at different organisations. He has specialised in data centre infrastructure design and operation including power, environmental control, and network and IT infrastructure and has since designed and implemented a number of network and data centre set-ups, including BMIT’s own 2 data centres.

Mr Bezzina is a B.Sc. graduate and has afterwards specialised in network infrastructure.

Sport Product

Andre Zammit

Trading Manager - Tipico Careers

My name is Andre Zammit, 34 years old from Malta. Married with two kids. Professionally have been working in the industry for 13 years now and climbed the ladder on my own merits. Started my career back in 2005 at Ladbrokes Head offices in the UK in which I spend 5 ½ years there in various roles with the last one being that of Assistant Live Trading – Football Manager. In 2010, my family and I moved back to Malta and my first job back was at GVC – Betboo sportsbook in which I occupied the role of Deputy head of trading for 3 years. In August 2013, I was approached by Tipico and since then have occupied the role of Trading Manager reporting directly to the Trading Director.

On a non-professional basis, I am a fully qualified football coach (UEFA B licence) and coached/managed at two clubs here in Malta but also spent 6 years coaching in the UK for Watford FC and a short 1 ½ year stint at Harrow Borough FC. In 2015, I needed a change of Sport and since then I held the role of Public relations office within the Malta Darts Association.

Jacob Nielsen

Betting Intelligence manager - Tipico Careers

My name is Jacob Nielsen – 43 years old and from Denmark. During my last 15 years I have been involved in the business starting out in 2002 with BET24 – which back then was one of the first operators on Malta.
After 5 good years with Bet24, I went on the other side of the table – first giving poker a chance and moved to USA, but never really managed to get the desired success and missed the betting business too much, and therefore moved back to Denmark, from where I in 2007 was involved in the start-up of a bookmaker with full focus on E-Sport. Unfortunately we were a bit too early with E-Sport not really booming yet, and had to close the company after 3 years.

I then got a job as an analyst for one of the biggest betting syndicate in the world – London based Smart odds - from whom I worked for almost three years, until I was approached by Tipico, that wanted me to lead a special Betting Intelligence unit within the bookmaker team, and I have now been here for 5 years.

My main strength is the general market understanding with a lot of emphasis on risk and integrity.

Live Casino Dealer

Sam Brown

Director

I’ve worked in the iGaming industry for 13 years, working with some of the largest and most established operators and suppliers in the industry, and helping build several start-ups. I have a personal and professional passion for the gambling industry and for gambling itself.

After graduating with a degree in Economics and Finance in 2004 I entered the industry as a graduate with Ladbrokes – at the time the largest retail bookmaker in the UK.

I learned the gambling trade at Ladbrokes for a few years before moving to Betfair – a purely online betting exchange which would become one of the most disruptive and successful gambling businesses the industry has ever seen. My task at Betfair was first to conceive and execute their initial entry into the Gaming markets, and I subsequently spent 5 years expanding their gaming business across new products and markets.

In 2013 I joined Scandinavian gaming giants Betsson Group. I worked briefly heading up their Gaming Product division, before moving to the role of Managing Director – where I ran 7 of the Betsson casino businesses.

Two years ago I decided to move to supplier-side, heading up the Live Casino vertical for Netent. I run a team of over 280 staff across multiple geographical locations – covering Product, Commercial, Development, IT Operations and Studio Operations.

Marcus Honney

Head of Tables Games - Yggdrasil Gaming

I am an experienced Gaming Professional with over 25 years working within the Gaming Industry. Having worked in both the operations and supply sectors, online and offline, I have gained a wide range of experience at a both senior management and operational level. I now specialise in start up or new product lines mainly associated with RNG/Live/Hybrid Table Games. My current project is as Head of Table Games for Yggdrasil Gaming.

Svetlana Buckova

Dragonara Casino

Ms Svetlana Buckova joined Dragonara Gaming Limited in 2010 and has since then formed part of the top management of the company. Her role as Director of Operations within Malta’s premier land-based casino is that of overseeing the complete operations of the casino floor including Live Tables, Slots, Poker, Live Casino, VIPs and all other aspects of the day-to-day running of the Dragonara Casino. Ms Svetlana is also responsible for the implementation of the Human Resources policy of the company including recruitment and retention and is a key liaison with the Malta Gaming Authority.

Ms Buckova has been working in the Casino sector for over 14 years having risen through the ranks within Century Casinos (Listed on NASDAQ – CNTY) where she started as a trainee and ended up as a Manager within the company. In her role today Ms Buckova is entrusted with creating the right working environment for hundreds of employees within the Casino and to ensure that employees attain their full potential in their role. Moreover, Ms Buckova has a key role in the top management of the company wherein she shapes alongside the other Directors of the company the future strategic thrust of the company as well as ensuring that the objectives are met through the implementation of well-planned tasks.

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