The big names in the casino market have begun earning recognition for their profitability and innovation. A week ago, BetMGM, DraftKings, Scientific Games and, IGT PlaySports were among the casino operators who were feted for their various contributions in the industry. This happened at an event which was organized and hosted in New York City.
Dubbed the SBC Awards North America 2021, the ceremony brought together the gambling industry giants from across the region. With such glaring success gracing the inaugural edition of these awards, this might be an indication of the future popularity of this award.
The audience of over 400, which was made up of delegates from the United States and Canadian betting sector, represented the vital players in the iGaming, sports betting and casino business. All these executives sat together at the Edison Ballroom to celebrate industry achievements witnessed over the past 12 months.
DraftKings was recognized and awarded the prize for the sportsbook of the year while BetMGM casino bagged the award for the casino operator of the year. The host of the night was someone that many sports enthusiasts knew pretty well; Meredith Marakovits, the YES Network’s New York Yankees’ clubhouse reporter.
There were obviously other NJ casinos which had been nominated for these top prizes but the judges gave all supporting reasons for their choice. This is a credible start for this award ceremony because it made all the players comfortable with the choice and gave them important pointers to work on as they aim for the awards next time.
In the other categories that were awarded that night, the judges settled on Entain as the Socially responsible Operator of the Year and Bally Interactive as the Rising Star of the year. Pointsbet was recognized for its top of the tier Marketing & Sponsorship Operator while GAN walked away with an award for Social Gaming Operator.
The event organizers also thought up two awards that summed up the industry’s ecosystem; Leader of the Year which went to Richard Schwartz of Rush Street Interactive and Employer of the Year which went to Scientific Games. Most of the names that made it to the nomination stage were worthy competitors meaning that everyone was playing their part in building this massive industry.
According to the Founder and CEO of SBC, Rasmus Sojmark, the North American Region is quite vibrant when it comes to gambling and that explains the fierce competition witnessed in all the categories. This is impressive of an industry that has only been visible for barely 4 years since it was legalized.
Sojmark has expressed gratitude to all the people who were involved in putting together this first ever event and congratulates the winners for their achievement. The independent judging panel, according to him did an excellent job of assessing the nominees in their entirety in a manner that highlighted both their strengths and weaknesses. Their style of assessment enabled those who did not win anything this time round to check their performance against a definite checklist.
The President of the SBC awards commended the various companies for making it to the top of the competition, terming their recognition as an indication of the level of quality with which they run their operations. Being the first group of winners in the history of the SBC, Sojmark encouraged them to be proud of the impact they are making in the industry.
The winners of the night
Among the other winners were VSiN and Gambling.com Group who walked away with the respective Sports Affiliate and Casino Affiliate trophies and Catena Media put up a strong show to eventually bag silver awards in two of the categories they had been nominated for. It was indeed a night for every stakeholder in the gambling industry.
In the supplier section of categories, the night would light up in favor of IGT PlaySports and this is how the Platform Provider of the Year and Land-Based Betting & Gaming Product of the Year honors could go to no other. ArdentSky was awarded second place as the Industry Innovation of the Year.
Sportsbook have become popular over the past one year or so and there are companies whose mandate stops with development. These are the players that were targeted by the Sportsbook Supplier award which was collected by OpenBet. The top award for the Sports Data / Living Betting Product category went to Sportradar while Boom Entertainment was feted as the Upcoming Star in the category of Casino & Sports Betting.
Scientific Games is a strong force in the Lottery Supplies business and this was recognized by SBS when they awarded the company the top honors. Evolution on the other hand bagged the Casino Supplier top award; Optimove topped the category of Acquisition & Retention Partner while the Marketing & Services Provider honor went to Intelitics.
In the solution partner award, USAbility gained a trophy for their compliance work, Sightline payments was recognized as a leading payment solutions partner while Nuvei got a prize for Payment Innovation. Sojmark thanked all those who partnered with the awards event’s organizers for making the day a success. The occasion made quite an impression in the industry that most people are already looking forward to the second edition which will be held in July 2022.
This time round, the ceremony was slotted into the last evening of the 2021 SBC Summit North America conference and tradeshow that DraftKings attends. Every year, the gambling stakeholders assemble at one venue to showcase advancements made in the gaming and sports betting sectors. In 2022, the event will be hosted at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in New Jersey.
An award ceremony is a good way to bring people in the same industry together for mutual gain. While there will be those that bag the prestigious awards, most will benefit from industry best practices and knowledge of emerging technologies.